I have always had an affinity for notebooks. Literally, since I was young, I’ve always had a notebook or a diary or something to write down whatever crossed my mind. A story, what happened during my day, how I was feeling, whatever. I got away from that during high school and most of college, though. I had too many other things going on and “Dear Diary” started to seem silly, even if I never actually wrote those words.
Recently, though, I’ve picked the pen back up. Last November I got a pack of notebooks and took to writing in one whenever I had an idea I thought I could flesh out, (I’ve always hated that expression to be honest. Why bring flesh into things?) or conflicting thoughts I wanted to make sense of. It became a great source of inspiration, and I was never without my little notebook in my bag. It has the perfect quote on the front too, “Remember what you wonder.” The perfect quote for a writer. I do want to remember what I wonder! That’s why I’m here!
That first notebook is full now, and I am so proud of that fact because, despite the sheer number of notebooks I’ve accumulated over the course of my 22 years, I’ve never finished one. Not once! I always started out with great intentions of writing everyday and after a week I would usually forget about it, or start a new one. This time though, I have a full notebook of thoughts and quotes and things that turned into larger articles or thoughts to look back on.
Through all of the ups and downs these past months, I have a record of how I felt during all of them. Before and afters, expectations, hopes and ideas. When I thought about keeping a notebook initially, I thought it would help my writing, help inspire me, yes. I didn’t think about looking back on those entries though. I always hate that, the looking back. I tend to cringe and wonder why I wrote what I did. Not this time.
Maybe that’s how I can tell I’ve grown up, gotten a tiny bit better. I like looking back on what I wrote this time. I have learned a lot through all those little notes I’ve written to myself. I’ve inspired myself, written my way out of bad moods, hurt feelings and let downs I thought I might not ever get over. Not only did I get past every single one of them, I’ve learned something from it.
I know I would have learned these lessons regardless. That’s just part of life, but they feel so much more concrete written down for me to see, where I can remind myself of them whenever I need a pick me up. And I did that myself! I was notorious for always asking for advice but never taking my own. This has helped me eliminate that tendency, and allowed me to get to know myself better, in a way.
There are countless studies on why “journaling” is good for you, and I haven’t read many of them honestly. I do think it’s a great way to relax, to help understand what’s going on in your head and your life, and to just make a list every now and then. I’m cracking into that Kate Spade bookshelf notebook in the picture above as soon as I can, and I’m excited to see where this one takes me. At the end of the day writing is, like most other things, a journey.