I never travel without my diary.
One should always have something sensational to read on the train.
~ Oscar Wilde

Ever since the summer after my sixth grade year, I have journalled every night. This journaling habit has led me through a trans-Atlantic move, a sister away to college, a sister away to China, the hardships of high school, the decision to skip a grade... basically everything. In the span of thirteen journals, I have poured out my soul each and every night in addition to telling about how the day went.

I type up the entries as a way of keeping an electronic record of everything. However, I refuse to journal on a computer. First, because I have a love of smooth gel ink pens, and secondly, because there is nothing more soothing than pouring your heart out onto a page, not worrying about the circuit shorting when you cry on it. So, the electronic copies of my journals only serve as a smaller copy of the thirteen journals.

Every so often, I reread a particular journal to see what I was going through. I see the anguish I labored over my friends in seventh grade when I had the best friend in the world right there, unbeknowest to me. I see how I would obsess about asking that guy to the dance that nobody asked anyone to. That was just when I was starting out.

As I grew, my handwriting got better (I almost always write in cursive) and I thought I would learn eons about myself. Here's the thing - a relaxing habit does not lend itself to epiphanies unless one works at it.

I have to reread and reflect on my journals to really see the path I've travelled and how it can help me in the future. Reflecting allows me to see that I have already had one crazy life and I'm capable of handling much more than I ever thought possible. (My second year of high school should be a testament to this.)

I will start a new journal tomorrow night. And while I don't know how long it will take me to fill the pages or what it will contain, I do know I will come to it when things are good, when things are bad and when I am so confused I don't know what question to ask. Journaling has helped me become more introspective. Sometimes I think that's a bad thing. But then I remember, a little self reflection never hurt anyone.

Anyway, if I always travel with my journal and I record the funny moments in my life, I can always have a joke book with me. I can be like Oscar Wilde and have something sensational to read that is extremely personal.

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Brittany said...

Once I started a journal, but I was too terrified that someone in my family would find it and read it, so I threw it away. The only way I would feel safe with keeping a journal is if I wrote it in Microsoft Word and password-protected the file. :)

I sort of journal in my head, but obviously that's not permanent. Maybe I will start a journal, just every week or so.

That's great that you've been journaling for so long, since you can look back at them, like you said in your post. It's like reading a novel about your preteen and teenage years. :)

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