This is Why You Should Journal

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I've kept a journal since almost the exact moment that I learned to write.

I remember sitting on the floor of my closet, writing about kindergarten and my crush on a little boy I saw every day at recess.

I remember sitting in class, ignoring my middle school teacher and writing about boys and anime and all of the things I was into at 13 years old.

In college, I traded in lined composition books covered with abstract paintings for simple Moleskine journals, and I've used them ever since. To date, I've filled at least fifteen little black unlined books with my adventures, thoughts, prayers, struggles, and victories.

I'll always cherish these journals and the unfiltered, raw, emotional words they're filled with. They're my life story in real time, and someday, they'll be a part of my legacy.

When the internet became a thing, I started a diaryland account to share my thoughts online. Then a xanga. Then, eventually, this blog you're reading today. But no matter how much I shared online, I've always kept a physical journal, just for me. I believe journaling has had a major impact on how I've gotten to where I am today, and I believe it's important for you to journal in order to reach your goals as well.

Here's why.

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Unlike typing, which can be quick and efficient, writing out your thoughts by hand is slow and methodical. It forces you to take the time to stop, reflect, and think deeply about what you're going through. Keeping a journal brings clarity to your life in ways you might otherwise miss. There have been countless times in my life where I've realized something about myself or my situation simply by taking the time it takes to write it down. It helps me process my thoughts, and it often puts life into perspective and helps me to realize that whatever I'm going through really isn't that big of a big deal in the grand scheme of things.

Also, in a culture where it's common to share our every thought, it's important to have something that's just for you. Something that reminds you that the world doesn't need to know every single struggle you're going through. Something that's sacred. It's a place that's free from judgement; a place you can write candidly and without reserve. It's a version of the story of your life that may never be told otherwise, because you're too afraid of what the world would say if you shared it.

Someday, you'll be able to look back at your journals throughout the year and remember moments that you would have otherwise forgotten. Moments filled with joy, sadness, and every single emotion that made your journey beautiful and unique. Ultimately, your journal will remind you that you lived and you lived well.

And I think everyone deserves that.