#131: Across Five Years

Every night I write in my five-year diary, which is kind of like the original – and analog version of – Timehop. If that has no meaning to you I’ll put it like this: In a five-year diary each day (i.e. November 29) has its own page. The page is divided into fifths – one for each year – and when you write in it at the end of the day, you can see what you wrote the previous years. It’s great for someone like yours truly who wouldn’t otherwise go back over old journal entries. The amateur graphologist in me also gets a kick out of seeing how my handwriting’s changed.

The specific five-year diary I have is designed by Tamara Shopsin of Shopsin’s General Store, which also makes a mean brunch in New York’s Lower East Side. The diary is as beautiful as any physical object I own. It feels nice and compact in your hands, is taller than it is wide to give you room to write, but also to keep the lines short to make re-reading more pleasant. It’s a brick of memories with a soft cloth cover that gets softer with wear. Totally grab-worthy if the house was burning down.

This week historically has been a landmark week for me. In 2010 I finished the first draft of my first novel (which has, not entirely coincidentally, a Timehop analogue). In 2011 I wrote the first words for the novel I’m working on currently. In 2012 I met in person for the first time my now literary agent (hi Jessica!). This week in 2013 saw the beginning of a romantic relationship, my last before I left New York. And in 2014 … Well, in 2014 I had taken a break from keeping the diary, so today’s entry will be the fifth and final on the page marked November 29.

What will it say? Probably just that I stayed in and wrote, and made good progress toward my deadline. That it was cold and I went to Whole Foods, and came back and watched a few episodes of Rick and Morty before writing to you. That at night before bed I’m reading Dante and a few Really Heavy Social Psychology Books. That I’m grateful for remembering, and grateful for everything I have and don’t have in my life.

And that maybe, I’m starting to feel an itch for the mountains again.