"Fill your paper with the breathings of your own heart" --WW
Once upon a time ago I was a little red haired girl that kept a diary. Every day I would write which boy I liked, which friend was my best, and all the "secrets" I thought I had. I never completed a single diary. I would eventually tire of the process or skip a few days and feel like I couldn't possibly catch up on what had happened in my life. After junior high I stopped trying to keep a diary and instead settled for buying pretty journals that sat empty. (note: I have a love affair with buying note cards and journals) I started one again right before I went to grad school but like all my attempts of the past it ended with a few written pages and a whole lot of blank pages. I like the idea of a journal and a part of me always wants to record my feelings. I certainly like to explore my feelings and thoughts (almost to a flaw) but I hate to read it after I've written it. It's like I want it to be a great literary work and since it's not, I get annoyed. I give up and wish I was the person that kept a journal. I started this blog in an attempt to record my life so there went my need for a journal. Or so I thought.
Last month, I decided to try again. I bought a journal that I could carry in my bag. I have so much going on in my head and heart that I needed a place to put it. Blogging is great but unless I am prepared to let the world know the dark parts, I can't really put it all out there. (This blog is the highlight reel, not a behind the scenes.) I need a place to just keep it REAL. To write without fear of judgement, without boundaries, without rules. To write about the things that keep me up at night, the fears, the goals, the hurt, the happy, the silly, the mundane...It's a stream of consciousness style journal. It's where I'm asking the important questions and connecting with myself. I was reading an article about journaling and the benefits of it and I found what I think to be a good explanation of what I want my journal to be: "a container for self reflection, self expression, and self exploration" Let's face it, it's terrifying to write down the things you feel sometimes. It is for me. And I haven't once went back and read what I've written so far. I write when I have feelings I need to express, or feel anxious about something or need to figure something out. So far it's been really helpful. I am able to just write whatever I want without fear of the consequences of my words. They are MY words and MY story. And finally there is comfort in that. It's not going to be published after my death and I doubt my grandchildren will ever read it so I've stopped writing for a large audience. I'm the only audience that I'm concerned with. And it can be dark, it can be light, it can be whatever I want it to be in that moment. And it feels healthy.
I also have been writing in this one sentence journal that my friend Angie bought me two years ago. It's a five year record and you can record the daily happenings in this. I like this for just knowing what happened last year on this date. And summing up your day into one sentence can be fun.
"If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad" --Lord Byron