No matter how boring you think you are, you are living. You are interacting with people you love, and people who have hurt you. You have decisions to make, and a story to tell. Something, big or small, is happening in your life. One day you may want to remember how you felt the day you made a grand career decison, or the details of your first date. Maybe you’ll write it down to remember it later or to remember it now. I think people use the excuse of not having enough time whenever they think of journaling; or they start a journal with good intenetions to make it a habit but eventually forget it. I believe writing to be a good habit to start. Journaling doesnt need to be time-consuming, or in the “dear-diary” format. It can be whatever you need it to be to fit your life, or your style.
I tend to write three different styles of entries.
- Short blunt sentences to capture highlighted moments. I use this style to quickly write down feelings or to describe stories that move so quickly that they feel more like flashs of moments, the kind that every time you blink is a new scene. Typically I write this way whenever I feel like I don’t have enough time to fully go into detail, maybe the story is too long, or I’m about to fall asleep and all I can do is write down a few key words in my Day One app. For example, I wrote a few Wednesdays ago: Inhaling a salad and learning about a big life change. Write more later. It’s now been several weeks and I haven’t written any more to that story but I know exactly what I was feeling. To capture a small story: The Fratellis. Not since high-school, and suddenly serenaded in your room. Unicorn. I am consistently in awe.
- Story telling inculding a lot of imagery. I write this way when I want to remember every thing I saw, heard, felt, etc. I love rereading entries like this because it puts me back in that moment. For example, if I was to write about my morning today:I woke up smiling again. No amount of nightmares can keep me from smiling. “goodmorning” text again encourage me to get out of my soft, warm lime sheets. Morning coffee was interupted by the crash of a mostly full jar of raspberry jam onto to kitchen floor. My barefeet had to take giant steps to avoid the shattered glass. I sat down uninspired to work on my to-do list. Wi-fi was being stubborn again so I quickly got dressed. I’m getting to be more comfortable with the idea of dressing to be comfortable and not to match. I tied my mess of dirty hair together in a low ballet bun, again, to match my mess of mix-matched neutral clothing with my mint jeans. I packed my bag full of essentials and stepped out into dewy grass. Spring never felt so refreshing. On my drive, I listen to the same two songs and scream sing along again. (All I want by Kodaline covered by Ellie Goulding & Youth by Daughters.) Now I sit with already cooling coffee in beautiful natural light. This coffee-house is getting to be more comfotable even after uncomfortable memories. Before I sip my coffee again, I tuck my legs into criss-cross apple-sauce and I can see my most recent surgery scar peaking out between my sandal strap and my twice-cuffed mint pants. I’ve come a long way in one year. I’m so much stronger and so thankful.
- Unloading all my overthinking thoughts to work through whatever I’m going through.
I think this one is self-explanatory. I think every one (I hope it’s just not me) tends to spin out of control sometimes to the point where you want to explode. This type of writing is best done with a pen in hand for me, but can be easily typed. It can start with whatever your’re thinking and evolve until your hand hurts and your mind is blank or content. You can write question after question with no answers. Your fears, worries. You can say all of the things you are too afraid to admit out loud. It’s honest and from your heart. For example, What are my end goals? You’re right, how will I measure success? Is this adventure too big for me or just right?
There is no right or wrong way to journal, but being honest and opening your heart definetley helps. Write for yourself, not for anyone else to read. In my experience, you’ll feel better after. Try it.