Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Illustrated Discovery Journal

UPDATE: This post is so BP (Before Pinterest), but I think there is still a certain satisfaction that can only be obtained from sitting down with scissors and glue.

Yesterday I talked about my illustrated discovery journal. If you've read Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach and I know some of you have at least once, if not more than that, you're familiar with the concept. I'm not sure I've ever made it through the entire year reading once a day, but I think I've read the entire book numerous times.  "The Illustrated Discovery Journal" makes an appearance on January 28th. I didn't start one the first or the second or third time I read the book. I didn't need it then.

I didn't really need the book then either. When I first read it I was like "authentic self"? Isn't that who you are? That's who I was and I couldn't figure out how anyone could need help getting in touch with her. Then I went to graduate school. They aren't really keen on authentic selves like mine there. Not at all. Or at least I didn't feel like they were and my authentic self got hidden back where she was safe and could exist without anyone in my new world noticing too much. My authentic self is really fun and ridiculous and she makes people who are trying to be serious about things that aren't that important to real life really uncomfortable. She'd rather bake cookies and laugh than worry about the politics of departmental interactions.

I needed an illustrated discovery journal a year or two ago when I actually needed to rediscover my authentic self. She'd been hidden away from most of my life for so long I could barely remember what she looked like. I know. It was only a couple of years, but it felt like forever. It was an emergency operation. My friend Lisa even generously donated piles of old magazines for the project.

I think Austin might have thought I was a little nuts. He's pretty good friends with my authentic self, but she tends not tell him about how little face time she gets with other people. I cut a ton of pictures and kept them in a pile and then one day I glued, and glued, and glued them in. The whole house smelled like adhesive. My fingers were sticky and my index finger had a semi-permanent indentation from the tip of the spray glue can, but I felt like I was getting somewhere. Looking through that book made me happy in a way I hadn't been for a while. It was a book all about and for me. No one else. It was exhilarating.

I made a digital version of my journal so that I could send it to my family as a sort of Christmas wish list after I realized that the things I really want aren't things you can generally find in a major retail store. I like found things, and re-made things, and experiences.

My Illustrated Discovery Journal

I'm all about spa style bathroom relaxation. And I figured that out my looking at my journal. I really didn't know how important fluffy towels and pedicures were to me until I looked at it and realized what those pictures meant. I love distressed wood furniture and pretty food and I'm a little goofy sometimes. I actually had a really hard time with the alligator in the toilet image for a while. I felt weird about putting it in since the rest is so generally pretty and home and garden magazine-esque. I'm still trying to come to terms with just how my inner four year old fits in with everything else.

In case you're curious. I still haven't found the base for the desk on page two, but I will someday when the time is right.

I haven't worked on it in a while. I love it even more looking back at it now. Sarah says the key to loving how you live is in knowing what it is you truly love and I'm working on it. Looks like I need to find my scissors.

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