Yesterday I went searching for a sketch pad that has followed me from small town Pennsylvania to Washington, DC, to London to Philly then back to DC, filled with poems, random ramblings, and a list of boys I had kissed.  One of my prized possessions, it spent years on various bookshelves, snuggled oddly next to the dark red leather of my Bible.  Then at some point in the not-so-distant past, I realized that my daughter’s prying hands and eager eyes might stumble across it and the sketch pad was moved to a safer home.

And then I immediately forgot where I put it.

So yesterday involved the frantic opening of boxes labeled “books” (there are many of these) and the removing of things from my office closet.  Here is where a good blogger, a pour your heart out blogger would share a picture of the inside of her office closet to show you just how tragic a task this really was.  While I will happily expose my deepest, darkest secrets on the pages of this blog, I am not quite ready to let you see my office closet.  So trust me in this.  Diving into that closet was digging deep.  And I still did not locate that sketch pad or the treasures located within its pages.

What I did find, however, was a journal with one, sad entry.  Dated January 18th, 1998, it began with…

I’ve been meaning to start keeping a journal again for a long time, but I’ve had a hard time finding the right inspiration…

Apparently said inspiration was a boy.  ::SIGH::  Always a boy.

The journal entry was a bit of a pep talk.  You see, I was coming off of a long string of boys who were not that into me.  They loved hanging out, as long as hanging out didn’t involve actual dates or relationships and did include, well, let’s just call it college quality time.  The names of the boys on that kissing page of my sketchpad?  They were the offenders.  There’s a reason the page wasn’t titled “Past Relationships.”  These weren’t ask you out to dinner and a movie boys.  They were kiss you then date your sorority sister boys.

So back to this inspiring young man from the beginning of 1998.  He was different.  I didn’t know how, but I felt it, knew deep inside that he would not be like the others.  And so I wrote…

I hope that this develops in a healthy and natural way without ME messing it up.  He is not the typical guy, like any other guy I’ve known.  

Thirty-five year old Amy sat reading twenty year old Amy’s journal, shaking her head.  And then I found this, more evidence of his “different” status…

He immediately noticed that my hair was different and said he liked it.   And unlike so many other guys, our relationship is not based on the physical…

Some of you are with me at this point.  “Say no more, Resourceful Mommy!  I, too, sang in show choir.  I know where you’re going with this.”  For the rest of you, I’ll share that this relationship fizzled out very quickly.  We spent some time getting caught up on Oscar nominated movies, frequenting the theaters around campus.  Then one night after watching Titanic, tears still welling up periodically (Oh Jack…), Inspiration Boy asked how I would feel if we were just friends.  We could still hang out, still do all the things we were already doing.   Well.  Most of the things we were already doing.

Unlike so many other guys, our relationship is not based on the physical…

I said fine.  What else could I say?  And I spent the rest of the night crying, unsure if I was upset about the break-up or broken-hearted that Kate didn’t slide over and make room for Leo.  There was room.  Everyone in the theater could see that.  God, Kate.

So hindsight, thank you for joining me on my trip down memory lane.  And to that boy in the journal, I wish you and your partner the absolute best and hope you inspire each other every day of your lives together.  After all, we all deserve to be happy.

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  • If only we could have the wisdom at 20 that we do at 35. 🙂

  • Heartache is a powerful emotion. It’s always somewhat amusing for me to look back at my disappointments bc on one hand I can’t quite figure out why it hurt so deeply and on the other, I can still feel that pain. When you write “partner” do you mean he’s gay? That would explain why he noticed your hair LOL!!

  • Aww Amy, I totally felt heartache just reading your 20something words! They say hindsight is 20/20… you know our 30something selves would know better. But if you had your 30-something wisdom you may not have ended up in the place you are now so it’s all good, right? At least that’s what I tell myself!

    I kept journals through college too. And then my car was broken into in Baltimore and they were all in a lock box and the thief stole the lock box. I was so upset! Although it still makes me a laugh a little to imagine the guy trying to pry the box open… only to open it and find a bunch of journals. LOL! Serves him/her right! Hope they enjoyed my 20something heartache… 😛

    • Whitney, that is horrible!! You need to keep an eye out in case there’s ever a book published that is strangely similar to your life.

  • The power of a journal, being able to express our feelings in the written word, it’s a beautiful and very human thing. When I was much younger, I used to keep a diary and then my mother read it. Though writing has always been therapeutic for me, I’ve never been able to keep a private journal after having that trust broken.

    • Another member of my family had that happen with her father. Hopefully my parents have never read mine. Well, until now when I blogged part of one 😉

  • I cannot even begin to fathom who I was at 20– but how I wish I had a journal just so I could chart my emotional growth since then. I think these stories are priceless for you and one day for your daughter- even the cringe worthy moments!

    • I’ve journaled off and on for years and while some entries are really embarrassing to read, they’re all fascinating.

  • Love this! I think the journey is what makes us ready for our forever love!

    • Yes! And this particular relationship made me appreciate that my now-husband never noticed when my hair changed and couldn’t tell the difference between black and navy blue. It’s the little things.

  • Kristen

    My hubby and I watched Titanic right before we set sail on the Disney Magic for fun. I remember being all happy that I was finally with the one that I would go back to save and that this one would do the same for me. You’re right, Kate totally should have moved over!

  • I dated an inspiration guy in high school. He was SO cute… and sadly SO not into girls.
    Do you watch “The Middle”? The daughter, Sue dates a guy – same situation. Brings me down memory lane every time. ha

  • What a treasure! I’m so passionate about keeping the art of journaling and letter writing alive. I can only pray my daughters do the same. There is nothing like it!

  • I dated an “inspiration guy” too! He kept cooking me garlic and onion pasta (not conducive to kissing) and we always went on double dates. Eventually I found out he liked boys… sigh. In the meantime, his GORGEOUS Scottish best friend hooked up with my best friend – just to rub salt in the wound!