“[Journaling] is like whispering to one’s self and listening at the same time” – Mina Murray – Dracula
Ever since I was in fourth grade, I’ve kept a journal. Now let me tell you, these fourth grade journal entries weren’t exactly sonnet worthy pieces of work. It usually went a little like ‘omg, my sister is soooooooo annoying,’ ‘that cool boy at school talked to me today!,‘ ‘my sister is my best friend,’ ‘ah, my sister is so weird.‘ (Sorry sis). On Christmas, I would always look forward to unwrapping a journal so I could welcome the new year with a fresh start. Keeping a journal is just something I’ve always done. At my parents house, I have a collection of about 10 old journals and that collection is one of my most prized possessions.
Last year though, I just stopped. It had been months since I’d written anything and I kept thinking, I’ll do it later, until I stopped writing altogether. I thought ‘ok, it’s just something I’ve grown out of’ and didnt’ think much of it. Then last month, as I was doing some shopping, I saw a journal at a store and thought about how much I used to love keeping a journal. There was no hesitation, I bought it and wrote in it that night.
I may not write in my journal every night, but I’ve started writing again, and it’s something I didn’t realise how much I’ve missed. I feel like we all need a little journal by our bed to write in. I’m sure the world would be a much better place if we did. So if you’re thinking about starting a journal or keep one yourself, here are my 5 reasons why I love keeping a journal and why I wish I never stopped.
1. You can express your true feelings
One of my justifications for quitting my journal writing, was the fact that I planned on blogging more, and blogging more real experiences and emotions. And whilst I believe I’ve done this to some degree, there’s some things that you just don’t want the world to know. And no matter how close you are to your best friend and while you might tell them everything, sometimes it’s nice to have private thoughts that you keep to yourself. You can express your deepest anger or frustration, sadness or joy and the pages will soak it all up. It doesn’t have to make sense and it doesn’t have to be sophisticated. It just need to come from you.
2. There’s no judgement
A journal is a friend. There’s no evil eye staring back at you as you write. Like I said, its pages will listen politely to you. Sometimes it’s just nice to express how you truly feel about something and knowing that you’re not going to be criticized or judged for it. It gives us the freedom to be ourselves and explore ourselves a bit more, which is a pretty exciting thing.
3. Disconnect from technology
Think about it… how often do you write with a pen and paper? Personally, I work in an office and spend 9-5 at a computer. When I take notes for uni… I do it on my laptop. And when I write/blog… again, on my laptop. The only things I usually write with a pen and paper is a shopping list or a reminded note on my hand. It’s so relaxing and unwinding to sit down with a journal, a pen and your thoughts and just write for ten or fifteen minutes before you go to bed. There’s no notifications to distract you, or likes to evaluate your work. Just put some calming music on in the background and let your words carry you away.
Let’s be honest, in our busy lives, how often do we get to take 15 minutes to ourselves and really reflect on what we’ve been doing, how we’ve been feeling and how we can improve ourselves? I believe the answer might be along the lines of ‘what, you get time to yourself?’ I really value my ‘me’ time and writing in my journal is a way I talk to myself and listen to myself at the same time. It’s like the quote above ‘whispering to one’s self and listening at the same time.’ And I truly believe that by taking the time out to be alone with our thoughts, to take a moment to ourselves and reflect is a great way to move forward in a focused and re-energized way.
5. Future is looking bright
By writing down where we’ve been, naturally we’re prompted to write about where we’re going. By physically writing down our goals, our hopes, our dreams, we’re sharing it. And once you share it, it only encourages us to keep on going. Checking in with these goals and values every now and again, is a great way to ‘stay on track.’ And even if we veer off track, we might even create a new path, with new goals and new ideas. Our journals don’t dictate our path or tell us where to go, they simply show us that we have the potential to go wherever we can dream.
Do you keep a journal? Is it something you would like to do? Let me know in the comments below!