It’s the end of the year (again) so you know what that means! Well, I don’t know what it means for you but for me it is a time of introspection. I go back and read my journals and see where I was at and what I was doing when the new year started.

I’ve been journaling since high school and the idea of looking back at the year is not an original one but it’s been an important trademark, bookmark, check mark for my life. When life is busy we usually don’t have time to reflect, pause and observe the changes. But since I don’t like to be busy I give myself plenty of time to pause, reflect and think about the changes.

And my way of cogitating over these changes is to journal. It seems preteen, bubblegum pop and sweet 16ish but I say it’s my sanity. You know how some folks can tell when they haven’t exercised in a few days or eaten well, I can tell when I haven’t written. It’s my bad acid trip.

Writing reminds me that I have choices, that I don’t have to get bogged down by one way of thinking or processing situations. It allows me to breathe so I don’t have to feel like I’m holding life in. I don’t have to tell my friends every thought I’m having because quite frankly no one needs to hear my thoughts walking, pacing, jogging back and forth.

I can air our my grievances without burdening another. I can entertain silly thoughts about boys that I like. I can set goals for myself and practice my Thai. I can remind myself of what is important and what is not. I can enjoy the moments my pen moves across the page, or feel my fingers stamping over the keyboard.

I can smell the ink, feel the paper crinkle under the impression of my hand writing. I can look out the window and get lost in the leaves of the trees, birds, squirrels, cats, wind and dust. I can leave behind my memories, create new ones and remember my dreams. I can do whatever I want and say whatever I feel because I’m writing for an audience of one.

2011 was the year the quality of my life improved. It was year I finally lived in a house, after many many years. The year of the cat. The year of social living, and a growing bank account. The year of many firsts and dreams coming true. The year new playlists were introduced, and it was the year I learned to live more quietly, contently. This year I became more confident, felt more beautiful, alive, centered and present perfect.

And while the end of 2011 seems to be shifting with changes, after all this wonderful settling down, I am reminded I have my writing to hold me together.

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