Its leather is worn and thin from constant love and affection. Some of the pages are bent and torn, filled with my chicken scratch, heartbreaks, and 2am thoughts. The cover’s corner, what once was crisp and brand new, is now bent slightly from being laid on, as I have fallen asleep with it many times. My leather journal was given to me at sixteen by my best friend. We had decided at some point during our best friendship, that we would tell each other everything; it keeps us as close as we can be while living 12 hours away from each other. She keeps a journal, so do I, and we share with each other what we write. My leather journal holds all of my secrets, all of my loves, all of my guilt, and all of my self-hate. The pages are filled with more than just writing; some are tear stained, others have crumbs and coffee spills. My leather journal is more than just a journal, it’s a journey of my life. It listens to all of my secrets at 4am when I’m trying my best not to give up, it comforts me during school when I’m stressed and disgusted with myself. When I tell my journal that I surely won’t make it through the second semester of college this year, it encourages me with its crisp pages, letting me vent to it until I feel well enough to return. It smells of coffee and hand lotion, hopes and dreams, fears and desires. Nobody knows me quite as well as my journal does. It’s more than just a stack of paper, bounded together by clean cut leather and a tie. It’s my safe place, my escape from the harsh realities of adolescence and now adulthood; growing up and facing the world.
Sometimes I get a little too angry at the world and press my pen down too hard onto it’s beautiful surface, ripping a hole in its understanding pages. I confide in my journal more than I could ever confide in a person. I pour my blood and guts into my writing on dark and lonely rainy days, and even then its thick leather is great for keeping my secrets. When I fall in love too hard, I try to explain these destructive feelings to my journal, writing with my bright green ink pen, the undeserving combinations of the 26 letters, just how much I crave them. It’s been with me through thick and thin.
The day I had to watch my best friend get into her car and drive away, knowing that I wouldn’t see her again for at least a year, was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Nobody can understand my pain in moments like these, yet my journal was there, as usual, opened to a blank page, as if offering itself to me as a tissue; a cushion. That night I wrote for hours, on and on about my feelings and how broken I felt. I felt as if a piece of me had been lost, but my journal’s leather understood my pain, never once judging my loud, suffocating sobs, as it let me soak it’s cover with my salty tears and running nose.
The night before I left for college, I wrote an entry titled, The Start of Something New. As exciting as college sounded, I was laying in my bed for what would be the last time in several months, and I was terrified. I wrote at least five pages that night, and by the time I was finished, most of my fear had vanished; as terrifying as it would be, I knew that college would be an adventure, and my journal would experience it with me, always tucked into the bottom of my ragged backpack, there when I needed someone to talk to. Now, when it’s three in the morning and I’m homesick but I know that my mom would kill me if I tried to call, my leather journal is by my bed, and I open it up, taking a brief moment to take in the aroma of its coffee stained pages, and for a minute, I’m home.