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Journaling...through good days and bad
I have kept a journal, or a diary as I used to call it when I first started writing, since I was about 8 years old. I had one of those special little ones that came with a tiny key just for me and this was really important in a big rowdy house. I was the youngest of 4 kids and we usually had at least one ring-in staying with us as well from Mum & Dad's youth group, or someone who needed a little extra care. They sometimes stayed a night, sometimes 4 years, sometimes longer. There was not much space for privacy, so that little key was really important to me and I hid it in my jumper drawer, right at the back where no-one would ever think of looking for it.
When I first started writing, I wasn't really sure what to write, but I was very excited about having a little book of my own that I could write my own little thoughts each day. The days were already printed out on the pages, I just needed to fill in the detail of my day. The first year was not really very juicy; thoughts like, "Went to Jenny's after school. Had fun. Spaghetti for tea."
As the years passed by, and I fell in and out of love with boys, had fights with siblings, got annoyed with people in my house and my parents, I found that my diary was my friend. Then came the terrible day when my parents were out and my brother and sister found my diary and sat around reading it out loud with one of extended family who were living with us. The humiliation that I felt. The depth of my emotion that I had written even at the ripe old age of 11 was too much to bear to be read out loud by anyone else. It certainly wasn't for anyone else's eyes, it had only meant to be for venting my thoughts, without being judged, and here I was being hung by them. I am glad still to this day that I had not really put my whole heart into the words by then.
From then on the diary became hidden. It was not to be found ever again. I could not bear to go through that again. As far as I know, it didn't.
I continued to write, however, as I got older, I found that the diaries that had the preset pages with dates didn't work for me. I didn't always want to write every day and I didn't want to be confined to a set space for that day that I wrote. I moved to The Journal.
About the same time I guess I got a bit choosy about when I would write. I began to use my journal as my therapist. When things were not working properly in my life, I would nut it out in my journal, then it would clarify in my head and I would just get on with things again. The gaps began to show. Then I would only write about things once I sorted them out.
Last year I committed to write every day in my journal because we were travelling and every time I travel I have always kept a journal so that I don't forget the people, names, places, smells, and experience of the trip. I have been home for longer than I was away now, and while I was away, I wrote 4 books of journals, however, since being home, I am still on the same book. Go figure! Do I really have nothing to say?
No, there is heaps to say, but, I just haven't bothered to write it down. Instead I have ruminated about it (a slight tick of being a woman) and tied myself in knots and pushed myself down into a deep dark tunnel. I have waited for each little hump to smooth itself out and then I write about it, or I write crazy angry words, there is nothing in between. Last year I think I really helped myself by continually writing my way through life, rather than stewing my way. I think that if I push myself to write, even if it is just a little, every day in my journal it will help me and also stop my more recent journal seeming a little swayed!
Do you journal everyday?