11.17.2014

journaling

I have always wanted to keep a journal. I picture a cornucopia of notebooks overflowing with stories, profound observations, and a snapshot of what my life was like when I wrote it. I picture future generations poring over my words, marveling at the life I led.

It's not that I'm so narcissistic to think that I'm oh-so-much-more-fascinating than everyone else. It's that I think everyone has a story, and everyone's story is worth sharing. I sure wish my ancestors had kept a journal - we don't often get to hear the inner workings of our relatives' minds.

The problem is, there have been waaaaay too many embarrassing moments when childhood journals were discovered in memory boxes, when the private angst I spilled onto the page as a youth resulted in howls of laughter from both my sisters and present-day me. Or the pretentious prose just comes off as annoying, rather than just sharing a story.

Now every time I try to journal, I find myself trying to edit so that Future Me won't make fun of Present Me. The resulting words end up dry, factual, and dull. No emotion. No personality.

In fact, I think the only times I've ever successfully kept a journal have been during my travels to other countries. I love looking back on the details of the trip that have long since escaped my memory. I love reading the funny quotes recorded and the highlights of the day. It's so much easier to journal when you feel you're doing something out of the ordinary.

My goal for this next year is to record everything. Ordinary or extraordinary. Emotional or factual. Silly or profound. It's getting written down, because I want to remember it all when I don't remember it anymore. I want my child and future children to know what their early childhood was like from my point of view.

My word of the year for 2014 (in place of New Year's Resolutions) was discipline. I feel really good about my word. I hit my lowest weight ever in 2014. I started to work from home. I read a good amount of books. I stayed somewhat faithful to writing on my blog. I even flossed a few times.

I know it's only mid-November, but I've already chosen a word for 2015 - stories. I'm writing my own story, I'm connecting with others to learn their stories, and I'm reading even more fiction and biographies.

This post was inspired by this article.

Do you journal (successfully)? Do you use prompts, or just write what's in your head?

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