When I was a freshman in high school, I won second
prize in our local newspaper’s essay contest on the theme
of ‘future career.’ I wrote about wanting to become a
journalist. We had to collect our prizes at the local variety
store and, while waiting in line, a little notebook in the
stationery department caught my eye. (a) It was a black
and red hardcover book with the word ‘Record’ neatly
engraved in gold on the cover. I reasoned that since I
was going to be a journalist, I’d need a very special
notebook in which to write. So I bought (b) it.
Then during a serious illness when I was thirty-five, I
found the little notebook I had purchased twenty years
earlier. From my sick bed I noticed (c) it on a nearby
shelf. It was still blank but something told me to write
my deepest feelings and thoughts, my pain and fear, my
wishes and dreams, the words of my inner world. This
was my first ‘official’ journal. And the process of
journal-keeping through writing and drawing helped heal
me from a mysterious illness which had defied the
doctors and their medicines.
My life changed so much after that. I began listening
to my own feelings and inner wisdom. The insights I
gained through journal-keeping led me into a new career
as an art therapist and teacher of diary writing and drawing.
More importantly, I learned to play and enjoy life again.
For instance, several years after recovering from my
illness, I started skateboarding for the first time in my
life and loved (d) it. I’m grateful to that high school girl
that I was for having the sense to buy a little blank
book. I used it to save my life and to help others.
But I put the notebook away and promptly forgot about
(e) it and about becoming a journalist. Painting became
my great love. Upon graduating from high school, I went
to college as a fine art major and English minor. After
becoming a professional artist, marriage followed, then
the birth of two daughters. A career change came next
which led to teaching underprivileged young children in
Los Angeles. The years passed.