Thoughts on Journaling
Looking back, I think it happened in college: the knowledge that journaling isn’t just a hobby for growing up, but for growing. I knew then that I never wanted to live my life without incorporating journaling.
When my first daughter was born, I didn’t write much until she was nearly a year and a half. I began again then, recording taking my toddler to the ocean on an uncommonly warm May day, my fears that I would lose my grandfather when he was admitted to the ICU after an operation, and when my friend’s mother was diagnosed with a serious medical condition and died not long after.
Writing is how I process my experiences, how I (attempt to) stay calm and engaged in my life, how I remember, and how I express myself creatively. Writing is also how I heal. There really is no way to sum up the tremendous value journaling holds for me.
I never view my past writing as a waste of time. On the contrary, I find inspiration and joy in going back and rereading the pages of my past. I love that by opening a notebook, I can relive almost any part of my life that I choose. I can be a newlywed again, a college student, pregnant with my first, a mother of a toddler and a newborn, or, if I want to be embarrassed, a teenager. The times that I have loved most in my life, challenged me, and even the times that have been the most painful are all there – like grapes or cheese they are aging into something better – life lessons, wisdom, experience.
Why do you journal? What keeps you writing?