My mother-in-law bought me the most beautiful leather bound journal for my birthday, and I’ve been reading up on how to journal. It’s not as simple as it once was. I used to journal all the time — I had a journal for every year from my thirteenth year until somewhere in my seventeenth year. That year, I stopped journaling and started blogging. It was easier, more therapeutic…or so I thought.
Recently, I’ve realized that blogging lacks the same kind of release. There’s something about seeing your words on a page, written in your messy handwriting. There’s something freeing about knowing that what you’re writing is for YOUR EYES ONLY, and for no one else’s. You are not writing to impress anyone when you journal, but when you blog you tend to do so with the knowledge that other people will be reading and perhaps judging your words and your experiences and your reactions. You know that there will be feedback and that feedback may not always be good.
And let’s face it; you can’t blog about everything. There are certain topics that are completely off limits. I can’t share a lot of the things going on my life because I’ve made promises to the other people involved that I wouldn’t “put it on the Internet”.
Sometimes, I will want to write about situations or experiences in an attempt to process and reflect, but when I sit down and attempt to…I end up censoring myself so much that everything I wanted to write about becomes redundant and I no longer see the point.
But journaling is how I sorted through the insanity that was adolescence. It’s how I survived a few elementary heartbreaks. It’s how I found release to stressful situations beyond my control.
And yet I have no idea how to begin this bright and beautiful new journal. It’s pages are so crisp; it’s leather so soft. I don’t want to just immediately vomit words onto the page; words that don’t make any sense. I don’t want it to be an immediate dumping of negativity, but I also feel strange with the idea of starting out my journal by introducing myself.
I’m sure I’ll figure it out. One of the key things I’ve learned from researching how to journal is that you need a calm, private area to write — free of interruptions. This wasn’t a problem for me fifteen years ago, when I was able to lock myself in my room or go for a walk to my secret hideaway place by the creek whenever the mood to write in my diary would strike. Alas, I’m a parent now and the interruptions during the day are plentiful, so I’m waiting until this evening. Maybe then I’ll be able to write more naturally.
In any case, I’m excited. I’ve wanted a leather bound journal for as long as I could remember, and I finally have one!