Journaling – A Different View

Talk of irony! Or maybe familiarity? I just arrived home from a two-week vacation and have to be honest. I didn’t read Sally’s post this past Wednesday until yesterday and I’d already written mine for today. Well, she read my mind or maybe I read hers, we know each other that well. We both blogged about journals and journaling! I cross my heart, hope to die, we did NOT touch base on this. I decided to still post mine. It ties into this week’s prompt. Writing your own take. It’s a subject we wrote about in our Telling Tales and Sharing Secrets. The same subject. Different ideas. So, here’s mine.

What came first, the chicken or the egg? It’s an age-old saying we all have probably used at one time or another. I then wonder, what came first, the journal or the writer? Most likely the writer, followed by the journal’s beckoning. I know I have answered its call. I have purchased so many journals, displaying them would look like an art gallery. I love the cover designs, the different types of paper, lined and unlined, the size, the quotes. So, I buy one I can’t be without and write in it for a while, then my eye drifts to another and I pick it up, open the cover, and start writing. Different journals are a candy shop I delight in, lending me my own personal newsletter.

A few weeks ago, I decided to sort my journals into those I’d written in from those that were yet empty. I was on a mission to fill up the “used” ones and move on to those not yet touched. Over the years, I’d labeled journals by dates, travel, and a multitude of other subjects. I began to count how many I had and even surprised myself. There were lots. My first thought was wondering what I’d written so many years ago. 

The second thought centered around my children. I knew the journals openly displayed on my bookshelf were nothing so personal they couldn’t be read by family. I had written so many thoughts and feelings. I wanted to share a part of myself and history they didn’t know. What legacy should be left for them? After all, I’m seventy-two and the years ahead are much smaller than those behind.

The third thought was wondering if there were some pages in my journals I wouldn’t want them to read? Our lives had traveled down many roads. Was there any written part that would unnecessarily hurt one of them? Maybe they shouldn’t read everything? I decided to go back to my beginning journal and read each one, which I hadn’t done in years, some never. As I suspected, there were pages that would serve no purpose except to confuse or hurt one or all my children – the time I was unfairly angry at our son and wrote things I never dreamed I would, the time one of our teen-aged daughters threatened to leave home and my written desire to never see her again. I journaled the truth at that time, but it served no purpose now except to hurt. I just plain tore them out. I’ve had no regret. I’m glad the pages have drifted somewhere into the universe. The essence of who I am remains, all emotions included, in my journals. 

I’m not done yet. There are more journals to read, page by page. By the way, did I mention how personally entertaining it is to read what you’ve written nearly forty years ago?