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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Carleton chapter.

Friend: Why do always carry your journal around?

Me: Well, um…

My journal has been the one consistent object throughout my life. These pages were shaped by my agony and emotions as I carried my thoughts over and over again on each page. Pen and ink spilled through woven pages. The weight of the pages resembled the weight of emotions. By skimming through a notebook, it is analogous to skipping songs that are painful to listen to again on a playlist. Those are the emotions I would never be able to discuss or express with anyone. Not to my closest friends, family, or even myself. It is written in my journal and then slammed shut. Throughout my journal, I record the sadness I am trying to let go of. Along with suggestions on how to improve me. It reminds me that tomorrow is a brand new start, a blank page. The ink pressure leaves scarring marks on the following page, left as reminders. Despite this, I can still paint over my fears and start a new day.

When I informed my therapist that my journal is my best friend, she said, “That could be a topic for concern.” I was curious as to why. These pages provide a quiet wall of structure for the friendship I genuinely want and openly desire. Everything said on these pages is buried into the book, like a well-guarded secret, locked away from the world. The stories, ambitions, and feelings I share help me grow into a better and more complete person. Many days pass by that I do not acknowledge my journal or fill it completely. That’s fine, friendship requires space from time to time.

a journal with a slice of cake beside it
Original photo by Mehak Aly

In my journal, I regularly compare my friendships to the ones I have in real life. The recurring heartache I get when a friend disappears for some time and returns when convenient. It hurts when they can’t keep their end of the bargain when needed. I’ve clung to my journal to fill the emptiness left by devastating friendships. Wiping away tears that had fallen on the pages. As the ink smeared down the cursive letters, the echoing emotions running through my heart are something I do not wish to be reminded of. Like the spine of a journal for dense pages, I’m holding myself together. Knowing that ignoring the people around me was not an option for social acceptability, I often hid away in my journal pages, seeking to find the person within myself.

Finding friends with whom you can be an open book is difficult. Writing is the gateway to revealing these thoughts in a world. People who believe relationships are merely transactions. This relationship is different. It is not founded on convenience or leisure. To create this friendship, much work is required. Even though I have many close relationships, my journal will always hold a special place in my heart. It cannot be replicated or replaced.

Mehak Aly

Carleton '24

Mehak (Ma- Heck) is a third year student at Carleton University, studying Communications and Professional Writing. She uses storytelling to navigate her fears and bestow her thoughts to others, hoping to provide readers with self-reflection and encouragement.