Last week, or maybe the week before (I think the week before) we ended up at a small discussion with Mark Ruffalo (and Gabe Lyons) about his new film Sympathy for Delicious. And he said two great things Tom wrote down and I think are worth preserving: “It’s a fable; none of it happened, but all of it’s true,” and (obviously paraphrasing the Stones), “Sometimes you don’t get the healing you want, you get the healing you need.”

I am a terrible journal keeper and have been a fairly bad blogger the past few years, as you doubtless have noted. But on Saturday I stumbled across a journal I kept during a period in my life that I only know now would be wildly significant: It begins with my work in Papua New Guinea the summer before my senior year of college, continues through that year as I landed a job and graduated, then moved to New York, and ends later that fall, after my father was diagnosed with the leukemia that would kill him a year later, and after I broke up with my college boyfriend of just shy of four years. Of course, not long after that I started dating Tom.

That year and that journal reminded me of the sorts of things you experience and think when you are twenty-one, and I think I ought to re-read it once a year or so to remind me that I will also look back on myself when I am in my mid-thirties and laugh and sigh at me now. The difference is I no longer think I really know anything, in the grand scheme of things, and that I am very careful and precise about what I’m willing to set down, because I know how it will follow me. I’m less willing to stick my neck out over lots of things than I once was, or perhaps just more certain when i do so. It’s not that I’ve become less fond of risk; it’s that I’m more selective about where I’m willing to be risky. I hope.

But seeing that journal, and thinking through those times, and pondering what I would have done differently had I only known, reminds me of that line from “Goodbye to All That”: Was anyone ever so young? I am here to tell you that someone was.

Unrelatedly, I forgot to post a link to this piece I wrote at Comment: “Idols, Icons, and Facebook.”

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