I've tried to journal in the past, but it's never worked. I always re-read what I had written, and what had sounded so profound 24 hours earlier simply sounded stiff or silly or was just plain embarrassing. I'd rip out the pages, shred them, and throw them away so no one could ever ever ever read them.
But this spring, several years after my last attempt to keep a serious journal, I began to want a place where I could write out the events of my life and not worry whether anyone cared about them or not. A place where they could just be mine.
I went to Target The Wonder Store to find a friend a birthday present and found the journal you see below. I bought one for her.... and one for me.
I was going to save this little book for my trip to Deutschland (Germany) this summer, since it is kind of small. But finally, I couldn't wait any longer. I set down some terms and conditions for myself in the front:
"1. I will not rip anything out of this book unless it concerns life or death.
2. I will not try to be profound, I will just record my thoughts as they come, saying what I need to say, so I can look back later and get an honest perception of my life."
I didn't want this book to be one of those places where I record all my deep dark nothings - if you're a teenage girl, you'll know what I mean - but it did kind of turn into that over the past month. (If anyone ever finds it, I will die. Seriously die.) However, so far I haven't ripped out any pages.
Another one of my previous problems with journaling was that I thought my life was dull, and so why write it down?
I've changed my view since then, of course... I really do love my life.
But for uninteresting days when I still want to write about life, I copied down a whole list of journaling prompts, like...
- What is your greatest fear?
- What are three things you want in a relationship?
- If there was a soundtrack of your life, what songs would you choose to be on it?
Etc., etc. They're quite inspirational.
Yet another complaint about journaling: "I can never remember to write every day!"
I told myself fiercely that I'm not even going to try to write every day. I'll just write when I want to, because for me, journaling isn't an obligation. It's an outlet. So far, even without trying to write every day, I've found I still want to. Maybe it's some kind of reverse psychology.
My favorite time to journal is around 9:30 pm, curled up in a blanket with a cup of mint tea nearby. That's when I can best relay all the incidents that happened that day and I'm not in any rush to finish writing.
Journaling has helped me realize again how important writing is to me. It helps me retain the scraps of sanity I still have. (As the famed Lord Byron said, "If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad.")
Do you journal? What things do you love or dislike about it?