Once upon a time, I was a stupid freshman and I decided to go to Urban Outfitter’s mega sale the first week of classes. This sale is a dangerous thing, ladies and gentlemen, and is not for the faint of heart. Salespeople, newly trained and drooling with anticipation, jump out from behind towering racks of overpriced clothes in attempt to pull you in with the 10% off your college ID gets you. (In due time, young freshmen, you will realize that 10% is something that should never force you to drag yourself off your common room floor, especially when that cute guy from down the hall just ordered pizza.) At any rate, I went.
Everyone else split up and happily pawed through crop tops and dyed jeans while I hung around on the ground floor, sucked into the apartment section as always. And there it lay. A small, blue-covered book with gold lettering. “One Line A Day,” it read, with each page having a different day on it, with a column of five or six line spaces. Enough for you to write about three sentences every day for five years.
So, being the idiot I was (and, let’s be honest, am), I bought it. I started writing down my days on September first, and celebrated the little book’s anniversary just a few weeks ago. I intended to have a post up then, but I hardly noticed it coming and going what with all the homelessness.
So, here I am, October 27th, a little more than a year later. It’s weird seeing the lines from 365 days ago at the top of each page as I scribe the daily happenings beneath them. I swore myself I wouldn’t thumb back and read entries in free time – I would patiently wait until that day came again and then read and enjoy what had happened before moving on to writing the current day. It’s an interesting ritual and one that I’m not as good at keeping up with as I’d like. I often play catch up every three days or so, and there was a span in July where I didn’t write anything for a month (and, despite my efforts to ‘recreate’ the days, two weeks still lay sadly blank), but apart from that I stay consistent. Moreover, it’s bewildering to realize how far I’ve come in only a year. As “fun” as it was, I could never go back to freshman year looking at it now. It’s a necessary evil, but nothing more than that. And I guess that’s growing up.
Still, I guess I “endorse” the One Line a Day movement since I think a hearty amount reflection and introspection is good for everyone. I do cringe on a regular basis when I read my old entries – whether it be a “you liked that IDIOT?” to “how did you think joining that extracurricular was a good idea?” – but I guess it’s a healthy cringe. It shows me I’ve grown up (at least a little bit) from the happy mess I was last year. Granted, I’m still a happy mess…but maybe that’s just life.