I had constantly thought about starting to journal but the simplicity that comes from typing on a keyboard was extremely hard to overlook.  However, after a failed attempt, and conversations with two very convincing people, I gave it a try, and I’m obsessed.  

I started out buying two journals.  One was a recommended brand (but it came in black), and the other was a fabric cover with very fun patterns.  And since the world is obsessed with shiny (or better looking things), and I am part of the world, I use the second one.  You definitely have to have a journal that appeals to you, otherwise the act of journaling won’t be as exciting, it makes a difference.  So step one, find one that appeals to you.  This is practically the only thing you are actually ever going to be judging by its literal cover.  Take advantage of the opportunity to get it out of your system.

The cover is definitely an important decision.  But then, turns out there are different kind of journals.  For example- prayer, happiness, bullet, stress, etc.  It was recommended that I do a prayer journal.  Then it was recommended that I have a journal for any thought that crossed my mind.  So, I did both… Which is basically just the “any thought that crossed my mind” idea.  Ultimately, the decision is completely up to you.  It could be one you draw out your quotes with, a designer journal, an every day journal, a dear diary, literally everything.  The best part is that it’s yours.  And it can be as secret as you want it to be.  No one has to know what’s in it or that it even exists at all.  

My journaling career started off as a “respond to your devotional” journal.  Basically, I have a devotional called Jesus Calling and everyday for the 365 days on a calendar, including holidays and teacher development days, there’s a passage of how God works in our lives and how we can better the relationship with him.  Following those two paragraphs is a bible verse and following that are two other bible verses to look up yourself.  So I would read, think and respond in this journal.  And it was great.  But I wanted to use it more… So where do you go when looking to improve anything from your closet to your weekly meals?  Pinterest. (Find mine here)

Pinterest: (N) the place to find every quote, recipe, outfit, wedding theme and house design idea.

Example sentence: “If you don’t know what Pinterest is, it’s when your wife stares at her phone for 8 hours and then you eat salad out of mason jars.”

So, I made my way to this artsy website for ideas on what I could do with my journal- I found all of those “types” mentioned above (prayer, happiness, etc.).  Some people included pictures, drawings or taped in, quotes taking up entire pages of the journal, an insane number of fonts I assumed were only possible using microsoft, and different journal prompts.  To my followers, I am very sorry about your newsfeed because I pinned a TON.  Loads of great ideas for switching it up between writing prompts and creative ways to practice being mindful.

As I was pinning I was amazed at the variety of things I could do with this and quickly realized that pinning these would not make me remember what to do for each.

I realized that whereas I can look for inspiration if I took the same things I saw and put them in my journal, it wouldn’t make it my journal.  

And so whereas it is a let out for me, it’s also really a solid way to challenge your creative side.  If you want it to be all words, then no problem, that’s why there are lines.  But it really has the potential to be anything you want it to be.  I find that pretty interesting.  Something in front of you that you can just be you in.  The journal will really be what you don’t want to show other people.  However, you can show others if you want.  The amount of potential inside of those binded pages is endless.  

It’s kind of amazing that it’s a secret that you can see and is just for yourself.  Sometimes your thoughts become more real if you can look at them and read them back.  It’s also a very good way to realize one of your fears that you thought would take up seventy- two pages rather than the four it really did, isn’t so bad and is actually easier to deal with now that you can see it on paper rather than deal with it jumbled in your head.  

I’ll admit, I was in the honeymoon stage of journaling for about two weeks.  Dad was in the hospital, I was not following the directions of getting a job and so… 

each day I’d make my way to the balcony off of my room, sit in one of the adirondack chairs and I’d do my thing.  It was surprisingly peaceful.  

Then I stopped.  For about three and a half months.  Dad died, I moved into the craziest house in all of Doylestown, my hands were sticky daily from my scooping of water ice, started back at school, started dating a guy, entered sorority crafting mode and thus my journal made its way to the back burner…  Or just under my nightstand with all of my other books.  

I always looked at it thinking that I should get back into it, I know what I should write but once I say it in my head I don’t want to take the time to write it down.  I do it every so often though- I write things I find in my book club book, draw out quotes, wrote a story, fun things.  There’s an activity that I found an activity on Pinterest (Shocker) and they give you a topic and you write a six word story.  

It’s all yours to do whatever your heart desires.  When you’re done you can save it, reread it, let someone else read it or set it on fire.  Then get another one and go again

On Page 62 of Option B by Sheryl Sandberg it says,

“Turning feelings into words can help us process and overcome adversity.”

And so I leave you with that.