The day I turned 21 I started the first page in my blue journal. The journal was leather, with a beautiful embossed print on the front and a strap that wrapped around. I received it that year for Christmas, and it was the most beautiful journal I had ever had.
Today, days after my 23rd birthday, I start a new journal.
I always have had a journal. It was a habit I started when I was old enough to write, maybe 3 or 4 years old. From then on, it was always an on/ off habit. I would write in it when I was sick, or I would write every night for a month, or I would write on vacation. Although it wasn’t on a regular schedule, I loved journaling, and my parents always encouraged me to do so. “We wish we had done it” they would say, “You won’t regret it, I promise”
I will now say what any teenager hates to admit- my parents were right.
I started regularly journaling when I was about 15, and I was able to do so by setting up a loose schedule. Every Sunday night, as I mentally prepared for the coming week, I would spill my thoughts into my journal. I continued this through college. Some entries were no more than bullet points, some were five pages of emotional angst. All of the entries served a purpose, and I realized in those nights just how cathartic it was to flush out my emotions.
Now, some concrete reasons why you should keep a diary/ journal:
- VENT. After a long week of classes and work, I always had some built up anxiety. Personally, I find it easier to write this anxiety down, read it, and move on, then to speak to a friend. I may be an exception to the rest of my college friends, but I encourage everyone to try and use a journal as a space to air these grievances and devote your time with friends to positive conversations when possible.
- Occupation on planes. This sounds like a joke but it’s not. I LOVE journaling on planes. You have nothing else to do, nowhere else to go, and probably hours of music to egg on your emotional journey.
- Self Care. This is a ritual of thinking about yourself and your life. It isn’t always life-changing to write down what you learned in a week, but it helps to have a space in which to think about you and only you.
- Reference. Like my parents said, you’re going to want to remember this someday.
- FUN. Have you ever had one of those days that was just the best day ever, but nothing MAJOR happened? It was just a great day that came out of nowhere and rejuvenated you? Do that day justice and put it in your journal! Pictures are great, but I find that on many of my best days EVER I am so in the moment I forget to take pictures. Don’t let the memories go to waste!
- Turning a leaf. SO CLICHE but SO TRUE. I started my diary on my 21st bday very purposefully. Lots in my life was changing and I wanted to be free of all of the memories in my previous journal. Use the blank slate to your advantage!
Finally, your friends will think its cool. I can’t tell you how many people have seen my journal and told me how badly they wish they had one. This comment always throws me off because journaling is the easiest thing in the world?? Anyways, I guarantee you will get some comments once you start. Or don’t tell anyone and just tell yourself you’re cool for keeping a journal.
Now, do you have enough reasons?? Go and start your journal!