My journal is the most loyal friend I ever had. He listens to me late at night when just won’t shut up about feeling hurt from a lost friendship from childhood, when I want to tell him all about my dreams for the future and these pure love societies where all humans see the divinity and angelic nature of every living soul. When I rage against my family…..and then when I thank God for having the family I do because I know my soul chose this family because it knew each member contained some of the most difficult and deep lessons for me.
In my journal, I write these granular explanations with hair-splitting tedium, of every last thought emotion, reaction, bordering on psychopathic analysis. It is an uncoiling of of the tangled lines of my mind and emotions and it always somehow finds this homeostasis. No matter what I write about for that hour of stream of consciousness journaling, its always the right thing, no matter how repetitive or insane it sounds.
I always leave the page, feeling better than before and feeling that I released some stagnant, dormant ideas, passions, anger or busted through a granite rock layer of my subconscious with a sledgehammer. Is it simply that the journal helps me to make sense of the universe in my head? That it helps me to map out my mind and soul just a teeny tiny bit, even if t’s only 2 or 3% of the cubic area of my mind and heart space (which is infinite, so kind of a silly metaphor), it still makes a massive difference. More like I am getting better at orienting myself to the ocean that is my heart and soul and how I can I flow with it’s unpredictable storms, wind, and calm and work or FLOW within that. I read back an entry from July 2013 the other day, I was in Salamanca, Spain taking Spanish classes for that summer. It read:
“Teacher in class today said I had left my house in the clouds and come back down to earth. Felt good about that.”
Sounds about right, except now I’m trying to find my house in the clouds and go there on a long term stay.
I overheard my dad on the phone the other day and he was speaking about someone he knew from business or what not:
“He ascended into this world, you know, all the cars and the real estate properties.”
Funny how source plants these little word-play metaphors around me. It was odd that my dad used these words as he is the most literal, pragmatic, grounded, anti-spirit person you would ever meet.
There’s some gems reading through old journals, there’s just nothing as precious as capturing a snapshot of one’s mind, thoughts, and emotional state at an exact point , it is truly precious, because emotional/mind states come and go so quickly that if you don’t record it, it’s gone. You can see your own growth in the most tangible way. All the ones at 4 am that are sloppy and double the size of my normal writing, just the same, I like learning about the animal- pure id Peter, just pure lust, brainstem Peter, we had some good times together.
When I read through a month of that summer in 2013, I realize how obsessed with self-pity and how self-consumed I was, and how far I have come. I am so radically different from that person. That me was so self-conscious that I could not function without interpreting every last glance and take every word as intended to destroy me. I was convinced that the entire world was conspiring to destroy me. I loved my misery sooooo much, I would never give it up for anything at that point, like a an alcoholic with his bottle, the misery was nice and safe, and cozy.
I also felt the bond with my journal and my own trust in the words I wrote, grow that summer in 2013, it was the first time I really dove into doing stream of consciousness writing in my journal in parks while the abuelitas strolled by and the friendly Spanish people walked by. Salamanca was such a neighborhood, homey place. I would leave the apartment at 8 and get lost, walk a random direction and end up in a quiet park, or go down by the river. And just bloodlet straight from my soul, anger, rage, curse laden rants directed at myself, philosophical and existential tangents dropping in occasionally. Write until 10 pm or so when it got dark.
I was racked with homesickness and writing for two hours straight, sitting in a park, about literally anything and everything in my mind and heart was the only thing that made me feel better. I began to see it as a pathway down to the heart, or simply a way of making sense of the emotion I felt (which I was basically an emotional paraplegic at that time) and the thoughts that were in my head.
People have made jokes that I am a serial killer the way I fill every last centimeter of the note book and write at the very top of the page and go way past the side margins, use back and front of every page, because when you start to go through 10 or so notebooks, the storage is an impending concern.
I thought today when I was journaling, am I lonely right now? Or is the process of creating, of transforming the emotions in my heart, into concepts, then into words, into sentences keeping me engaged and ultimately, are my creations (the words and sentences) keeping me company?
I thought, I never feel more engaged, in flow, and more happy in my heart than when I am putting the pen down to paper and I’m not stopping, I’m just letting the stream come out onto the page, ugly, grammatically shit, nonsensical, neurotic, sad, gushing with love, or writing words that genuinely surprise me, or that please me to see I may be unearthing a new layer of this being that is called Peter.
A girl came up to me after class the other day,
“what are you writing about? Are you taking notes for the class? You were really writing a lot.” She asked, with the doubting eye-roll of the girl under the control of the smiley-party-girl-dead-inside mind program.
“Ideas, insights.” I said.
“But not about class? Then what ?” She said, with a puzzled, eye movement and eyebrow raise that implied frustration.
“Ideas, insights, story ideas.” I said, with a slight smile, calmly and walked away. I celebrated this victory on the subway after class, in my head, you passed a karmic test, the universe presented another lesson to you to test if you could transcend it and not react in a self-important or angry way, yeah!!!!
Because, knowing the girl for a year of classes, I could tell the subtext of the question, uhhhhhh why are you doing something that is not staring at a smartphone??? Or talking about pop-culture?????
It felt good, standing my ground, not losing my cool like I might have in the past getting defensive. It was the most simple yet most profound realization. I can release that karmic hold, I can claim my power and peace of mind back. I weakened the hold that anger and reactivity had on my subconscious just a little bit. The few hours after I just contemplated how good it felt to not react in a defensive way and just own it calmly, proudly…. I’m a writer, I write because I can’t hold in what’s in my heart, I’m a communicator and a storyteller. I will make art out of whats in my head, being considered weird and insane in this society of the walking dead is a high compliment.
A beautiful thing was precipitated by my lack-of reaction. I just thought …..she’s not a bad person, she’s probably a really sweet soul who just wants love, but she’s simply under the control of the mind program of alcohol and the Kardashians’ model for life that feeds and feasts on gossip. She is cute and has low enough self-esteem that she would be a viable play if we went out and got into the low consciousness buzzed state, I’d be primed to make a move in this alternate reality where our accountability to our true selves was powered down. But that’s not me anymore, I know I am worth more than that, than 3 seconds of pleasure. Sex with a girl who I find irritating, doesn’t make my life anymore, I used to torture myself because I didn’t have even close to as much sex as any of my friends because of being either phobically shy, sober, or in tornado/primal drunk mode at a bar/club.
The universe hears a lack of reaction, the non-violence, the non-reaction creates a resonance and a boomerang effect. What words, thoughts, actions, intentions am I putting into the cosmos today? Because the universe will likely reciprocate the energy I am putting out. For the rest of that day after class, I felt unusually calm and free, and like I had made the choice to step up the ladder where the resentful energies and old habits can’t penetrate my field, just for that one time. Can I be intentional with every word and reaction and realize there is nothing that I say it to another, that I am not also saying to myself?
My journal is the recorder of all of this, I have the epiphanies and graduation moments where I finally release a years-long habit or idea of myself, when reading over old entries from years ago. Writing out everything daily, helps me to see that I am not the stories that my mind creates, which are usually ego-centered, I am not my core wounds. I am something with much more depth and beauty than that. The digging into my subconscious, the extraction of all the junk, the re-framing and dissolving of my silly ideas of “Peter” continues.