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Growing up I never actually thought about having a legacy for my offspring but rather a legacy for the world. I was a big dreamer as a child and wanted to provide something more. I wanted to do and be everything including things I knew I never could do like be an astronaut. That would never happen because I am terrified of enclosed spaces. Somewhere in the mix of wanting to leave a big legacy behind, and not having any real idea what it was supposed to be, I developed an idea of keeping a journal.
Sadly I am not one of those people who is very good at keeping a daily journal. I have a hard time just logging what I eat daily into MyFitnessPal. As a child I really was no different. I would start a journal, misplace it, move on to another journal and do the same. In all that craziness of being a kid with big dreams, I did have this grand idea that keeping a journal was what I wanted to leave behind for future generations to happen upon and read as if I was some famous writer who would be passing down all these really private thoughts on life. It was all a very romantic notion at that young age.
Thinking about all of those big dreams and grand ideas makes me giggle. I really did have my head in the clouds most of the time, which is a little ironic as my college senior thesis and art show was called “Cumulus”. Even today it seems like my head still looks heavenward.
Several months before starting our blog I did go back and read some of those early attempts at journal keeping. I thought I would be embarrassed and want to rip pages out of the journals, throw them away or even burn them but rather the opposite happened. I read them and was reminded that we all evolve, grow, and change. That documenting that process is priceless even if some of it is filled with the thoughts of a silly child, a weird lovesick pre-teen, or emotion filled entries of loves lost and found, or thoughts way too confused to comprehend. Some of those reflections remind us of who we were, how far we have come, and bring back ideas we want to continue to explore.
When I was done reading through all of my journals I repackaged those that were packed away and re-shelved the rest. I may not be proud of all the journal entry content (mostly shaking my head at my younger self) but I am proud that I did choose to write in the first place. None of the writing is prize worthy or even worthy of sharing with anyone but myself but it is my journey. I think that is noteworthy that even as a child I wanted to share my journey.
An even bigger reason to hold onto all those journals is that they each give a peek into who I am, and is something I could choose to pass along to my children when the time comes. This is something I wish I had from my own parents. While I have talked often with my mom about her life, my father’s life is virtually unknown to me.
Growing up I didn’t really have the chance to talk with my dad and find out what made him tick. I was his princess and there were things he never wanted me to know like the time he was in the navy and had to drag the charred remains of his mates out of a burning building, that he had a high security clearance, or the many accomplishments my dad had through his life. Some things I did find out before he passed away but there were many more things I didn’t find out about my dad until it was too late. Now I am left wondering about who he was, and if he could ever forgive me for my rash judgments at times or rather can I ever forgive myself.
What I know for certain is that my dad was definitely an ogre with the complicated cell structure and smell of an onion. To say my dad had layers was an understatement. I wish I had listened more when he was here and that I had more then a few birthday cards or little notes to let me know how important I was to him.
While no one can every fully know another person, I want those whom I hold dear in my life not to be left wondering who I really was, including my ever evolving journey. So now that our blog is started I may struggle with length of article posts and deciding if something is a short thought to share on our Facebook fan page or if its worthy of a full length article on our blog but I still write (even when toddlers in my life think I shouldn’t).
Someday when the little loves in our lives are old enough I hope I can interest them in journal keeping and if I can’t well I hope that they will read some of the entries on our blog (at least the ones that pertain to them). Beyond sharing our journey with others to hopefully inspire those going through difficult times or those needing more information and guidance. I want our blog to contain love letters of a sort to the ones in our lives that need to know how important they are to us, who need to know our history and ultimately our journey. I want to leave them behind more then just photos or a few brief words. I want to leave behind something more.