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Why I journal

A look into my love of journaling and how I am rekindling that love

<p>Whether it is a proactive measure or something I do when I am not feeling amazing, journaling always helps me check my emotions and refocus myself accordingly.&nbsp;</p>

Whether it is a proactive measure or something I do when I am not feeling amazing, journaling always helps me check my emotions and refocus myself accordingly. 

I like to describe myself as a wordy person. By saying that, I don’t mean that I enjoy talking a lot. In fact, I am actually quite the opposite given my introverted personality. What I mean to say is that I love words and all the ways to enjoy words — whether it be through reading books, listening to podcasts or writing my own poetry. Most significantly, I’ve incorporated this love of mine into my daily life through journaling. 

For most of my life, I have obsessively kept journals. I actually have a box in my basement that holds all the notebooks I have collected, and they date back to when I was in fifth grade. Even before then, I would keep a diary tucked away in a safe spot in my room. At the time, I was so paranoid that my parents would find it that as soon as the pages were filled, I would rip apart each one and throw them away — I was not a trusting child by any means. I do regret that those childhood thoughts and memories are no longer with me but it’s safe to say that I have learned from my mistakes. 

Despite my love for journaling, I have never been the best at being consistent. Just recently, I realized that I hadn't written in my journal in a while. When I opened it up at the end of December, I saw that my last entry was in August — that’s about a four-month gap of not documenting my life. In perspective, that doesn’t seem like a super long stretch of time and in all honesty, it really isn’t. At the same time, the last four months of my life have been some of the most difficult yet transformative periods of time. 

When I made that realization, I was a little disappointed that I didn’t have a raw account of thoughts and emotions from such an important part of my life. I tried not to dwell on it too much and, instead, looked to use that as motivation to get back into journaling. 

It can be difficult to find time to write or even to find the right words to articulate how you’re feeling. However, I think the beauty of journaling is that it can be anything you want it to — bullet points, doodles or even pages of run-on sentences. Regardless of how you do it, it serves as a special way to reflect on yourself and your emotions, both in the present and past. 

Over the last few weeks, I have tried to find at least ten minutes in my day to quickly write something down. After about six days of doing this, I found myself naturally grabbing my journal when something was on my mind or if I just had a free minute. I also began to pack my journal in my backpack so that I had easy access to it if I was feeling motivated. Now I find myself writing at least once, or even twice, a day.

Along with making it easier for myself to gravitate towards writing, I think I was very much reminded of how good it feels to journal. There’s something so therapeutic about getting every thought in your head out — the release is almost euphoric. Not only is it mentally freeing, but it also is a really easy way to remember the past and observe personal growth. 

I most definitely want to keep this momentum with journaling going. I’ve found that my overall mood has been so much better since I have been journaling daily. Whether it is a proactive measure or something I do when I am not feeling amazing, it always helps me check my emotions and refocus myself accordingly. 

Having said that, I don’t think I would be lying if I said my journal is one of my most prized possessions. Not only does it serve as an outlet but it is also a very safe space. My journal holds secrets I have never even whispered aloud and those secrets will never leave the protection that is my black Moleskine Classic Notebook — that’s pretty magical, don’t you think?

As I get older, I find myself valuing preserved memories more and more. With that being said, I think journaling is something everyone can benefit from whether you like to write or not. You don’t have to write pages on end for it to be a journal entry, you can simply make it what you want. If anything, it will just be something for you to look back on to remember a time of your life, and I think that’s pretty special. 

Zoya Zahid is a Life Columnist for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at life@cavalierdaily.com.

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