A notebook with my thoughts and day to day activities has always been something I kept close by me. I have had one since I could remember. I never finished them and have several Disney journals that are half way finished with my ugly handwriting. It wasn’t until high school that I actually wrote a full journal. Most of them were poems that make me cringe now when I think of them.
I have made it a habit to carry a journal with me just about everywhere I go. I typically do not have time to write everyday, but sometimes I’ll be able to squeeze in five minutes of journaling in between classes or when I’m riding on the bus. Sometimes I’ll go for about a six month to a year break from journaling but I always end up going back. I go back because I know it helps me in different ways which I describe below.
Journals know you the best than anything or anybody else in the world. This is where people are able to uncensor themselves. This is the space to be brutally honest without judgment. I usually share something first with my journal before I am able to share with other people. It’s a form of collecting my thoughts and figuring out exactly how I fee so I have the ability to talk about it with others.
Journals also helps in keep oneself in check. I write my goals and aspirations as well as to do lists. This is a way to keep myself accountable about whether I’m working towards my goal or not. I remember before coming to UCLA, I used to write about my hopes of getting in to the school. I wrote about things I needed to do or work on that would assist me in my goal. I wrote about people that either doubted my ability of getting into UCLA or those who inspired me. The experiences written should be reminders.
It’s also great to reflect and look at the growth achieved. I love reading over my old journals especially the bad times. It’s a reflection of the growth achieved and reminds me of my ability to move on forward. Journals are physical evidence of growth and I always laugh when I start reading them. This is especially relevant when dealing with a fall out with a close loved one.
Journals are an important tool for reflecting within oneself. Reflection is important for just about every aspect of life. Keeping a journal is important because it’s one of the few actions in where a person is able to do something for themselves only without selfishness. Writing in a journal is just for the writer only and it’s perfectly fine if nobody understands what’s written.