How and Why I Keep A Journal

 

I began keeping a journal, (although at the time I called it a diary), around the age of nine. It started as a collection of “I Spy” entries, in which I would write about whatever I could see, aspiring to be like Harriet The Spy. From then on, I kept diaries about my social struggles with the other girls, lists of all the boys I wanted to date, entries about arguments with my mom, and then once I was old enough to understand and value the act of “journaling,” I started writing about my relationships, and my feelings.

For many years, I saw journaling as a chore, something I had to do, and I thought only written entries classified as “journaling.” Thankfully, I learned this is not the case. Throughout high school, I tried to journal on a daily basis, but I would forget about it, and then every few months, pick up my journal and write an entry apologizing to myself for forgetting. Clearly, the way I was trying to go about it, was not working.

In my freshman year of college, I decided I wanted to start a creative journal. I got the idea from Pinterest, where I always go for inspiration. I ordered three journals from Amazon, all of which were dotted, instead of lined, which allowed for either writing or drawing. My first entry was about the fact that I was starting a journal. This was the first journal I looked forward to keeping, and now I love looking back on it.

While I love more creatively focused journals, recently, I have also started keeping a daily journal. It started as an anxiety log. However, now writing in it is the first thing I do in the morning after I wake up. I write how I feel when I have just woken up, what I need to do for the day, and how the previous day went. I have written in this journal every day for over a month.

If drawing isn’t up your alley, there are other types of journals as well. I also keep a bullet journal, which is basically a self-made planner. As well as a travel journal to keep track of all the places I’ve been, and the people I’ve met.

Journaling allows me to think through my thoughts, make decisions, as well as understand and learn more about who I am. But journaling isn’t just about the present, it’s also about the past, and being able to look back in time.

Originally, I started journaling because my mom encouraged me to do so. She kept journals all through her life, and even wrote a book out of one of them. At the time, I wanted to be like her, in fact, I still do. She always told me that I would be thankful later in life for being able to look back on all the experiences I had. And she was right.