On ending a notebook

 

(1)

Title: Rummaging through old notebooks
Medium: Mixed emotions

(2)

Title: Handmade
Medium: Mixed stories, passed on in different shapes and forms, worn by people making sense of the times

Two days ago, I filled another notebook to its last page. It was the red pocket-sized, non-ruled moleskine that I started on the last week of 2015. I began reading the selected contents of my life from the past year and a half. There were meeting notes and shift schedules. Random lists of groceries, bank accounts, names of godchildren, and songs for road trips. I filled 6 pages while waiting for my turn to get my hair cut. I filled half a page on one day I felt absolutely nothing. I killed a lot of poems. I listed down the new spots I got to surf in 2016 (three). I named all of Nica’s puppies (twelve). As I read page after page, I felt a dull ache grow bigger and bigger inside my rib cage.

I still remember all of these things because they only happened in the past year. But because they belong in a notebook that has inadvertently run out of space, the moments carry a certain weight. When it was time to pick a new notebook, I changed my mind thrice. I wished I had another red notebook.

I have older notebooks, some nearly a decade old. In them, I found stories I could barely recognize. I was reading with new eyes. I saw how badly I wanted to be understood, and here I was, years later, finally getting myself for the first time.