I apologize in advance for how scattered the thought process may seem; this was just a stream of consciousness, like all journal entries. Just– just bare with me.
(Written Tuesday, June 9th, 2015 12:07 pm)
“Wow, let me tell ya; journals are the most important things in the world. Honestly, I am so in love with the concept of a journal or diary or notebook or whatever you want to call it.
Emotions are so raw in a journal. Like, it’s so current to the time an event has happened, or a thought occurred. It’s simply you and your unadulterated true thoughts on the matter. It’s so beautiful. It’s so perfectly imperfect, the tangents and digressions and ramblings and everything that comes with the process of journaling. It’s beautiful to read back on entries and to adventure back through life and see how much you’ve changed and grown.
Like, I started reading through my journal entries just from the beginning of Junior Year, and it was the most adorable thing ever. I had just begun to truly love my life and was in the midst of realizing and vocalizing my love for the world and everyone in it. Quite simply, the pure light that I could feel emanating from every word and every page is breathtaking.
5:35pm August 6th, 2014, “I feel like I’m flying! I have never been more proud of myself; I’m crying because I have come so far in just one year. … I just can’t help but love life so much. I am so content with myself and where I am right now because I am in such a good place. I know bad times are soon to come, but I don’t even care. I’m ready! Bring it on!”
This whole paragraph was actually super cute (I’ll share the rest of it later), but another beautiful thing is how it’s just a window into the past.
You could pinpoint exactly one year ago and see inside of the mind or thought process of your past self:
And in this case, that would be the sentence, “when you text someone big words and they try to use sophisticated ones to keep up; that makes my heart feel warm”
Oh, i was so cute and only mildly pretentious, wow ❤
or you could simply see what you were doing a year ago!
“4th day of summer
-I woke up at 7 and started reading divergent
-I took a shower at 12:30 then went to tennis at 2
-my soul slowly sizzled away as I played tennis in the sweltering heat for 3 hours, but it’s okay because we got to play with the coach’s son, who’s a lot more understanding than Coach
-I got home and ate tuna and finished divergent til 7
-I took another shower and watched Maleficent at 8 and it was gorgeous
-I kinda started reading insurgent but then I fell asleep
See, it’s just so simple, yet it means so much! At least, it does to me. I don’t remember that day exactly, but I remember the feeling of waking up and just reading for hours on end that summer, only moving to watch a movie or play tennis, and I loved those couple weeks with all my heart. I was always home, yet never home at the same time. I was either in the Districts with Veronica Roth or New York with Ned Vizzini or in the Maze with James Dashner. I just relished in Young Adult novels and lazed around, and I was just in a haze and I loved it.
(See all that emotion that was just sparked by the sentence, “I woke up at 7 and started reading divergent”??)
And one cannot forget to acknowledge the comparative nature that comes with old entries and new entries.
You can see how sad you used to be and then compare that to a more recent entry and realize, “Wow, look how far I’ve come!” Or read your 9th-grade entries and notice how absurdly boy-centric they were and then later discover that your writing has evolved into a more worldly view on day-to-day experiences rather than simple interactions with a boy. It’s crazy to realize where you’ve ended up, and you can then try to dictate where you go from there.
And on the other side of this, if you notice a negative change in who you are, compared to who you were a couple months ago, journals give you perspective. Where you went wrong, when everything changed, why you are the way you are. It serves as a tool to reflect and to see yourself from a new, concrete, objective perspective. A very, very valuable tool, to say the least. (If this is you, I have faith in you, buddy. No matter where you are in life, I’m proud of you. Things will all work out. They always do.)
Growth and progress are reflected in every word recorded, and that is significant.
And lastly, a journal serves as a place where you can say things you feel as if they are “taboo” to say aloud. Whether they are bottled up frustrations or musings as a secret admirer of someone, they have a place they can call home, with no judgment. And that outlet is so imperative to have in life. It really is, especially as teenagers with all sorts of thoughts bouncing around in our skulls.
And on that note, expressing concept of self-love, and how it can be interpreted as egotism, I will leave you with the rest of that paragraph written at 5:35pm on August 8th, 2014.
I hope this mildly encourages you to start a journal, my dear reader. It helps to aid (or develop) a sentimental soul. It caters to a reflective mind. It is essential for growth and self-improvement. I promise it’s really incredible. You won’t regret it.
“I have so many good people by my side and, more importantly, I have myself on my side. I don’t love anyone more than I love myself, and that’s how it should be. That doesn’t mean I am self-centered or don’t concern myself with others, this just means that I have 10000x more love to give to other people, since my heart is already filled to the brim with love for myself. I love caring for others, and see who they really are, and I am so excited for the rest of this year. I’m so ready. Bring. It. On.” 5:45pm 8/6
” (Finished -12:49pm, June 9th, 2015)
TIPS FOR JOURNALING:
1) Have a journal you love and are proud of and are not afraid to hold in public. I started with a composition notebook, with a wish for inconspicuousness. As I got more and more into it, I bought myself a nice leather bound journal and, I now bring it with me everywhere I go. Write in something you feel good about, something that you want to write in.
2) TBH, it doesn’t even have to be a tangible journal! The notes app in your phone or Tumblr blog is perfect. Inconspicuous and portable. It’s perfect, really.
3) You can literally write whatever you want. It’s easy to feel daunted by the task of writing down your emotions (aka this, except with journal), but it’s totally fine. Start easy, such as a play by play of what you did that day. Or even vent about something you’re frustrated about. Or spew mushy romantic musings about a girl you like. Anything! Write down quotes and song lyrics. Doodle a lighthouse. Use it as a Chem notebook when you accidentally forget your actual Chem notebook at home. (that’s what I did)
It is totally up to you how you utilize this thing. It’s all yours. Go crazy.
4) Honesty is the best policy in here. I’ll leave this tip up to your interpretation. This is your space. Be as frank as you want, be as real as you want. And don’t be afraid to admit your mistakes as a human being. It’s important to keep it real, in my opinion. But, then again, this is your thing, so you can withhold and admit whatever you want! Don’t let me tell you what to do!
5) The frequency of your entries is totally up to you, I just advise you always to record the date when you write it down. I personally like to include the time; it makes it more precise and detailed and important to me when the time is there, but that’s totally up to you. Like you can see the time and realize “Wow, this thought was haunting me at 3 in the morning, and I felt obligated to write it all down.”
6) Relish in it and stick with it!
Happy journaling, friend. :’)