A cold sweat broke out as I searched the apartment frantically. I pored through every pile and perused every surface. I checked bags, unzipped suitcases, and even peeked under the pillows. My heart raced as a sickening realization hit: my journal was MIA. Even more terrifying? I likely left it in the seat back pocket in front of me the week before. I almost cried as I pictured the Southwest stews reading my personal prose.
With a small glimmer of hope, I called T to see if I’d left it at home. He dutifully checked my usual spots–by the bathtub, on the nightstand, hiding on my desk. No luck. When I got upset about all the oh-so-embarrassing things I must have written, he tried to console me by saying at least it wasn’t traceable back to me. (I could hear his eyes roll when I started talking about being famous one day and how the stews would likely keep it to sell for millions.)
Fast forward a day, and I’m packing for my next trip home. Just what do I find in the red canvas bag that I haul through the airport? Yes, my hot pink journal that Shan brought me from her last trip to India.
ELATION STATION! I literally almost cried from joy. I know this may sound dramatic, but I am a prolific journaler. I’ve kept a diary since age 11, filling more pages with drivel than one can possibly imagine. Beyond the sheer mortification of picturing some stranger reading my innermost thoughts (I only put the good ones on the blog!), I thought about the memories I would have missed. From this particular book, I would have lost:
- My countdown to Cactus Land
- The trepidation of starting this blog
- Our trip to Shelter Cove
- The first day of Ph.D school!
- First impressions of my cohort (just about spot on 8 months later, FYI)
- Teaching in a strange land
- Finishing the first semester
- Wedding plans
- Wrapping up this first year
I can’t even imagine losing these thoughts and not being able to relive the raw emotions that I felt at the time. So? Tighter security on the journal. No putting ANYTHING in the seat back pocket in front of me, just in case.
P/S I also had to chuckle at T thinking my journal is anonymous. I started this volume just a month after we got engaged. If you don’t think a whole page was devoted to practicing my new signature (Shawna Kristine Louise Malvini Redden), you’ve got another think comin’! 😉