Whenever I find old notebooks, I cringe: at best they are filled with snippets of projects I never completed; at worst they provide me with examples of my own horribly mediocre writing, best forgotten.
So when I discovered an old, brown, 7.5″ by 9.75″ notebook, I opened it with trepidation. But when I read the first page, I had to smile.
Remember how my family of six moved up from Virginia and into my parent’s basement (because we were broke)? My wife made me promise that I would commit to writing for three months before looking for a “real” job. Well, this notebook was from one of the early days, when I didn’t know what was going to happen, where I would find work, or what the plan was for my life.
The first page inside this brown notebook was a small piece I wrote from the perspective of my (at the time) 6-year-old son:
My dad sat at the computer all day today. I knew something was wrong because he just stayed there and tapped his foot like a jack-hammer all morning: tap tap tap tap tap.
He told me he was going to teach a class on writing.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because I like to write,” he said.
I watched him for a little while.
“You’re a great writer,” I said when I noticed how fast his fingers moved over the keys.
“That’s typing,” he said. “But thanks.”
I remember that day, and I have to smile at how much he wanted me to be happy.
I love reminders from the past, triggers that put me back in a time that was both difficult and necessary. If you’re in the middle of a tough time, write yourself a note – some day you’ll appreciate the reminder of how far you’ve come.