That was the line on the back of the small pink notebook my mom handed me for Christmas so many years ago. I didn’t know at the time that it would be a constant companion throughout many years to come, though when I touched it, when I read those words, I felt something profound.
It is here where she begins to tell her story.
I was almost afraid to write in it. It seemed so unmarred, almost fragile. There’s a perfection to unblemished paper. There is an endless realm of possibilities, just hovering beneath the surface, ready and waiting for anyone to find if only they’re brave enough to put pen to paper. I wouldn’t be brave enough to delve those depths for several months but when I did, nearly a year had gone by. I was moved out by then, a scary concept for I had just started to realize that my hearing was going, though I wouldn’t require hearing aids for a few more years. My friends were in our dreadfully yellow, dingy kitchen getting ready to settle in for the night. I had my new puppy, Merceillious, “Mercy” for short, on the floor at my feet. I can’t remember what made me reach beneath my bed and pull out that pink notebook from the backpack tomb it had lain in for so long. When I finally opened the cardboard cover, the binding sighed, almost in relief, as if it had been waiting for someone to lay hands on it all that time.
I thought to myself, “Well, perhaps I’ll write a story in it? Maybe the latest chapter of the fanfic I had in the works?” Instead, for some reason, I decided to write about a topic that always seems the scariest to me. I wrote about me. About my hopes, my dreams, the life I wanted and the people in it. I wrote about my past, of abuse and illness and disappointments, often in myself. Every few months, I would pick it back up and add to the collection. Months became years, when I would glue in photos and little mementos here and there. It was both amusing and terrifying to see how much I had changed over time. It provided me with a blueprint, a textbook, to teach me to always move forward and to never look back except in order to learn from my mistakes. I wanted to be free from the shackles of the past. Even now, years later, I still carry that little pink notebook that is now worn, warped and stained, and even now, it’s existence is a secret I’ve held close to my heart and told no one. As it is said in one of pop culture’s most iconic movies, “A woman’s heart is a deep ocean of secrets”. The longer that I learn, the more that I love and the harder it is to say goodbye to those closest to me, the more true I realize that statement holds.