Like many an angst-consumed undergrad before and since, I carried a journal with me at all times during college. It was exclusively the Ampad 8x5 80-page Single Subject Notebook. Nothing else would do.
Into the Ampad, I scrawled stream-of consciousness meditations on melodrama, depression, broken heartedness, tirades directed at friends, and other timeless themes of youth. I filled it with never-sent letters to fickle college boys. I filled it with obsessive, cartoonish illustrations of common objects. I filled it with names and phone numbers and addresses for employers who never hired me and houses that never rented me a room.
The Ampad notebooks were all purchased from the bookstore at my university. When I finally graduated and moved away, I could not locate the nondescript, green-covered Ampad 8x5 notebooks anywhere-- and I looked everywhere. Sure, there were Ampad notebooks, and 8x5 notebooks, and single subject notebooks with narrow rules, but none of them were all of these things at once. It may be no coincidence that I stopped writing in journals not long after college.
15 years later, I found it once again: the Ampad 8x5, sitting innocently in a great, abundant stack in another university bookstore 800 miles to the North.
I purchased several at once. But at this point, I was married. I was a mother. I had worked in corporate America for 10 years. I hadn't written in a journal since I was a semi-nomadic, underemployed college town romantic with literary delusions.
What would I say?