Some people ask me about the ending to my essays. “Be well. Travel wisely.” Where does that come from? What am I saying, or what do I mean when I end that way?
It’s pretty simple actually.
A lot of my essays are adapted from journal entries. I have journaled on and off since I was about 15. And in the last ten years, I have become pretty religious about doing it. That steadfastness came from two things. One was my therapist, who discovered early on how much writing things down helped me sort through things, and the second was Julia Cameron’s book “The Artist’s Way”, a book about reclaiming our lost creativity. In it she is adamant about doing what she calls “morning pages”, which are journal entries.
So most mornings, and sometimes at night, I sit down and write in my journal. I found that for me, writing my journal entries as sort of a letter worked best. And at the end, nearly a decade ago, I began ending them with the phrase “Be well. Travel wisely,” as a reminder to myself to love the good things in my life and be appreciative of them (“Be well.”) and to be more conscious in my choices and decisions as I traveled through life (“Travel wisely,”)
When I began to publish versions of those journal entries as essays, I kept that part of the entry as my sign off.
Remember, most of my writing is not to tell you dear reader, anything. Writing is my sorting hat, how I sift through things. If you get good stuff out of it, that’s wonderful and I do a little happy dance and it gives my writing double purpose, but even now, a decade and more out from my blackest times, I need those reminders. I need to be told to be well. I need to be told to travel wisely.
Hey, some of us need all the help we can get.
Be well. Travel wisely,