Journal Two: Thoughts and Writing

The Year I was Twenty One

All of my life, I’ve found myself existing in the curiosity of who I will become. 
When I was a child, I wondered what 16 would be. 
When I was 16, I wondered what life after school would be. 
And I thought I knew, but I was wrong. 
Today, I turned 22 years old. 
There is so much I have yet to experience, learn, feel, accomplish. 
For that, I know I’m young.
But the years are getting shorter, and the time, I can’t get back. 
For that, I know I’m old. 
And I still wonder who I will become. I wonder what 25 will be. Who I will
love, who I will have lost, where I will live, what I will care about.
I think I know, but I’m sure I’ll be wrong.

Life is changing, and I am changing. 
Hidden in deepening smile lines and fading scars scribbled on my skin. 
Hidden in hopes and dreams waiting to be more than just scribbles on pages.

Today, I hope I am becoming a woman who cares. 
I hope the years are making me softer, not bitter. 
I'm searching for the kind of boldness that isn't necessarily loud, but piercing. 
I'm searching for the kind of beauty that I wasn't necessarily born with, 
but one day I'll die with.

And today, I am grateful for this day that was never promised. Day 8035. 

For this life to live with endless discovery. 

- S

February 6th, 2018

I am completely uninterested in a life where worth has to be proven and love has to be earned. 
I am completely drawn to the ones who carry a warmth like summer, who fill a room with laughter over nothing at all, who extend their hand to the greatest and the least. 


November 9th, 2017

I had planned to let myself sleep in a bit later than usual this morning, but I made the mistake of opening my eyes when my body naturally wakes up, glanced out my bedroom window, and caught sight of the sun gleaming through layers of fog. Five minutes later, I was out the door with my shirt half buttoned up and my camera strapped around my neck. I ran to the river and walked along the most familiar path I know. If there is anything that will get me out of bed in the morning, it's the sight of the frosty ground under my feet and coldness in my lungs.


February 3rd, 2018

They celebrated 60 years of marriage that day. 
A month later, Nana collapsed in her chair. 
Papa took her to the hospital thinking she would be home by the next morning.
She never left that bed, died 40 days later. 
In November, the morning of the year's first snow.
Papa did so well for two years, but we knew he missed her terribly. 
He made it through two Novembers and that was enough. Died the first of December. 
They loved each other so well. 
They loved us so well. 
They lived and loved sacrificially.
And their lives were rich because of it. 
Whoever I love one day will have to listen to all of my stories about them.
Photograph the people and times you never want to forget.


September 15th, 2017

"You can call me Auntie Saha"


November 3rd, 2017

The only real wisdom I know is that I have a lot to learn.


June 8th, 2017

Our van decided not to start three different times today. 
We spent a total of four hours troubleshooting and tinkering with it, sleeves rolled up, a cheap wrench in hand, very little knowledge in mechanics in our heads, and prayers in our hearts. 
We had 800 km worth of driving planned for today to stay on track and we couldn't let the van issues stop us, so after a frustrating + hilarious + ridiculous afternoon, we drove through the night in moose country and are now about to fall asleep safe and sound in a Walmart parking lot. 
It may not sound that wonderful, but days like today make me smile. I like to feel like I learned something, and today I learned a lot of things. 


June 18th, 2017 

I signed a lease today. 
I'll be moving into a heritage home downtown with old, scratched hardwood floors and tall windows that welcome in the morning's light. That's been a small dream of mine for a while. 
As one season ends, another begins, and I've been finding myself with fresh determination and excitement for all that these next month's could hold. 
Life is such a gift. 


July 24th, 2017

Only on a plane charted for St. John's, Newfoundland, would a flight attendant announce he wouldn't let you pass to your seat without an "aisle waltz m'love"? That was a first. 


May 2nd, 2018

I want to sink into the depths beneath glass waters. Safe in the stillness and revived by the currents. 
I want to feel coldness in the mornings and warmth pouring in from the frosted window that faces east. 
Some days, my hands are weak and my spirit wounded, but I'm learning to carry it with a hope that endures.


January 14, 2017

This week, my toast set the fire alarm off.
I got in a car accident.
My Dad called me just to say he loves me.
I ran 10 km over sidewalks of ice and didn't even die. 
I cleaned my desk drawers.
I answered a lot of emails (because half the world got engaged over the Holidays) 
I almost won a round of dutch blitz.
I bet Joey Landine $20 to crawl up a sliding hill backwards.
I paid him in euros. 
And then threw one last snowball at him before he left for Wales. 
I had a sleepover with my sister. 
We received a package of German chocolate and a handwritten letter from our dear friend, Lena.
I cried in church. 
More than once. 
I journaled on the porch and walked in the rain. 
I felt things in my heart that I haven't felt in a while. 
Some of those things scared me a bit. 
I think that's good. 


December 2nd, 2017 

He kissed my hand seven days ago, and I wish I had known it would be the very last time. 


November 7th, 2017

I really love long drives. 
Although I can't figure out what constitutes a "long drive" anymore. The 45 minute commute on the old highway to my family's cottage used to feel long. And then I drove to California.


April 28th, 2018

You can wear insecurity and confidence at the exact same time.
You can be afraid and still love.
You can be angry and still honour. 
You can fail. You can mess up. You can let people down. And you can say you're sorry. With your words. With your hands. You can build things back up. Step by step, day by day, mercy by mercy. 
And you can let go. Loosen your grip. 
Whether you walk with clutched fists or not,
you have a lot of life to live. 
The stillness between your heartbeats is the dawn of another miracle. I hope to not live behind the corners of the things I long to see.


February 7th, 2018

There was such a steadiness in his eyes, and they held me there. 


March 7th, 2018

I think my greatest accomplishment so far was writing my name in cursive for the first time when I was five years old. Life has yet to present a challenge greater than the capital "S" for a kindergartener. I've been writing my way through life ever since. 


August 17, 2017

You are difficult to forget. 


December 11, 2017

I have always been seen.
There hasn't been a moment in my life that I have not been known. 
But I have been blind. 
And it's made me bitter. 
I have been bitter.
And it's made me blind. 
I've cried and prayed for love that I already have. 
In the silence between my heartbeats, He reaches for me. 
The very same places I hide, I am found. Time and time again. 
Jesus makes the timid girl brave.

August 9th, 2017

I could have loved better. I could have shown more grace and listened without judgement. 
But I didn't. 
I let my heart grow bitter, choking all of the life inside of me until I felt like I was suffocating. 
And I didn't like the person I became. 


February 9th, 2018

I sat by my phone waiting for a call I didn't want to get. 

My mind wandered to the early summer mornings we would get lost in the wild blueberry fields along the back roads of Grand Lake. 

And tonight, I am awake writing down every single thing I never want to forget. 


October 28th, 2017

He is a safe place for me. 

He draws me out to face m storm. His arms are my shelter in the midst of it. 


November 26th, 2018

I think there are worse addictions than thrifted knitted sweaters.

sarah kierstead