My Life with Journaling

September 16, 2020

9:49 p.m.

Dear friend, 

How are you doing today? I had a busy day full of Zoom calls, homework, and work. Although I’ve been super busy, I enjoy having stuff to do, and I am happy I’ve been more productive! I’ve been texting my friends and have been checking up on them during this busy time and hope you’re able to communicate to ones that make you happy. I am ready for the weekend to come because I’m starting a new Netflix show with one of my best friends and hope you’re doing well! 

 

This is how I usually start my journal entries. I’ve set up my journal entries like this since I started in 2007 and think it just stuck with me over the years. I’ve been journaling for about 13 years and yes, I am even surprised I’ve been doing it for this long! I know many people who have never journaled in their life and have some friends who have done it but haven’t done it continuously. 

 

No matter how busy I am, I try to squeeze in some journaling during my day or week because I always have so much to say. I write about my memories, funny moments, emotions, good and bad experiences, questions, concerns, and stories. I talk about my day, how I feel, and rant about things that have been going on in my head. 

woman writing in a notebook with laptop nearby Photo by Nenad Stojkovic distributed under a CC BY 2.0 license

I believe other people can sympathize with me when I say journaling has helped me in various ways throughout life. I’ve written in my journals since I was seven years old and I have to thank my mom because she got me started on journaling. 

 

My mom got me a journal for Christmas in 2007 and when I first got it, I’ll admit that I was confused. I was puzzled that she got me a blank notebook for a present and asked her why she got it for me. A journal definitely wasn’t on my Christmas wish list and I honestly didn’t know how I felt. She told me I could write anything in it and that it was just for me. My mom advised me to write how I felt or just write about how my day went. 

 

After she told me that, I took her up on it. I’m not sure what exactly I wrote about when I was younger but I remember writing about my daily life in several journals. Every night, I would sit down and write about what I did. I reread some of my journals back from 2007 and wow, 7-year-old Wonbin had a lot to say! 

 

I wrote about random things I did during the day and expressed my emotions like anyone else. I laugh when I reread some entries where I was mad at my older sister and get glued to hearing more about my past through my younger self. 

 

I continue to journal today and am happy that I still do. I think I journal daily because after I write an entry, it contains a memory. An entry contains my everyday moments that I may not remember next year. I believe each entry has a different story and there are definitely a variety of emotions throughout the entire journal. Each journal is a part of my life and I’ve stashed all my journals together in order to someday look through them all to look back at what I used to do. 

 

I’ve learned so much from journaling and encourage others to begin doing it too. I’ve been able to be more expressive and most importantly, have fun! Whenever something's been on my mind, I write it down. When I’m flustered, confused, or angry, I grab my journal and write as much as I can. 

 

People say writing things down can be more helpful than saying them aloud and I agree with that idea. Whenever I have so much to say, I never know how much time passes which is another thing I enjoy about journaling. I never set a limit for myself when I write and sometimes I journal for more than an hour when I didn’t even plan on it. Letting go and writing everything on my mind helps me de-stress and relax. 

 

I stress about things everyday and being able to sit down and write helps me wind down. Writing about the good, positive moments and talking about a fun memory from my day always makes me feel so much joy. Rereading some of my favorite memories always makes me smile and relive the best moments all over again. One of the best parts about journaling is doing it while listening to calming or fun music which makes writing way more enjoyable. 

The Lalagirl Writing In Notebook Her Campus Media

I used to begin my journal entries with “Dear journal,” but after I read Anne Frank’s book named, The Diary of a Young Girl, I began changing my introduction to “Dear friend.” I enjoyed how she began her diary entries with “Dear Kitty” and I believe Kitty was her “imaginary friend.” The idea of writing to a person or friend was something that really resonated with me. 

 

Starting with “dear friend” makes me feel as if I were writing or talking to a person who I want to share my memories with. It makes journaling more fun and the aspect of sharing what’s going on in my life more meaningful. I don’t know who would read my journals but I know if my future children asked me what I experienced during middle school, high school and college, I would hand them my journal and tell them to read it. 

 

They may or may not sympathize with my emotions or stories but my journal holds some history and moments that they could or couldn’t experience as well. 

 

For example, explaining how I dealt with distancing myself with some friends after high school, commuting at home during college, working for my parents, or living through a pandemic at 20 years old is something they may never go through. Sharing what I went through could help them later in life or they may just be interested in hearing about what I experienced. You never know, someday, someone may find my journal collection start reading about my life. 

 

Let me tell you, I have a lot of tea, stories, good and bad moments, memories, and advice in my journals and I cherish them with my whole heart. Even when I don’t journal for a few days, I still try to find time during my week to sit down and express what’s going on in my life. When I don’t write for days, I have over ten pages because I always have so much to talk about! (In my opinion, these are the best entries!)

The Lalagirl Smiling Holding Journal Her Campus Media

I encourage anyone to start a journal because being able to write helped me in so many ways. I don’t think I would have been able to overcome situations, remember memories, relax, or de-stress if I didn’t write about all emotions and experiences in my journal. 

 

You can write about anything you want and have fun with your writing. Your journal is for you and you can get as creative as you want. You could write down memories, quotes, advice, and tell various stories. 

 

You never know...after you begin journaling, someday you may look back at your journals and feel so happy that you did. You may cringe while you look back at some entries (I know I do) but I hope you will start and see how far it takes you in life. You never need to rush it and just do it for you. 

 

If you are already journaling, I hope you continue to do it and always look back at what you wrote. It brings me such joy and I will continue to journal in the future. I don’t know how many journals I will have later in life but you already know that I’m going to sit down one day to reread them all and cherish all the words my younger self wrote. 

Love, 

Your friend, 

Wonbin