I don’t have a therapist. But I do have about 32 journals (and counting).
Throwback to my first GirlTech password journal with a voice-activated lock. I wrote down each interesting thing that happened to me during the week — simple things, like the cute top my best friend let me wear, the boy I had a crush on, or the new dance move I learned in ballet. I even kept the notes my mom left me in my lunches and saved birthday cards from my classmates.
If anything, I was nostalgic with a wild imagination. I pictured reading my journal again in ten years and remembering my elementary school days, recalling the best and worst moments. And hopefully I’d be mildly impressed at my younger self and her wise words.
I have no idea where that journal is now, but something stuck with me. My collection of notebooks, diaries and journals only multiplied throughout high school and university. I still treat myself to a new one whenever I travel (or step into a bookstore).
Then I moved out on my own and experienced a healthy dose of real life. Young love and college aspirations turned into intricate relationships, career highs-and-lows and family health issues.
I REALIZED WHAT JOURNALING REALLY OFFERED— A FORM OF THERAPY. IT BECAME A WAY TO MAKE SENSE OF THE WORLD.
As we navigate the twists and turns of our twenties and thirties, it helps to have an outlet, a safe place, a person to turn to. If you need to make a tough decision, if you’re working through shit that doesn’t make sense, if you don’t understand yourself or the people around you — just start journaling. It acts as both guide and remedy.
WRITE IN A JOURNAL TO CHECK IN WITH YOURSELF.
This is your chance to ask yourself the tough questions. Strip your mind down to the core and accept whatever thoughts come up. Forget about the stuff weighing you down and just let it all go. You’ll feel grounded and self-aware.
JOURNALING GETS YOU OUT OF YOUR HEAD.
Being stuck in your head all the time can be a scary place. Instead, get out of your own way and just write. Ramble and be nonsensical without judgement. Work through problems and (maybe) come up with solutions. Be imperfect. Write what you feel and don’t give a damn about anything else.
WHEN YOU WRITE, THE TRUTH ALWAYS COMES OUT.
There is no sense in hiding from your journal. Stop giving a shit. Don’t be afraid of what you haven’t dealt with. Also, don’t shy away from confidence. Just a heads up — it will all spill out when you start journaling anyway. That’s the beauty of the truth.
Sometimes I go back to my GirlTech days and write the simple things — what happened today, how I feel in this moment, the conversations I had. Sometimes I dig deep and get vulnerable. Either way, I’m always surprised and humbled at what ends up written on the page.
Note: reflect on your musings six months, a year, or five years later. Then write about how that feels. How much have you changed? How much have things stayed the same?