Journaling can be valuable, shows growth

August 24, 2021

I have kept journals for almost my whole life. On top of my dresser, there are a variety of notebooks and loose papers that I have poured my heart onto. Seven-year-old me writing about how much I wanted a dog, sixth grade me ranting about a truly awful music teacher I had. I wrote whenever I was really emotional, or just bored. In March of 2020 I found myself with an uncomfortable amount of time on my hands, and I decided to use it for getting back into a habit that I missed: daily journaling. 

Every night for almost a year and a half, I’ve written about my day. Sometimes it’s two or three or four pages about a specific event or emotion, sometimes, it’s a sentence or two. In April and May of 2020, many one-sentence entries are simply: “Did not do anything today. It rained.” But there are also in-depth pages about how anxious I was, how much I missed my friends, how I both loved my family and was infuriated by them. Many pages are about a vague hope for a future of hugs with my friends, concerts, a world of just slightly less fear. It’s fascinating to go back and read the entries from that time. It makes me even more grateful for the things I’m able to do now with my friends 

My journal is both a record of the history of my own life and a record of the several global events that occurred while writing. I can trace the way the pandemic affected my life and the lives of my loved ones. I’m sure in the future, one of my descendants will find some historical value in my writing. I find personal value in looking through my past entries. I can see how much I have grown in my abilities to cope with tough situations. It gives me perspective over my past mistakes and allows me to make better decisions in the future. Journaling is a way for me to reflect over the past day. It prevents the days and weeks from running together, and I can’t wait to read my entries of today in the future and think, “Wow, I have grown so much since then.” 

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