Throughout my life, I have kept a daily journal. Pretty much since the time I was in elementary school up until now, at age 23 1/2, I have confided my thoughts, feelings and daily happenings in a little book with lines on it.
I get that question quite often. Many people find it impressive that I manage to write that much, while others think it’s “cute” or childish. (At times like this, when I’m a month and a half behind on my journal entries and it seems like a chore, I question why I continue to do it as well…).
I have one simple answer: it heals me.
Not to say that I literally go back through my journals and read every single entry I’ve ever written. Of course I don’t. Occasionally I may peruse a journal to see what happened on a specific day just to laugh at some of the memories and relive them.
Why would you choose to write about everything, especially the hard stuff?
That’s a very good question, friends. See, I find that releasing my emotions is a good thing. I’m an extremely emotional, empathetic and compassionate person. Sometimes (okay, 99.9 percent of the time), I have the tendency to share too much, to confide in and trust others more than I should. And it does come back to bite me in the ass sometimes. I confide in my friends/family/acquaintances the things that happen to me, the things I think about, because I like to receive feedback and get someone else’s view on it, to maybe find some similarities between what I’m going through and what someone else is. Trust me, it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than therapy. (Though sometimes I wonder if I should travel down that path.)
Journaling, however, combines a lot of those elements in to one thing. They are private. I keep them to myself and don’t share them, so I don’t have to confide those things in anyone else. They give me a chance to organize my thoughts (laughable, I know). When I have so many things racing through my head, I can write about it and it will give me a chance to revisit the topic later, to think more on it. Though the journals never give me feedback (if they did, I think finding a shrink would be at the top of my to-do list), I can revisit them whenever I want to and see how my thoughts have changed over time, which can sometimes be better than others’ feedback.
Now to answer the second part of that question; why the hard stuff?
That one’s not quite so simple to answer. During the times in my life that I have encountered negative life-changing events, such as death or heartbreak, I have wished, hoped and prayed that I could erase those memories. If we’re being honest, who hasn’t wished that at some point? To do that, however, would completely change who I am today. I am me because I faced those challenges, because I battled those demons and I won. To erase those moments would be an insult to my personal accomplishments. It’d be like getting to the top of a huge mountain only to find you were instead standing in a large field, with no trace of a mountain having ever been there. Sure, there are many things in my past that have hurt me. But you know what? They are in the past. They are over. I wrote about my feelings at that time because it was a way of letting it all out in a healthy way. And the best part? I don’t have to read about it now. I can choose to skip over those pages, because I’ve already lived them.
So. Relatively pointless post, I know. Just something that was randomly on my mind today. Writing is truly a self-help method. It lets you vent all your frustrations, share your excitements and even has the power to let you heal yourself over time. It’s a way of truly exposing yourself without having to let anyone else see all of it.
Unless someone steals my journals. Because then, I’m pretty screwed.