As I mentioned in my last post, I recently read a book about journaling. (I actually had time to read a book for fun, can you believe it?) It caused a shift in my thinking, the kind that I usually blog about, but I’ve had the hardest time finding the right way to say it.
At first I thought I was going to do a “how to journal” post, but then I realized that I make up my own journaling rules that work specifically for me, so how can I offer you anything substantial? Google “how to journal” and read whatever comes up; I can’t give you better advice than Google.
Then I thought I’d do a book review of Note to Self, basically copying quotes from the book and giving you my spin. But then I realized that I have nothing better to say than Samara, who should really be teaching me. If I did my math correctly, she’s got 18 years of journaling experience to my 9 years. She’s a master, and she’s following me on Twitter. You can’t steal somebody else’s ideas when they know your Twitter handle.
I had many other ideas that were all terrible, I’m not going to bore you with them, and I was just about to give up when I searched WordPress, reading what people had posted on their blogs about journaling. By far, the thing that people said the most was: Don’t stop. It’s worth it.
And it reminded me of that shift I felt inside of me, the reason why Note to Self had moved me to blog: I have stopped journaling. The flow of 9 years has slowed to a dribble. I’ve written entries here and there in college, maybe once a month, but that’s not beneficial to me. I learned this lesson the first time my journaling flow ebbed, back in my sophomore year when my little world was falling apart. Now I’m relearning it as it applies to my young adult life: where there are gaps in my journaling, there are gaps in my life.
No matter how many times I tell you that I’m doing OK, you would be able to prove me wrong by checking out the dates recorded in my journal. Not enough, you would say. Oh, I’ve been really busy, I’d answer. Don’t lie to me, you’d admonish, I know that you would make time to journal if you were in a healthier state.
I know that sounds kind of melodramatic. I’m sorry. This is not to make you worry about my emotional wellbeing. With candor I can tell you that I’m not my best. I’m currently sick in bed, so that adds to the weight. Here’s the deal: I have a good life, but I want a beautiful life. I want to do stuff, you know? Right now I feel stuck, like I’m not living up to my potential. College often feels like a waiting room. We’re all ricocheting off of each other with this pent up energy, waiting to get out in a world that doesn’t look very friendly from here. It seems silly sometimes.
And even as I’m writing in bed, I’m convinced that I shouldn’t post this. That either my mom or my dad will call me, worried but stern, and tell me something I should do: take the post down, use the SAD light, go workout. They love me, but that’s not what I need right now.
What I need is to journal. To work out all of the little anxieties that have built into fear and then act on my dreams with courage. I have a lot of things I want to do with my life. Why am I not doing them? Because I stopped writing about them.
Please don’t let me stop writing again.