Recently, I was given boxes full of my childhood memorabilia from my mother’s attic. I was surprised and delighted to find notebooks filled with my childhood ramblings, beginning in 3rd grade. There were cute stories, embarrassing love letters to crushes that were never sent, a few diary attempts, and some seriously angsty teenage poetry. As I read through it, I was impressed at my younger self’s ability to put pen to paper and open up an introspective world through writing. And then it struck me- for the vast majority of my 20s, I didn’t write at all.
This is especially true of my college years, when writing felt like a chore to get through the countless classroom assignments. I was involved in campus groups, had a part-time job, and a full social calendar. Post-college, I was living abroad in South Korea and exploring seemed more important than spending time alone writing. Later, it was work, familiar obligations, friendships… as I got older, my life just seemed to be constantly on hyper drive. Looking back, it felt like something else was always more important than sitting down and putting pen to paper- a constant hustle to do more, see more, be more.
But is this constant go-go-go grind that seems to be so prevalent in this day and age a reality, or is it the choices that I’m making? Did my younger self simply have more time or was she just wiser with what she did with it? Could I make different choices and tap back into my more introspective and thoughtful self?
Strangely, fountain pens have been the impetus for reviving my love of writing. It seems silly- that a simple writing instrument could inspire me to turn back to something I loved so much when I was younger. Simply because I love feeling the way my fountain pen glides across the page, I started writing to-dos for work, making art for Monday Matchups, Bullet Journaling, and making home made cards for friends and family. I was able to tap into my creativity and reconnect with a part of myself that I didn’t know was missing.
Flipping back through my 2016 journal, I’m able to get a grasp of the work I’ve done, the places I’ve been, and the exciting things I accomplished. It is physical proof of the progress and changes that have unfolded in the past year. For the first time in about 10 years, I have a written record of my life to look back on.
People talk about taking time, or making time, for the things that you love. I’ve found that sometimes it’s making a small change to your daily habits that can change the balance of your day, and from there, your life. For me, finding fountain pens has been more than just a hobby- they have been a tool to help me enjoy my life at a deeper and more meaningful level.
I’d like to invite you to, yes, slow down, and think about it a moment. If you aren’t currently taking time to write, why did you stop? Was it a conscious choice or did it simply fade away as other things crowded in for your time and attention?
If you did start writing again, how would that impact your life?
Maybe you should write about it.