Pinky swears all around that I used to be better at picking locks. A product of one, shared bathroom for the whole family, and I could pop it open in a few seconds. Prying my way into my own grade-school diary today, however, proved a challenge until I resorted to the tool box. I don’t know what I expected to find. Some seven-year old profundity, I suppose.
The story that we tell about ourselves starts with the things we do every day. Which activities we pick up, the music that moves us in the minute that it does, which coffee shop we go to on which corner. There are whys in there somewhere, but we usually find those in hindsight.
You’ll have your favorites, and so will I. The words that narrate what I see of myself and what I want to see of you, picked out and curated in virtual frames and handwritten notebooks.
Framed in my room:
“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” - Leonardo da Vinci
But liked online two days ago:
“Practice and all is coming.” - K. Pattabhi Jois
What I remember most about my college statistics class is that I got to write about basketball, and that it was less math and more finding numbers to back up the argument of the piece in the first place. To write an article, collect the proof to tell the story, quotes and numbers and all. The same is true to teach a yoga class or live life for the day.
Consider what you might sort through.
“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” - Scott Adams
“I am not angry or sad or happy to see you. I could not give a shit. You don’t even ripple.” - Gillian Flynn
“We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.” - Swami Vivekananda
“We are not our feelings. We are not our moods. We are not even our thoughts.” - Stephen R. Covey
“There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.” - George Sand
“It is one of the most saddening things in life that, try as we may, we can never be certain of making people happy, whereas we can almost always be certain of making them unhappy.” - Thomas Huxley
It’s such a complex joy that we can think more than one thought at once. That we can be more than one thing at once, or have a whole day of disparate feelings.
In the diary, I called myself by no fewer than three different names, used a variety of handwriting styles, and talked endlessly about the different careers I thought I’d have. I also, unsurprisingly, stopped writing after page 37.
“Also I take gimnastics! [sic] My class isn’t so great.” - Me, page 4
There are whys in there somewhere, lost in the succinct narration of a seven-year old, later collecting quotes like they will tell a better story.