Life's Lessons


Life's Lessons

A 13 year old journal. 

Writing Life's Lessons

The best thing you can do is MASTER the chaos inside you. You are not thrown into the fire, YOU ARE THE FIRE.
— Mama Indigo

When I was about 12 years old, my grandma gave me this journal. It was one that she had found in a box full of stuff from a garage sale that she didn't even remember buying. 12 year old me was delighted to have a journal that looked like something out of a Jane Austen novel in a world overtaken by the fuzzy, glittery diaries of the early 2000's. The book had never been opened. I remember the spin cracking when I first opened it and how I was afraid that it would fall apart. And, it had. Over the years the cover has started to split from the binding and a few pages had fallen out. But, all in all, the journal was pretty sturdy. 

I started writing the way any 12 year old girl starts writing, silly little nonsense and poetry. My first entry was a terribly written poem about my grandfather. My handwriting since then has, thankfully, improved but I left it in there for the simple fact that it was my first entry. I continue to follow suit, adding other silly, badly written poems here and there, mostly forgetting about it on a shelf somewhere until I was 17. At 17, I was a junior in high school. Not my most glorious year of life but one that brought with it many "new"s. I had new hair {I chopped it all off right before homecoming}, I went out for a new sport {football cheerleading}, and I decided to start taking new classes. I was strictly the "Art Kid" in my very small high school. All of my extra class periods were spent painting and sketching in our art room. That is until I was introduced to creative writing. My teach, Ms. Brueggeman, was one of those teachers that you just knew enjoyed her job. She taught high school english at a high school that was not very open minded, meaning that she had to have a passion for the written word if she was willing to put up with the small minds of the area.

To her, I will be forever grateful for introducing me to the wonders that novels hold. 

Anyway, back on track, I signed up for creative writing and our first assignments were poetry related. I had dug out this journal to add in all of the new poetry I was writing. I would carry the red leather book along with me to class, writing in it with purple and pink gel pens and adding small doodles in the corners. Halfway through the class, I made a small list of goals on the front page which I had originally left blank. Knowing fully well I would most likely never finish them all, I wanted to check off as many as I could. My very last goal that I wrote was to "Fill This Book". 

It took me 13 years. I finished filling my book in December 2017. My grandmother wasn't around for me to tell her that I filled that silly little diary I found in her garage one day, but she was the one that I knew would want to read it. 

About five years ago I was in my college dorm doing psychology homework when I found a quote I fell in love with. It was a quote from Robert Frost. 

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life; it goes on.
— Robert Frost

When you're elbow deep in homework, $20k in student loan debt, and only have an old yogurt in your fridge, these words gave me hope that I didn't once have. I knew that I had to write it down otherwise I would forget it. I started filling the book with all the tiny tidbits of truth I found around the world whether it was something I read or thought of. The journal started to develop into a manual of how to get through life. Life's Lessons. 


I have a Chlobird. She is gorgeous and graceful. My Chlobird is a one of a kind beauty, with wings that hug tight...I have a Chlobird. And I love to call her so.
— 16 year old Kaitlyn
New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.
— Lao Tzu
He loved her of course, but better than that, he chose her, day after day. Choice; that was the thing.
— Sherman Alexie
Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.
— Phil Robertson
I love you at your darkest.
— Romans 5:8
Spend a little more time trying to make something of yourself and a little less time trying to impress people.
— The Breakfast Club
Kaitlyn SmithComment