Here we are, a new year. Today is my first day back to work after the New Year’s holiday. I sip my coffee and wonder what sort of year this one might be…

The weekend was filled with year-end sorts of things, including the massive journal-disposal project that I’ve been mulling over for a long time, and honestly didn’t expect to sit down, start, and finish so… “soon” isn’t the right word. “Unexpectedly” also missed the mark. I just… I guess I’m glad it is behind me. Surprised I pulled it off, perhaps. 🙂 After wandering through many hundreds of thousands of words across something like 15,000 pages, I’m glad to be done with it and free from the storage and “document security” headaches that went along with keeping those journals all these years. There were some worthy observations of life in those pages, for sure, and some beautiful, poignant, or insightful turns of phrase, and I’m glad I took a look back. Those details were sparse compared to the tedium, the tantrums, the madness, and the committing-to-paper of details that generally do best lived-in-the-moment and not written down for later review. I mean… damn I was angry a lot. Bitter. Disappointed. Frustrated. Lusty. Struggling. Did I mention the lustiness? Yeah… I could have made a career writing pornography, I’m sure. LOL

…In some sense the hardest part about letting go of these journals and the years of writing was discovering that I already had

It was interesting to see the change in my writing at the point at which my Traveling Partner and I had gotten together. Before we were lovers we were friends, and it was at that point I also began tapering off the various psych meds I was on at that time, (in part due to his encouragement and fueled by his astonishment at what I was taking and at what dosages). I really couldn’t write easily (or paint) on those meds; my creativity was severely impaired. To get that back, I had to go off the meds I was on (and it would be until very recently that I stayed wholly off all those medications, generally). My partner was very supportive of my painting and writing and my wellness.

At my most heavily medicated, I wrote very little.

My Traveling Partner and I had met many many years earlier – we resumed our friendship when we reconnected, working for the same employer in 2009, but didn’t start hanging out until early in 2010. By March that year we were nearly inseparable friends, jovially sharing our commute on public transit each day.

I was tapering off the psych meds, and both my writing and my painting were becoming a bigger part of my experience.

In October, after we each/both broke things off with other relationships, we moved in together. By May 2011 we’d gotten married. My writing exploded in an environment in which I felt emotionally safe to just write, to just fucking be. It wasn’t always comfortable; there were times when my Traveling Partner would actually choose to leave rather than be around me while I was writing or painting. There was so much “bottled up inside me” that finally “had a voice”. It was an intensely creative period.

2011 used a lot of pages!

When I think back on that time, and I think specifically about how much my current partnership has both inspired and supported me creatively… I’m astonished, and filled with love and gratitude. My Traveling Partner, as much as any one person ever could claim to be, has been my muse. My inspiration. My day-to-day “driving force” – for change, for momentum, for growth and progress, for continuing to begin again. Love makes it all matter so very much. He is also more uniquely capable than any one other human being of hurting my feelings in an instant, moving my heart, pissing me off, and being part of my journey. Fuck I love this guy. I could say more… but I think I’ve said it all at some point… I mean, just based on the amount I’d already written down since we got together…

My partner’s presence felt in every volume. Inspired by love.

I’m not sure…, but it could be that this post is sort of a love letter to a human being who played an important part in freeing me to truly work on becoming the woman I most want to be… finally. That can’t be an easy part to play in this messy life of mine.

If I could have easily done just one additional thing with all those journals it would have been to run the entirety of the content through some sort of algorithm that could reduce it down to just the unique observations – removing the duplicates, the mad spirals, and the redundancy, leaving behind only the things I said, wrote, and observed, each just the once. I wonder how much would actually be left? What wisdom have I gained (and lost) over time? I sip my coffee and think about that… and the way redirecting my writing to this space, this practice, has improved the quality of my writing. (It’s easy to see, having taken the opportunity to compare those volumes to these posts more or less “side by side”.)

I actually “write more” these days. It’s not always obvious; no clutter to measure by. lol I’m also much happier – and it was clear flipping through those pages that the deeply conflicted, traumatized, chronically unhappy woman I once was has been transformed over time. I still have challenges. I still have work to do. I’ve still got an eye on my mental health – and probably always will. I’m also doing pretty splendidly most of the time, by most measures. It’s a good place to be, and I’m grateful to my partner for sharing this journey with me. He’s a hell of a good “traveling companion” for a trip like this. lol I gotta remember to say thank you. 😀

In the meantime, I suppose I’ll just begin again… again. 😀 I wonder where this path leads…