The act of writing in a journal, whether in the morning or evening, has been nearly a daily exercise for me since the beginning of high school. What began as a way to calm down before bed has developed into a prolific activity that serves as a quiet meditation for my creative mind. My journals are filled with reflections on life, ideas for projects, bird-brained attempts to answer life's questions, and stabs at emotional problem-solving.
In short... I journal for survival.
For the longest time I knew of no one else in my family that journal-ed with such ferocity as me. That is, until a conversation with my uncle last year ( -- earlier this year?), where I learned that he, too, finds great meaning and help in his journal. I'm not alone!! More than that, I know where it comes from!! I told him at the time how nice it was to find a kindred spirit within the family. Friends are invaluable, but there's something about identifying with a family member that provides a sense of security about one's temperament.
All my life I've called the little books full of my handwriting "journals." Traditionally, they should be called "diaries," I suppose. (At least that's what Merriam-Webster and Wikipedia have to say about it.) But there is something so immature about the word "diary," isn't there? The only time it has sounded like a thing any sane adult - well, *sane* [wink,wink] - would consider saying was when I heard my friend Jeremy, from Australia, say the word. "Diary," he said, unwittingly legitimizing the word to my Laurel-brain.
As pathetic/emo as it may be, I have a few journals that have traveled with me to every new city since I left my parents' home. I do absolutely nothing with them, but I like knowing they're with me. Maybe they mark the first noticeable change in the evolution of my journal-ing, as they are full of poems and emotionally-charged ink drawings, not just a record of daily events. It's the time of my life when the journey of embracing "who I am" began. Even now, these journals sit in a few places in the house: some in my sewing room, others in the windowsills.
It's the symbolic (and well, literal), way of always acknowledging the full self. Whoever we will become doesn't matter much if we don't know who we were. Our relationships with our pasts never end.
I'm not very good at filling picture frames, as you can see. I don't have too many; they're placed where I want them, but I'm just really bad at making prints. As I continue to work on the sewing room I will fix that!