January doesn’t really start for me until I put away the Crimbo decorations. It’s a process that I’ve always found bitter-sweet (or... sweat-and-sour, I should say). Part of me is usually thrilled at the prospect of novelty that January has always brought into my life, and this is especially true this year.
Yet, another part of me, the larger one, I should add, is not at all thrilled and treats the unhooking of glass baubles and detaching of twinkly things and lights as a little death. If I am spending the first day (or most of it), after such process at home, as was the case today, I end up walking around in a daze, my eyes searching the comforting glow of the lights on the tree, and finding only a dark, empty corner.
I think it’s symptomatic that I’ve wanted to write of these things each year since I started my online diary. In fact, I think that my first post ever was the very first Au Revoir Mes Amis in 2008. Let me check. No, it was my second post ever. Then I repeated it in 2009 and in 2010 and then today.
Today was a dark day. It rained for a while, although I am not sure those spits actually qualify as rain. I had a couple of errands to run, stuff I had forgotten twice over last week. After those, I sat in Starbucks, determined to crack open my new diary (the paper one). And I did so, except... I didn’t know what to write, which is a bit unlike me. I think I was suffering from New Diary Syndrome, that odd affliction that catches most writers out when something new and papery falls open on the table.
A new diary or journal is full of promises, of unwritten adventures, of new hopes and starts. I felt extremely hopeful a year ago, but the result was disappointing. Now I’ve got novelty served on a platter, and I am fearful of it; I am fearful to go after what is righteously mine. Hence I soiled the new diary with an extremely self-conscious page of tentative prose which was neither here nor there, really. But I ended that page by talking about my journal, the one I’ve wanted to start since October 2008 (I kid you not) and the one that I am starting tonight. By the time I will put the decorations away again next January, I will have a journal full of drawings to leaf through and that, in itself, is already uplifting. I don’t know why we treat our journals and diaries as if they were repositories of our pains when, really, they should exist to blunt them, not reflect them.