09 December 2009
Journaling has a purpose
I just started a historical romance novel by Julia Quinn entitled THE SECRET DIARIES OF MISS MIRANDA CHEEVER. Ok, I know it's "brain candy", but every once in a while, that is exactly what you need...ok, let's be honest: sometimes that is exactly what I need. Anyway, the premise of the book is that at the age of ten, the heroine decides to keep a journal. This struck a chord in me because it was around the same age that I first started keeping a journal (as if at age 10, I had something vital and important going on in life that needed recording) Some of her initial entries remind me of my original diaries/journals (and yes, I still have most of them): "Today I ate string beans and they were really good." (even then, I was all about food!) Looking back, I recognize that there were other things I probably should have been journalling about (my parents' divorce and subsequently living in a household with two mommas and five sibling/cousins, moving to NYC and the horrors of living there), but I didn't have the words within me...or maybe I just hadn't embraced the idea of my "voice" and the importance of it...so my early journals are pretty pathetic and funny. (And no, you cannot read them! hahaha)
Then as I got older, my journals took on the usual "oh, I am so in love" vein of the typical teenager and young adult in her early 20s. But even then, I wasn't necessarily "true" to my voice. There are a lot of experiences that I went through that I should have recorded that are lost in the annals of time because I didn't write about them at the time. Friends will say to me, "don't you remember when we...?" and I must confess that I have no recollection of whatever they are talking about. Maybe that is why it is so important to me now to commemorate EVERYTHING. Everyone knows I will pull out my camera in a minute and take the picture - what they may not know is the picture usually ends up in a journal with the whole story behind when the picture was taken and what the story is behind the picture. I have photo books of almost every vacation taken, most birthdays celebrated (mine and others), and lots of meals cooked and/or eaten. It's all about preserving the memories.
BUT when things get tough...the journaling stops or gets suspended. It's like I lose my voice again when I get overwhelmed by stuff. Even with this blog - when I am in a "good" place, I write (and write and write)...but when things are spinning out of control (as it has for most of this year), I get silent. It's not that I don't have anything to say - in fact, it is probably the opposite and I probably have TOO much to say. But since I find it difficult to express my own voice, I definitely am not trying to hear the voices of others making comments/suggestions/opinions. Because just like Job's friends when he was going through his trials, everyone who comes at you with their advice and opinions doesn't necessarily have your best interests at heart.
I am finding out though...there is a purpose to journaling and some times it ain't even about me. The sharing of experiences - good, bad, horrific - has inherent within it a blessing. I guess that is why we are encouraged to "testify of the goodness of the Lord" - by telling you how I overcame a situation, you may be encouraged to keep holding on through your trial. So, it is my determination and hope that I will keep journaling (or blogging) and giving voice to...well, my voice. I understand that everyone will not understand what I choose to share...or how I choose to express myself. I may be setting myself up for backlash and moments of "why did that person feel they had the right to say that to me?" But you know what...that is not (necessarily) my problem and may be more their issue not mine. It ultimately is MY life to share or not share as I wish.
I keep telling y'all that 2010 is going to be a different kind of year. I trust that my true friends will not judge me - or at least, not too harshly. After all, you all really should know me by now, I would think. And I am confident that the "haters" will show themselves for who they are and will subsequently be weeded out (with a quickness). My new mantra for 2010: Life is too short to surround yourself with people who make you cry or feel bad or make your skin crawl. (hahaha) Only positive people and supportive energy going forward. I think it is going to be an interesting ride, don't you?