The Journal A Personal Exploration

Hello you,

Its been so long since I’ve had the chance to write, to journal, to let my guard down for a moment and remember what it was like to be just another care free girl. I saw my picture in the paper today…if only more people would take a second to listen to the truth, then maybe, no really things would be different, maybe not better, but at least different. Such is life I guess, you take what you get and make the best of it. At least I have you now, for however short of a time it may be. Tomorrow is a new day and we’ll see where it take me.

Always yours, V.

Hello you,

I spent the day at the docks today. I was there early, just in time to watch the fog burn off the water. The air was crisp, the water calm; people and ships appearing like ghosts out of thin air. People watching was very calming for me, there was one in particular that caught me. He was short and almost stout, he stood near two bags and bundled up in a pea coat. He stared into the distance looking lost in thought, there was something warm and familiar about him, like I knew him in a past life. Every now and then he would smile to himself, chuckle and shake his head. “Whatever you are looking for sweetheart, you won’t find it here. The past is behind you, don’t let it trap you, the future is waiting for you. Don’t you ever feel like adventure is calling to you?” he asked. To this moment I still don’t know if he was talking to me or himself, maybe a little to both of us.

Always yours, V.

Hello you,

I’ve resorted to people watching more and more it seems. Really its the only way I keep myself sane. People are the only constant in my life right now, not just people, but strangers; they pass in and out of my life without a care. I’m constantly moving now, trying to blend in, trying to be invisible. I watched a woman with her baby today, God the way she looked at that child, like it was the only thing in the world that mattered. She cooed and stretched her tiny fingers, her mother beaming at her, all attention focused on the tiny baby girl. I thought of my mother in that moment, she had looked at me like that once, her world revolved around all her children, but I was the first. I wonder, would she still look at me that way, with love and adoration? Or would it be with shame and disgrace?

Always yours, V.

Hello you,

Its been a few days since I’ve written. I have spent much of my time at the docks, I’ve found it is one of my favorite places, the smell of the ocean, the clean, crisp air, it’s heaven in every way! Plus the people and the stories you over hear are the most fascinating. I listened to a group of men…military I assume, talk about their time in India. They shared their stories with one another in a way that reminded me of slumber parties with my girlfriends. They reminisced about warm nights, local girls and elephants that wandered into their camps at times. One spoke fondly of a regular elephant visitor, they boys in the camp had named him Ox after a fellow brother they had lost during their time oversees. My heart ached as he spoke about his friend as if I had known him too.

Always yours, V.

Hello you,

I found myself at the docks again this morning, earlier this time as sleep escaped me. The fog was heavy and there was little activity. I braved walking out along one of the the piers letting myself get lost in my own thoughts. I recalled the day I saw the gentleman with his bags and his words, “Don’t you ever feel like adventure is calling you?” his words weighed so heavily on my mind that I could almost hear them whispered in the the fog and mist that surrounded me…follow me…find me…come with me, leave this place, don’t hide anymore..find me, find me! I was suddenly compelled, anxious, with a blinding realization, I know I have to leave. Staying here would be wrong for me, my past would always be with me here. If I left I could leave it behind, I could start over, I could be free.

Always yours, V.

Hello you,

Its been days, agonizing days, a stowaway is what I currently am. Living only by the sliver of light from between the boards of the deck above. The rats are my company and the food is scarce, I expected this, I should have prepared for it, but the thought of freedom was a blinder. Ten days and more to come, I cry myself to sleep and pray for the daylight, for when night falls the demons in my head press upon my thoughts and all I want to do is scream. All I have is faith and hope, and I pray that his journey across the ocean is worth it.

Always yours, V.

Hello you,

It is with a truly light heart that I write to you today! I have settled well and blended in with the locals, all with warm smiles and welcoming faces. It is like I have finally awaken from a long nightmare. I have found work in a local orphanage as a house maid. The children are sweet and polite…for the most part, there are the trouble makers. But it is innocent trouble and I have a hard time staying upset and upholding their discipline when their sweet little faces pled fro my forgiveness. I’m a pushover the house mother says, “and it’ll be your downfall! God bless you never have your own, they will walk all over you like a door mat!” She’s really not a grouch I promise, but I smile and agree, all the while my three trouble makers know they have me wrapped around their fingers.

Always Yours, V.

Hello you,

It was a beautiful day today, we took the children to the park to get some energy out, and it was well deserved. It’s been a rainy mess the last two days and they were going stir crazy inside. My shadow and her puppy stuck close by me today. She’s four, cute as a button with big brown eyes like a doll. She’s got a feisty attitude with a smile that gives her away ever time there is unclaimed mischief around the house. She calls me sister because “i’ve always dreamed I had a sister and it may as well be you.” she says.

Always yours, V.

Hello you,

It was a gorgeous day today. I spent the afternoon at a park near the orphanage enjoin the warmth of the sun on my face. There were so many people out and about, I tried my hand at sketching a few on some scraps of paper I had, they weren’t very good, but the arts are so alive and inspiring here that one can’t help but to try it out. I turned my attention to people watching, a couple of men (maybe boys by their behavior) were on bike across the road. The one was short and so familiar. With a coy smile and mischievous eyes, he reminded me of the gentleman from the dock, the one who ultimately send me on this path. His eyes met mine and I quickly turn away embarrassed. “hey” he called at me “are you up for an adventure?” I’m sure my face turned pale at his words, but that story will have to wait.

Always yours, V.

Hello you,

I will admit I am content with a a schedule and a quiet existence, but ever since I saw him in the park that afternoon there has been this restlessness growing inside me. I keep spending my Sundays at this park both hoping to see him and trying to hide from him. I spend hours sketching those around me, I’m still not that good and they look a little abstract, but oh well. Adventure is pulling the strings of my soul, I can feel it but in all honesty I don’t now what to do or where I would even go. I guess for now my sketches will be my adventure.

Always yours, V.

Hello you,

He was in the park today, I did my best to keep my nose in my journal and not pay attention. There is something just so intriguing about him though, I would swear I know him but it is simply impossible for that to be true. He knew I was there and I am almost certain he knew I was trying to avoid his gaze. I did finally give in, a small wave and smile as I left the park this afternoon. He repeated the gesture, maybe this is where my adventure starts…

Always yours, V.

Hello you,

Emit, his name is Emit. Today was beautiful and the children begged to go to the park, so my trouble makers and I went out to our park. he was there when we arrived. I sent the children to play and noticed he had planted himself on my usual bench. I signed as I sat down, I felt shy and awkward, like a silly school girl. I was actually nervous, but he was perfect gentleman, introduced himself and we talked, goodness how we talked. It was so effortless, like old friends catching up. He was from the states, stationed here in the army. We talked mostly about him and his unit, I have concluded they re the clowns of their group and wouldn’t have it any other way. We talked for so long the children and I almost missed dinner, the house mother will have a fit about this!

Always yours, V.

Hello you,

Its been a few day, the children have been so busy with their studies and the weather has begun to turn cold. I have spent much of my free time with Emit. I don’t know how he gets so much time away from his station, but I’m grateful that he does. It’s nice to have a real friend again. He came to the orphanage today and played with the small children. I was so amazed at him, how he got down on the ground, played peek-a-boo and put all of his attention on their little needs. It was like watching a father with his children, nothing else seemed to matter to him in those moments. I smiled as I watched him and tried to picture him with his own kids. It warmed my heart and gave me hope that there still is unconditional love and kindness in this crazy world we live in, you just have to take a moment and look for it.

Always yours, V.

Hello you,

Its cold here, I anticipate that it will be snowing soon. The wind has a nasty bite to it, like shards of glass have been suspended in the air, I miss the cool mist of the docks and wish I could trade this razor sharp cold for it. Emit had to return to his camp last night and told me he would be there for several days without leave. I miss him already, I tried to sketch his picture today…I’ve embraced the fact that everything I create comes out abstract, however now I am concerned that it isn’t right as an abstract either, “don’t be a silly girl” I tell myself, there are far worse things to worry about in this world.

Always yours, V.

Hello you,

It was so cold out today the house mother forbid us to leave. The children thought it a fun game that we were all piled into the great room, like sardines in a can. They built forts and played cards, took lazy naps. Eventually I pull out my water paints and painted per their request. Soon the room was filled with elephants and tress, monsters and hips, a flower and a pony. The house mother with her big feather hat was the last request for the evening before it was time for baths and bed.

Always yours, V.

Hello you,

I woke up sad, angry, annoyed and every emotion in between. I have no desire to leave my bed and a paralyzing worry of what the house mother will think if I don’t. I’m panicked, trapped in this hell that is my mind. these demons haunt me, torture me, just make it stop, I just want it to stop…please. I thought I was better here, I thought these feelings, this emptiness, this fearfulness had gone. I will be a prisoner forever, a slave to this torment forever…

Always yours, V.

To be continued...

Images from "The Journal" - By Nicole Smestad 2016
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