If I was going to label myself, it would be as an introvert. Writing has always been easier for me than speaking in public. My journey in journaling started when I was just eleven years old. I was born with deformed joints from the waist down. I was one of those kids that never learned to ride a bike, or got to play in recess or participate in those presidential award competitions in gym class. Grateful for the fact I never had to go through that seventh-grade gym experience of showering.
I was a rebellious child who started kindergarten wearing metal leg braces. I remember taking them off as I left the house and hobbling my way to school. When I was nine, my mother took me to the local city pool as she did every day during the summer months. Swimming was one thing I was great at. I loved to dive off the diving board, but of course, mom always insisted I stay on the junior diving board. Not that day, I crawled up the highboard. I could hear my mom screaming at me from the concrete, but I knew I could do it. It was the best dive of my life, perfect formation. It took two lifeguards to get me out of the pool. Both my knees had dislocated, and my life changed after that.
That is when I met Doctor Larkin. He changed my life. He spent the next few years conducting numerous knee surgeries and gently explaining that I had arthritis. My bones just were not built like other kids. Whenever I was in the hospital, after my leg surgeries, at night, he and his life partner would place me in a wheelchair and roll me across the street to the pizza place. We would play a board game, have pizza, and he would tell me I could do anything in life. Then the day came when I was 13 years old. He entered my room. He was alone. I thought he would roll me once again across the street for our games and pizza. It was then he told me he couldn’t do any more for me and that I would now need to go to the Mayo Clinic. I was devastated, angry, and completely heartbroken. Dr. Larken and my mother tried to explain to me, this was for the best.
Being the rebellious child, I left the hospital that night and took the city bus home on crutches. When I arrived home, I knew I was in big trouble, the police were there, and my dad was not pleased. Doctor Larkin showed up at my house the next day with a beautifully gift-wrapped box. Inside was a leather journal, a pen, and a package of colored pencils. When I was angry or frustrated, he told me I needed to write and draw everything I was feeling. That is when my journey in journaling began.
Fifty years later, my relationship with journaling has changed. I now journal every morning with my first cup of coffee to start my day. Through the years, I have experimented with different ways to journal. I learned how to communicate with myself through writing and art. I love going back to my totes of journals and seeing how I evolved through the years. Recognizing how I dealt with all my life experiences and how my thought patterns developed and brought me to the woman I am today.
Journaling is magical. It unlocks all our hidden secrets and brings you through the process of authenticity, consciousness, and transformation. Before writing this blog post, I went through a few totes for inspiration. I read about the times, I had cut my casts off in the yard using a garden hose and hack saw. The times I had escaped from the mayo clinic hitchhiking home when I was tired of being in the hospital. I giggled at the times I had tried skiing with a cast on, breaking my arm, therefore having a leg cast and an arm cast, or riding horses and dirt bikes.
Here I am now sixty-four years old, still staying strong to that one commitment I made to myself at a young age. Never to have my knees replaced. I am still that rebellious girl I once was. I am a mother, a wife, a grandmother of three grown young adults, and a powerful woman.
Forced into retirement at age fifty-eight because of my arthritis, I now write mystery novellas. I have developed a personal journal, “The Journey to Enlightenment.” I am currently building a journaling program called the “Power of Ink.” To share my experience of journaling with others and how it can benefit people in multiple ways. Journaling is a constant journey. There is no destination. And yes, I still have my original knees, and I am still a rebellious woman who has a story to tell.
Author bio: Kacie Clement, a writer of mysteries, has always been passionate about writing and storytelling.
A part of her writing process, she loves to immerse herself in her current project, diving headfirst into the research, writing, and fine-tuning of the stories she feels are the most worthy of storytelling. Kacie lives in the woods with her husband, two dogs, and an attack cat named Trip. Kacie is addicted to fresh-baked cookies, coffee, journaling, and fabric.