Journaling is Pointless

My first journal had unicorns on the cover and each page was bordered by different unicorn art. It was the perfect journal for a little girl who loved unicorns but not perfect for a girl who had horrible handwriting because it’s pages were unlined. My second journal was given to me as a gift when I turned 11. It was light green and it’s multi-colored pages smelled like perfume. Unfortunately, those fragrant pages remained blank because after my first journal I had decided it was stupid to write in a journal.

I can’t remember exactly why I swore off journal writing. Maybe it was because I was traumatized from the time my big brother stole my journal and read its pages out loud as everyone in ear shot laughed. They weren’t being mean, there was a lot to laugh about. I mean, have you ever read a 10 year old girl’s journal? Silly and emotional sums it up! In my defense I had plenty of drama to write about. I had 3 older brothers that made it their daily task to find creative ways to make me scream. I needed somewhere to vent the horror of having my dear Cabbage Patch Doll nailed to a board… straight through her head I might add. I might still need therapy for that. Anyhow, I decided journal writing was not for me.

I probably would still feel the same way about journal writing to this day if it wasn’t for a single conversation I had that turned my perspective around. When I was 12 a girl my age moved in next door with her aunt because her mother had passed away. We became quick friends and my mother took her under her wing. She ended up spending most of her time at our house and eventually she decided that she wanted to live with us. I was excited to have her as my roommate. Every night as we got ready for bed she would spend time writing in her journal as I impatiently waited for her to finish so I could turn the light off and we could chat. One night I decided I was going to set her straight. “Why do you write in your journal EVERY day? Do you really have that much important stuff to write? Who would ever want to go back and read it anyhow; it seems so stupid and pointless.”

She paused as her expression turned somber. Quietly she turned to the front of her journal and pulled out a worn, folded piece of paper. “See this paper? It is the only thing I have that has my mother’s handwriting on it. I wish I had more. I wish she left me with a journal, something to help me remember her, something I could read to learn more about her.” I saw tears threatening to spill over her eyes and I swallowed and blinked to prevent my own tears from forming. “She is gone. I worry I will forget her; and all I’ll ever have of her is this paper.”

I didn’t say anything. I turned to the little bookcase next to my bed and pulled out my light green fragrant journal, grabbed a pen, and started to write. That moment changed me. I can still feel that prick in the center of my chest when I think about her words. From that day on I wrote in my journal with out missing a day for almost 10 years. I continue to write in my journal consistently though not quite on a daily basis. I’ll forever be grateful for the lesson I was taught that night.

Share your story!

I now love journaling for a myriad of reasons. In particular it has nurtured a love for telling and hearing life’s stories. It is part of why I started this blog. Pick up a pen tonight, see what falls onto paper. Maybe you’ll end up with a story to share here. Perhaps your children will end up with something to cherish. Either way, write.

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing” -Benjamin Franklin (and when you do something worth writing, share it on leftwithasmile.com:)

-Amber www.amber.thrivelife.com

My Every Good Thing Picks

Book: The Hiding Place By Corrie Ten Boom

Youtube Channel: Bored Shorts TV

Movie: The Young Victoria

App: OverDrive

Album: Walk in the Woods by John Schmidt

 

6 COMMENTS

  1. Heather | 20th Jan 17

    It’s interesting that you mention your frustration as you waited for your roomie to finish in her journal. I remember once, not “too terribly” long ago, wondering if you were EVER going to stop writing in your stinkin’ journal. You were committed! And, now that I have heard why, I have a bit of a lump in my throat as I choke back tears. What a touching story, that left me wanting to go write something for my kids. (Like the note on my door not to wake me before 5am…I have a 16 year old son who rarely sleeps, and thinks I shouldn’t either) Oh, these precious notes from which to remember me. Haha. I am determined to be better, to do better, and to leave with a smile. Thanks, Amber.

    • Amber | 24th Jan 17

      HA! I can just see him opening his journal to look at all the post it notes telling him to go back to bed!

  2. How to write a fun and authentic "About Me" page for your blog or journal. - Left with a SMILE | 30th Jan 17

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  3. K. Fry | 2nd Feb 17

    Journaling – I have a love/hate relationship with it. Sometimes I do great and am able to just write from my heart – other times I fall behind and leave bullet points that leave me feeling guilty that I haven’t written more. Thanks for sharing your story of journaling 🙂

    • Amber | 3rd Feb 17

      HAHA! You are not alone my dear! I went from writing every day to taking 4 years to finish one journal in the sweetest part of my life! Don’t feel guilt, you’ll remember the good stuff and get it down on paper at some point! You should check out the tips I posted today on journal entry ideas. Maybe it will get some wheels turning:)

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