In Life on
September 10, 2014

Journaling is Good For the Soul

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Well, it’s time.

I’ve finished another journal.

This one, the one on the left, has been my personal journal for around 2 years or so, from the summer before freshman year of college until right now. It’s proving to be an emotional experience, running out of pages in a place I’ve come to regard as the most comforting one I’ve had while away at school.

I’ve been writing in journals (and not finishing them) since I was little. All the proof you need is stacked and shoved into bookcases in my bedroom back at home. I was awful about finishing journals, though. Literally terrible. Usually I got around halfway through, got bored, and then requested a new one for Christmas (#guilty). To me, there was nothing as exciting as starting fresh on a new page, in a new book, full of unwritten possibilities.

Now? I’m reluctant to let my journal go. It’s become more than just a place to vent my anxiety…I can leave all the worries of the day in my journal, I can ask it (rhetorical) questions, and I don’t need to worry about looking stupid or repeating my stories or sounding unintelligent. I can just write. This journal chronicles a lot of love and life and loss, and I’m not sure how I feel about gradually running out of pages.

If you can, I suggest you give journaling a try, just for one full notebook. You can buy a cheap one at Walmart or you can invest in a thick, Italian-leather bound book like I do (it usually guilts me into writing if I neglect it). And do you know what the best part is? You can put anything in it. Anything. Mine is full of personal anecdotes and stories and inspirational pieces of lit that I happen across–it’s tailored to me and what I love to write about. But if you can do this, if you can write in a journal for just one notebook (and not every day, not every week, but when you remember, when you can sit down and really just give it your all), I guarantee you will feel more…yourself.

I’m consistently amazed at what happens when I finally take the time to quiet my mind and actually listen to how I feel. Writing in my journal helps me do that. When I write, I can finally understand *exactly* what is making me angry, or confused, or nervous. For some people, this won’t be the case. Maybe it’s meditation, prayer, or exercise that provides that wonderful moment of clarity, when you finally understand yourself and “thaaaaat’s why I’m feeling that way!” Also, using a journal to vent your frustration is a lot healthier than bottling it all up. Trust me on this one.

Yeah, I still have occasional nights of insomnia (this post was written during one), and there are indeed rare occasions where my journaling doesn’t help as much as I’d like it to. But this journal has been one of the best things I’ve done for myself this year, through the good times and the bad. It’s nice to be able to flip back to a day, and read about a first date, or a breakdown I had, and see how far I’ve come and how things have progressed in my life.

This new journal, on the right, has the same number of pages as the journal on the left. I’m very excited to see what the next two years will bring.

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