Spin the Globe with Justin Butner

A world citizen may provide value to society by using knowledge acquired across cultural contexts.

Journaling About Journaling

The imposing deadlines and the things confronting you directly are the ones easiest to address. It is the nebulous, open ended goals and things you mean to do that are harder to tack down. These are things like eating better, picking up a hobby, or calling your parents more. They come from a well intentioned place, but they don’t have a set next step and thus are hard to just start doing.

Journaling has been this for me. Really all hobbies have. Photography, keeping up with music, exercise. But journaling especially. When I go on a trip, I want to capture everything. I want to get down everything I notice, everything I’m feeling, the back stories of the people I meet. The sights, the sounds, the smells. I want to remember it all. But I’m so busy doing and seeing and experiencing that I find it hard to take much time to write. And without the time to get it all down, I don’t know where to begin. And without beginning, suddenly I’m home again from a trip, memories in head but not in hand. And so it has gone with nearly every attempt I’ve made. Going to college netted about 10 pages. The US roadtrip about the same. Europe got nearly a full book, but that was due to having ample time on smooth-riding trains to fill in. I still haven’t written the last couple days down because from there I got on a plane and sat next to an interesting person. Once home, the book went down and was never picked up again. Scotland got a set of lists of distilleries visited and tasting notes. Costa Rica got a few pages written at hostels and a few pages of completely illegible scratch written on buses. Iceland had some entries, but I wasn’t very disciplined so I didn’t get nearly as many entries as I intended.

And so here I am, on a new journey, looking forward to a year of travel within Australia. I’m working on setting up a life here, I’m wandering the city and seeing what there is to see, I’m meeting interesting people in the hostels. And while I want to capture it all, I know that I can’t. And I know that to live it and to document it is a zero sum game. The key will be finding the balance where I’m spending enough time jotting down to remember some of the key stories, some of the impressions, and to end up with a product at the end that I can look back over and be happy with. But I also need to spend more of my time actually creating stories and living the life.

And so this is my challenge to myself.  Create something I’ll be happy with. And if I can work on my writing in the process, improve, refine, and grow to be better at this, all the better. Hopefully a combination of Globejotting, discipline, and energy will come together.

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This entry was posted on November 19, 2011 by in Uncategorized.

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