Mario Villalobos


  • Journal

The basics start with my notebook and pen. I need to get my thoughts and feelings down on the page so they won’t eat me up from the inside. When I neglect my notebook, I let my depression win. On the first post of this blog, I wrote that every morning I wanted to write in my notebook before I wrote my blog entry. I veered away from that, but now I’m ready to veer back into it. Over the course of the summer, I came to the realization that I don’t want to be a fiction writer anymore, and I felt like that freed me up to try new things. Journaling still helps with my mental health, so I’ll continue to do that, but my photography has also helped a lot, too.

I feel like—and this may sound cheesy—I was born to be a storyteller, and journaling and photography are different ways of telling a story. I wrote last month about my desire to go on a long walk, somewhere in the 500-1,000 mile range, and photograph it and then write a long essay about it. I still have that desire. I would love to write that story, even if just for myself, so that’s something to look forward to. But I have to be healthy and strong, so getting back into a steady workout routine will be key. I’m actually sore right now from yesterday’s workout, and it feels good. Just. Don’t. Stop. I have to keep telling myself that.

Work is slowing down. The teachers and the kids have settled into a rhythm. Other than the masks, it feels like the coronavirus doesn’t exist. When I was a wildland firefighter, one of the biggest admonishments I received from my superiors was to never be complacent. Complacency is what gets people killed, and I feel like our school and our community are complacent right now. I hope we all get through this safely.

Fall starts soon. I’m ready for a new season. Just. Don’t. Stop.