In my social work class that I am in right now we have a weekly journal entries that we turn in for grading. Most of the time the journal entries are about the weekly reading and our understanding of the biophysical, psychological, and social dimensions of the multidimensional approach. This week our weekly journal entry question was to describe some sort of memento that represents our life story. At first I thought this would be easy to do until I sat down to type out the entry. I thought for awhile and found that I could not just choose one item, so I chose four. Here is my weekly journal entry for this week.
After reading the topic for this journal entry, I would have thought this one would be easy. I am drawing a blank on what would represent my own sense of meaning that represents my personal story in life. A few things come in mind. These things would be a moving truck, a violin and two journals.
Each different person would look at my list and wonder why I chose such different items, rather than just one. I cannot just place one item for my whole life story as each item has a significant part of my life story.
Let me explain the moving truck. I have done a lot of moving in my life. I was born in Nebraska and lived there until I was four and a half years old. When I was four and a half, my parents decided it was time to move out to Oregon where my maternal grandparents were living at the time. When living in Oregon, my family moved around quite a bit until I was in second grade. I was constantly changing schools every year and it was hard, as I would have to make new friends, which was hard for me since I was extremely shy. In second grade though, my parents bought a house and are still living there today. When I was almost 21 years old, I moved out of my parent’s house to learn how to live on my own with a friend. That year was one of the roughest years of my life due to an emotionally abusive relationship with a guy who I had been engaged to. At almost 22, I moved back home for another couple of years. I then lived with my little sister until she moved to Olympia, Washington to be closer to Fort Lewis which her husband would be stationed at once he returned home from Iraq. When I was almost 26 years old, I moved from Oregon to Arizona so that I could live in the same city as my husband (fiance at the time) while he was finishing his doctoral program at University of Arizona. This was the first time I had lived more than thirty minutes from any type of family. Rob and I were then married in 2007 and then moved out to Connecticut for three years. Shortly after the spring term of 2010 at Iona, I will be packing up my house again and moving to somewhere else. I am getting good at moving, as it seems I have not been in one spot for a long time.
The next item would be a violin. I started playing the violin when I was in 5th grade. I remember asking my parents if I could learn this instrument. They agreed with the understanding of I had to stick with it for the entire year. I found it difficult, but I loved it. I played the violin then from fifth grade clear through my senior year in high school. I was more of an average violin player, but I was just playing it for fun. By playing the violin, I gained the appreciation of classical music. I do not have a violin anymore as I donated them to my local high school a couple years after graduation to ensure that another child would be able to have the experiences I did with the violin.
The last thing would be two journals. Ever since I was probably in fourth grade, I have written in a journal. My mom found that it was a positive expression of one person by writing down their daily activities in a journal. She said that she could always tell when I was not journaling, as I seemed more stressed than normal. Today I have two journals that I work with. I have my own personal journal that is written in when I get a chance to sit down and meditate, while the other journal is for Kaylee. Ever since she was just a newborn, I have written her letters in this journal. I started when she was only a couple days old, explained why I placed her and how much I loved being able to call her my own when we were in the hospital. After placement, I wrote to her about once a week, and then changed it to once a month, then every time I had a visit with her, and now I try to write something down on any major holiday, birthday or activity. When she is old enough, I will give her the journal for her to see that I never gave up on her. When writing in the journals, I imagined myself sitting across the table from her and having a conversation. I put in what my favorite movies were at the time, my favorite movie stars were, and what the big music craze was. I feel that journaling is almost a written time capsule. Each person uses his or her own journal differently.
So as you can see each item holds a different value with my life story. I am sure if you looked back onto where you have been you would have different things than I.