For a Writer, I’m Terrible at Journaling

It’s kind of sad, actually, that I love notebooks.

They’re either full of hastily scribbled notes that I took down while interviewing a client, or they’re full of to-do lists and random facts. Sometimes there’s a doodle from my son, Cooper, of a dragon or a dog. Depends on the day whether it’s the former or the latter.

But never have I been able to keep up with a diary or a journal. In fact, it was a half-used journal that made me want to become a writer. 

I went to Texas A&M University in College Station because I had worked at a veterinary clinic for my junior and senior years of high school and knew, without a doubt, that I had what it took to be a veterinarian.

(Spoiler alert: I didn’t)

I dropped Organic Chemistry on my first go-round at the start of my sophomore year at A&M, becuase there was no way I was going to pass. When I re-took it that spring semester, I got a D. No one gets into veterinary school at A&M with a D on their transcript. At least without getting a Masters first. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Or money. Have you seen what graduate school costs? It’s nuts.

So I did what every girl who has seen Thelma And Louise would do and I rode out west in my classic convertible, killed a guy,  robbed a store, and drove off a cliff with my best friend.

OK, none of that is true, but I did take a month-long break and hit the road for a bit, keeping a Moleskine of observations and a list of the state parks I enjoyed. I took along a few books and fell in love with stories, and thought that maybe that’s what I could do. 

I’ll never forget what my mother said when I came back to my parents’ home in Conroe to break the news of my changing majors from biomedical science to journalism:

“I always knew you’d be a writer.”

Her words sucked the air right out of my lungs. All I could think about was why she waited to tell me that now, right as I was reviewing my coursework with my advisor and trying to work with all of my biology and chemistry credits and not before I took Organic Chemistry. Twice.

Since then, she’s been my biggest supporter. When I got my first column published in The Dallas Morning News, she celebrated. A lifelong reader with a curious mind, my mother has always been the first to like, share, and brag on my work. She’s an incredible woman and my daily inspiration.

But she could really stand to work on her timing.