When I was a kid, I painstaking copied quotes and poems that spoke to me into a notebook. I wrote down any little snippets I loved, memorized them, and told others all about them.
Then I got older, and I abandoned the practice. Not for any particular reason, but just because that’s sometimes what happens when kids grow up.
I still occasionally jotted down a quote on a scrap of paper, or emailed it to myself. But the emails sat in my inbox, forgotten. And the scraps of paper got lost.
In 2013, I was working at a counseling center, and I met someone who loved quotes as much as I did. We’d exchange interesting quotes, and I started writing inspirational ones on a whiteboard in my office.
I’d been collecting upcycled journals for awhile. I just love them. But they’d been sitting on my shelf, unused. And then, one day, I realized that I could fill them with words, these wonderful quotes that I had collected. So that’s what I did.
Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
When I found this quote, it spoke to me, and I realized that’s what I’d been doing all this time. I’ve been collecting words and phrases that say something I can’t quite say, articulate something caught in my throat or burning in my heart.
When I’m having a rough day, I flip through my quote journal and read a random page or two. Without fail, one of the quotes on the page speaks directly to whatever’s going on with me that day, and makes me feel a little better.
Do you have any interesting practices from your childhood that you abandoned (or not) as an adult?