By Linda R. Prior
I’ve dabbled in journaling off and on throughout my life. Typically, these writing bouts have coincided with significant events. Well, except for my first foray when I was just into “the experience.” In sixth grade, I received my first diary, a red, leather-bound book with a lock and key. Locating it again recently, I deciphered my rudimentary cursive scribbling, hoping to unearth some profound clues to my uncomfortable adolescence. Unfortunately, it seems the thing most weighing on my mind that entire year was whether Greg Bracken, the pastor’s son, liked me. He did, but his family moved after graduation. (Greg, if you read this and you’re available, call me.)
People journal for different reasons. I’ve always found that writing something down, putting my thoughts and feelings into words gives them real texture and presence. Writing took the frivolity out of the random phrases and the meaningless syllables colliding in my head. It brought order, awareness, reason and, finally, viable solutions. Whether I was learning to cope with the overwhelming loneliness that accompanied a move to London or trying to understand why my first marriage was dissolving, it was journaling that helped me. To move on. To try harder. To believe in myself. To make changes. To accept…me. And, like an old trusted friend, journaling is always there when I need it.
As Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” And what better way to examine your life than to take the time and thought necessary to capture it in black and white?
Journal entries are like photographs, our snapshots in time. Whether we journal on a daily basis or only as needed during those times we feel compelled to do so, our journals comprise the journey that is us.
Enjoy the journey.
Linda R. Prior is a freelance writer specializing in corporate communications. She and her husband live in Tampa, Florida.