The last time I kept a journal and wrote in it on a regular basis was my senior year of college. I was going through a lot of change at the time—living off campus with friends, wrapping up both of my majors with senior papers and projects, dealing with a breakup, dating new people, turning 21 years old (finally!), looking for a post-graduation job, figuring out plans for after college...
I had thoughts and worries and questions rolling through my mind constantly—and I couldn't bore my friends and family with the contents of my crazy mind every day. I needed a place to work out my questions and express my feelings. And for me, writing has always been a way to explore emotions, to clarify thoughts, to relieve stress, to document my life.
A Look Forward and a Look Back
Now, I'm experiencing another transition. This time, I've finished graduate school, I've started my own business, and what's to come is kind of a question mark. That unknown is exciting and scary. I'm at another point in life where things aren't neatly mapped out for me. There is no set "what's next," and I can't control all the opportunities and outcomes.
But I feel like there are a lot of possibilities, a lot of good things ahead, things I want to write down as they happen.
In the future, I want to be able to look back at my journal and see the path that got me to where I am. While I'm living life, day to day, I don't always understand how some small moment might have a larger impact. But in looking back, in flipping through journal pages, I have the ability to gain an understanding. I see the twists and turns, and they take on a deeper meaning. I see how I've grown and what I've learned, those changes that I can't always perceive as they occur. I understand the big picture a little bit better.
A Private and Imperfect Space
While some people use their blogs as journals, I think of those forms as distinct entities. All along, I've resolved that my blog doesn't have to be polished and perfect. But my journal is even less so. I don't edit, re-structure, or title my journal entries. I don't use the correct punctuation all the time. I write myself in circles and draw arrows and just get the words on paper.
Though I like to share pieces of myself here on my blog, it is still a public forum. My journal is for those private thoughts, those scary or silly thoughts I don't really want to "publish" to the whole wide world... the world wide web.
So I'm journaling once again—to document my thoughts in this time of transition and uncertainty, to look back from time to time and gain perspective, to let go of the need for perfection, to relish a space of privacy in this oh-so-public world, to put my heart and mind on paper—to write about the little things and the big things... because I don't always know which are which until I reflect on my words, on my life.