Journaling: The Future Looking Back

“Where do you see yourself in five years?”

It’s a common question to ask people. Professionally and personally, I have no idea what my life will look like in five years, and I have a suspicion that many people share my point of view.

And, of course, most of us have heard the following similes before:


“Life is a journey.”

“Life is a game.”

“Life is a roller coaster.”


If the above statements are true, then after five years, I hope I can remember where I started that journey, game, or roller coaster. It’s important to remember your past as you head into the future. With that in mind, perhaps we should put pen to paper our daily or weekly experiences, written with honest emotion that makes up their essence, rather than relying solely on photographs to help us recount and revisit our past.

A simple way to memorialize our lives is to get a journal. Sometimes, I sincerely wonder what it would be like if we had biographies of, not just famous people, but of “regular” people in the world, too. We all have stories to tell, and no two are the same. I hope to someday start a project of memorializing “regular” people’s lives and turning them into biographies. But, until then, I hope that we can recount our own lives -- all of our challenges, happiness, and achievements -- in the privacy of our own hearts and remind ourselves in five years of who we were and how various people and events have shaped us.


1) Traditional journal

            You don’t need to be a great writer to keep a journal. It’s all about writing in your own voice and style. Forget perfect grammar; what matters is that you recount what your day was like, how you felt that day, and possibly what/who you were inspired or disappointed by. It’s a good way to unwind after a long day and organize your thoughts. However, there’s no pressure to feel like every day needs to be spectacular for you to memorialize it. If you just woke up, went to class, talked to friends, had lunch and dinner, and did homework, that’s perfectly fine to write about, too.


2) One-line-a-day Memory Journals

            If you’re not so inclined at the prospect of writing one or more paragraphs in your journal every night, consider the one-line-a-day memory journals. There’s space for one to three sentences for every entry, which represents a day in your life. It’s short and simple. It makes you focus on what was the most important or memorable event that you experienced that day. A five-year, one-line-a-day journal will be amazing to look back on the various details of your life. It could be a great keepsake for your family. If you so choose, both you and your family could recount the past five years and see how you’ve developed over time.


Within or after five years, many things will surely change. I hope journaling will serve as a tool to not only memorialize your life but also for daily reflection. Your journal will encompass your voice, your writing style, and your emotions, and I am confident it will add value to your life.


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