The initial intent of this physical (and now partially digitized) journal titled cuaderno-de-mantel, was to collect pieces of people I knew and pieces of people I would meet. Read further to find out about this journal’s journey–you might find some inspiration for your own trajectory.
The title of the journal refers to my mom’s kitchen table mantel, or tablecloth. The rubber ones–the kind that forgive your dad’s coffee spill as he rushes to work. The same kind that let the milk overflowing your bowl of cereal run like a river as your five-year-old self cries because you still can’t control a full gallon of milk.
These are the memories that rushed into my head as I stared at this journal lined alongside various others, all different, all homemade, all displayed at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). The vendors not only sold them, but they also offered journal making workshops for anyone interested in evolving.
My dear amiga and host during my stay in Mexico City was the first to serve the initial intent of this journal–to offer a piece of herself. So I asked her to express what love meant to her. I ended up with a page full of doodled penises and vaginas along with weed influenced, philosophical scribbles that offered me a new perspective.
As I began to engage with my own tablecloth-looking journal, I felt its original intent change. Before I can ask others for their perspectives, I needed a space to indulge in my own. I needed a space to draw without judging my underdeveloped skills. I needed a space to process heartbreak. I needed a space to explore my gender and sexuality. I needed a space for self-motivational talk. I needed a space to, be.
This is what you will see. A glimpse of me. The most sincere me. But not necessarily the present me. Because thankfully, the journal fulfilled its eventual intent, to help me evolve.
So I invite you to scroll through this journal in hopes of inspiring your own, life-lasting self discovery. Click on this link to indulge: cuaderno-de-mantel
Journal page 2: Song lyrics from “Can’t Sleep” by Olmeca ft. Bambu
Journal page 3: Song title by Cafe Tacuba
Journal page 7: Song lyrics from “Las Olas del Mar” by Son de Madera
Journal page 8: Title of drawing by unnamed artist