I’ve always adored a good journal. I’m drawn to displays of them, plain and colorful, hard-bound and paperback, whatever. I’m prone to buying them. There’s something about the feel of the things in my hands, and the promise of all those empty pages.
You’d think that, since I’m a writer, I’d be more successful and consistent with my journaling efforts. That of all the dozens I’ve started over the years, I’d have kept up with entries in a timely fashion, seen the topics therein through, come to some phase of completion, but I’m so sporadic about writing in them. My follow-through is piddly.
Anyway, a few nights ago I pulled out a violet-toned, butterfly-embossed journal I’d begun soon after my divorce. It was bittersweet to read through the passages. Bitter because they were full of my then-struggles. It’s not my favorite thing to relive some of that stuff. But sweet because what was just as clear on those pages was my optimism, and faith in better days. It made me proud of that gal, looking back on those steadfast times… and realizing, when compared with today, just how far I’ve come. It was fortifying.
And so it makes me think, that’s what journaling is about. It doesn’t have to be a regular commitment, and it’s certainly not the kind of thing that requires order or theme, like so many kinds of writing. It’s about recording passing moments, emotion, the process of living. It’s about revisiting those same records sometime later to gain perspective, and assurance of a path gone down.
Maybe my methods aren’t too shabby after all. And maybe that means I can keep buying journals.
Do you keep a diary of some sort?