by Olivia Madreperla, Contributor •
So, I’m sure all of you are experiencing some boredom from the lack of activities available for everyone in our respective homes, but, fear not! This is the perfect time to sit down and fire up our brains in a creative way! Personally, I have spent a lot of time working on my new website, and I have been journaling a ton. I know that, as writers, a lot of you might journal or jot a few notes down about your days once in a while in search of ideas for your next story. However, journaling has a lot more benefits than simply creating a story. I know most of you all know this as far as the mental health benefits of journaling, but I want to share with you a more nuanced benefit of writing down different stages of your life in print. In this digital age, it is easy for things to be forgotten. We absentmindedly put things in our digital calendars in hopes that said digital calendar will send us an alert in enough time before the event starts to get there on time and present ourselves in the most professional manner. However, this monotonous action of simply plugging our daily lives into computers and phones provides for convenience, but it does not provide for our memories. On any given day, I cannot really remember what I did. I usually have to look back on my meticulously organized calendar to find where I was on a particular day. In fact, I would have to reference to my calendar even in the case of the police asking me my whereabouts during a murder case. Hence, there are small parts to my days that I wish I could recall, but I can’t because I depended upon my computer to remind me. However, I hadn’t realized how many blank spaces there were within my memory until very recently when I fell upon an item from my middle school years.
This item was a journal that I kept almost every day during the sixth grade when I was convinced I could become a creative writer. The journal, of course, was plastered with colorful images of unicorns and rainbows elaborately topped off with random pieces of fuzzy fabric that should have most definitely fallen off over all these years. I had come across it amongst my personal items when I was moving to my most recent abode which we are renting while my actual home is getting a face lift. I sat on my green wall to wall carpet (you now know why the house needed to be renovated) sifting through my memoirs that my mother had forced me to keep over the years. As I was doing so, my hands fell across the glossy surface of this colorful journal. At that moment I simply laughed at middle school me’s taste in colors, but I settled into the plush of the carpet and cracked it open, afraid of what I would see. Although I was originally terrified of what I might find within the confines of my sixth grade mind, I found myself unable to pull myself away from my own writing. It wasn’t that the writing was good. God no it was awful, but, for a moment, I could remember everything. I remembered that moment on the turf field where I fell skinned my shin and the palm of my hand. I remembered the pure joy of grilled cheese day in the cafeteria. I could recall how superior I felt when I was playing lacrosse. I could see it all. In no time, I was laughing along with younger me within the scrawls of glittering ink.
This, despite the boredom that it has procured, is a moment in history that won’t soon be forgotten. So, I encourage you to document every moment. Write about the scones you made with your mom or the game you played with your brother. You can even write about how you did nothing at all. Having these memories will not only be valuable to a future you, but it will also be valuable when you attempt to retell the events of what happened in 2020. You can write about the blurb you heard as your parents watched the news in your kitchen. These are going to be things you wish you remembered. I promise. So start journaling! You might even find a story worth writing.
Thanks for reading, and don't forget to submit to the Bitter Fruit Review! Our Summer 2020 deadline is June 30, 2020. ☆