I am a very introspective person. I like to think and spend a lot of time (probably almost a destructive amount of time) reflecting and thinking about how to improve myself. Though I probably do it too often, this is a part of myself that I’ve always quite appreciated because I think I’m a reasonably self aware person and I think this helps my understanding of myself and how I communicate with others. Anyway, this need and love of reflection and expression of my inner thoughts is a massive reason behind why I write and one of the ways that I write is by journaling.
I think I’ve always journaled in one way or another but I’ve never stuck to one method enough to feel qualified to talk about it or be part of the huge journaling community on the internet. My journal is not pretty and organised. My journal is just for me. It’s messy and disjointed and lots of the pages are blank or scribbled on. I would never dream of a journal flip through or show and tell. It contains my thoughts and is purely there for me to get my thoughts in order. Writing things down has always helped me this way.
I think this method of journaling has been extremely beneficial to me and in a way blogging itself has been some form of journal for me too, just one filled with the thoughts that I am more comfortable sharing. Since the whole essence of this blog is about how writing things down helps me piece together myself and my life I thought it would be a good thing to talk about here.
My journal is a bright yellow notebook with blank pages without lines and each page has a rainbow coloured edge. It’s very quirky which I like. I tend to pick pretty notebooks to use as journals as for some reason I feel more inclined to fill them and it makes me feel good to look at the book filled with my messy thoughts and still think it beautiful.
I have no order or rules for my journal. I don’t write in it every day or once a week, in fact I don’t have any sort of schedule. I write when I feel like I have to. Sometimes I just stream of consciousness write, sometimes it’ll be one sentence in the middle of the page written in tiny writing. Sometimes I draw scribbles, sometimes I stick photographs. The only rule is that I remember that nothing has to be perfect and no one is ever going to read it but me. My journal isn’t about keeping secrets. It’s not about documenting a day. It’s like a bin almost, somewhere to dump thoughts that are busy and overflowing in my brain. They don’t all have to be sad thoughts, in fact one thing that I wrote in it is a list of all the things that I could think of that made me happy. The list is still growing and it’s a great thing to refer to when I need to smile.
I think the problem with journaling is that lots of people don’t know where to start but the thing is, neither did I. I just remember feeling something really strong and needing some sort of an outlet. I picked up a notebook started writing and bam. I remember throwing out my first journal. I didn’t like some of the things that I’d written about myself or my situation. I learnt after though that journal entries are like snap shots into one moment in a lifetime and the person or head space that you were or were in at the point of writing it will probably quickly change, but you shouldn’t be ashamed about the past, but learn from it.
Journaling and writing to me mean sanity. What do they mean to you?