About one year and five months ago, I started keeping a journal. I’d like to say the reason for my few and far between blog posts is as a result of my journal but, unfortunately, I can’t. My journal has suffered just as badly as my blog because
I’m just too damn lazy and sometimes the thoughts just get jumbled and tangled up and become quite difficult to sort out on paper. Or maybe, my thoughts just love each other’s company because heaven knows there is a whole lot going on up there… Love, sex, marriage. Right. While those are certainly part of the mix, I hate to disappoint but, they are definitely in the minority.
So, anyway, I have a journal. Last year I was entirely convinced by an individual, and a spontaneous and totally wonderful experience, to get and keep a journal. Just to write my thoughts, my feelings, my dreams, my aspirations,… whatever came to mind. At first, it was somewhat weird writing what I felt on paper, you know, getting a “hard copy” of my thoughts. I sometimes forget how things and events make me feel and in thinking about a keeping a journal I realized that writing my feelings down would give me a record I could review at any time. I was not particularly fond of that because my thoughts/feelings are not always happy and positive.
I can remember the first time I tried to keep a journal. It was after a particularly embarrassing incident in high school. I had always heard the saying, “Someday you’ll look back at this and smile”, so I wrote about the event and my feelings about it hoping that writing about it would make me feel better and that I would actually look back at it one day and smile. Ha! Apparently, that “someday” I looked back was not the right someday because in reading what I had written a few weeks/months later I ripped out the page even before I had finished reading. I was still morbidly embarrassed and upset about the incident. Needless to say, I never attempted to write about my feelings again until I bought a journal last year. I guess even though it may not show, I have grown because I have since written about numerous and varied happenings and emotions and I feel comfortable enough to re-read them and relive those emotions. Even smile at times, too.
Other than that, I never was particularly fond to keep a journal because of privacy concerns. I grew up in a family where privacy is a word no one seems to be familiar with. I guess I should be grateful that everyone cares enough to know (even forcibly) what each other is experiencing but, as an introvert, it is overbearing most times. So, I was always afraid that someday someone would find it. That was an uncomfortable thought because I know that 95% of the people I know (including family) just would not relate to this “me” in my journal. It got me thinking and I realize that I just have to be me. If someone happens to find it and read it then I guess they will just have to live with what they see. Besides, I have wanted to show some people who I really am but they refuse to take me out of a box. This could be an avenue for them to see me (even though I would rather them not read it) so that is my silver line of thought around that dark cloud. On the other hand, I came across a thought recently:
“Don’t ever strive to have anyone understand you. If they wish to understand, they will.”
My journal’s me… Unapologetically so. Let whoever it affects deal with it. I’m glad I chose to put that fear aside because I realize I would have been missing out on so much.
My journal means a lot to me. The majority of the contents reflect a time in my life when I was very enamoured with the idea of love and companionship and it makes me happy to see that. My journal has also been very instrumental in taking me back on a journey of the past, remembering how I felt or what I was doing while writing a particular entry, and also, reading through those entries has given me a reminder of what I’ve been through, how I have felt before and how all these have helped to shape me into the person I am today. I know for sure that it was writing in that journal that helped me to maintain my sanity through some particularly difficult periods in my life in the year past. Writing really is therapeutic. I have proven that widely held belief. I enjoy the intimate feel of putting pen to paper and having something which belongs to me in a way such as this. But, as much as I know and love the benefits of journal writing, there are long periods where I do not so much as look at it. Still, there are periods where I write a lot or write frequently so I suppose it cancels out.
As it is now, I have only a few more pages left in this journal. I enjoy looking back and seeing how my thoughts have evolved. (This was one of the reasons I was given to start a journal and it is a good one if there ever was any.) I look and I see the many roads I have taken in the past year and a half… Roads that are dreary, lonely and depressing and lack the sunshine and the vibrant colours of life and hope… But better yet, roads that are vivacious, full of hopes and dreams and excitement so real you can almost touch it while reading the words on the page.
However, although the pages of this book will soon be ended, my journaling journey won’t. I believe the pages of this old journal are nearing completion in a most timely manner because it’s also almost time to start a new and better chapter in my life. I can feel it. I already have a new, even more beautiful journal that I got as a gift from my dear sister, ready and waiting for the pages to be filled. And, in the same way that the inception of the first was inspired by an event, I believe that is exactly what this new chapter needs and that is soon to come.
How has “journaling journey” been?