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I used to keep journals. It was a long time ago, and I was a very angsty teen, but I did in fact journal. And because I have a slight hoarding addiction, I kept them all (five in total) for the past ten years. I thought maybe one day I might read them again and be inspired by my former teenage self. I moved these journals with me to college and then again to four different apartments. I never looked through them. To be honest, I was kind of always afraid to go back to that place emotionally. It was a bad place, a very dark place and I am extremely happy to say that I am no longer a resident there.
Funny thing is, emotion is a writer’s best friend. Without it, we’re inspired to nothing. Emotion is what pushes us to connect with people through words. Emotion is everything. The past few months, I’ve felt a little devoid, almost numb to my own emotions. I used to be so in tune, so perceptive and recently I’ve just been so afraid to engage in anything even remotely scary. It really got me thinking – why is it that when we get older and wiser, we also get that much more afraid? In the end, it’s probably because we know what’s coming.
A few days ago, I decided it was finally time to rifle through the old journals. There were a few poems and entries I remembered, and some I had no recollection of ever writing. Most of it was pretty bad. Some of it may be salvageable if I work on editing it (a task I’m not really up for these days). And then there was “The Road.” I found it in one of the final journals. If I had to date it, I would put it near the end of high school, possibly the first semester of college. It’s not amazing by any means, but something in it resonated with me. Enough, anyway, to share it with you…Long ago I walked a road The very road your feet touch now. A road that’s lined, With the things you find – Where you long to grow, but you don’t know how. And on that road, so long ago, A hand stretched out to help me through. So here I am Wandering that road again And reaching out my hand to you. By Ashley Wilson