A few months ago I received a gift from my mother. At first I didn’t understand why she gave it to me and it kind of sat on my dresser, ignored and unused. It was a journal she had seen and thought was “me”. So a little time passed and it was moved all over my bedroom, used as a paperweight mostly.
I never imagined that it would become such an extension of me in such a short space of time. I tend to be a bottler. All my emotions, my thoughts, internalized. My best friend used to tell me that I needed to find an outlet because it wasn’t healthy and eventually I would burst at the seams from all that I was holding in.
The turning point for this previously unused journal came when someone very close to me passed away. Grief like you could never imagine overwhelmed me and I shut down. I closed myself off and because of that I wasn’t able to grieve properly. I didn’t want to hear anything, no apologies, and no ‘things happen for a reason’ speeches. It all just annoyed me because it felt like everyone wanted me to forget what had happened. But how could I? Eventually, after some time had passed my mom decided enough was enough and staged an ‘intervention’. She told me that I couldn’t go on this way and then she told me that situations like this were the reason she had given me the journal. It was meant to be used as an outlet for all that I was holding onto. She explained to me that writing things down as it happened or how I saw them would give me better perspective on what was going on around me. It would help to organize the entire jumble in my head.
After our ‘talk’ I picked up the journal and looked at it with new eyes. I picked up a favorite pen of mine and cracked open the cover. I put pen to paper and started to write. The words flowed out of me almost as if they were pulled against my will. It was so liberating to see all that had rolled around in my head, laid out in bright detail on the pages in front of me. At that point I fell in love with the idea of journaling my thoughts. From that day, I take every opportunity to write something down, no matter how small and inane it may seem. My journal travels with me wherever I go. At the end of each day, I take a moment to jot down the things that captured my attention or ideas I may have. It has changed me in a way. I no longer have all these thoughts and emotions bottled up inside me. My journal gives me an outlet. I know that people would say that’s what a best friend is for, but for someone like me, who finds it hard to articulate what I’m feeling, this way works for me. And besides, being my best friend means she can read my journal anytime. She understands and doesn’t judge. Our friendship is in no way lacking because of how I choose to express myself.