I have kept a journal since the 7th grade. And I do mean “keep” – that’s a lot of journals. I have boxes of them in my attic. I particularly love this hard-cover, spiral bound book with thick pages by Canson and my colored Pilot Razor Point pens. My collection of journals includes many different kinds of books and pens, but my rules have always been the same:
#1 - I don’t have to write if I don’t want to. I do not keep a diary – I keep a journal – which is a place to record thoughts. It turns out I have a lot of thoughts, so I end up writing a lot, but I refuse to feel any sense of obligation to keep up with it every day.
#2 – I am allowed to write anything. My journal is a place where I am free to express myself without judgement or accountability. I try on ideas, vent, explore possibilities, wallow, and exult. If anything, my journal is a reflection of me being a very imperfect work in progress.
From time to time, I have looked back at what I have written to try to make sense of things. My journals have helped me see how unhappy I have been and for how long. They have shown a pattern of being scared to allow myself to relax and be happy. They have shown me that I am not as scattered as I fear and that I am actually very consistent in my interests and how I want to live. As much as my journal allows me to gather myself, it also allows me to release what doesn’t serve me well.
I have been writing in my journal a lot lately. I haven’t felt very funny, so the blogging has been slow. I know from my journals that it won’t be like this for long. This is how it is to be imperfect.