“We are tougher than we seem. We are tougher than we think. Our stories will outlive us. Let’s make them good.” ——Neil Gaiman
These days I’m trying to take pockets of time to write stories down and do more journaling. You can call it a memoir but I would prefer to just call it “stories of my life” because I want to keep things loose, with no definite timeline or structure but mostly putting down life lived. I’ve always written journals over the years but from all the moves from houses to houses to country to country, some may have gotten lost.
I do have a lot of digital journal entries that is now consolidated in the DayOne app which consists of over a thousand entries with the earliest dating back to March 1998. This was back when I used to own a Psion and brought it with me everywhere. Digital journaling for me allows me to jot down thoughts on the spur of the moment. I’m not sure I will transfer those entries into handwritten ones, for now, I don’t mind having a digital format next to the analog ones.
For “stories of my life”, my intention or goal really is to put down as many stories as I can remember from my life so that I my kids will one day have something to read and for them to understand why I am the way I am, why I think the way I think, and why I do the things I do. I’ve noticed as I’ve filled a few pages that doing this journaling the analog way has a calming and meditating effect especially since I am writing in the “traditional” cursive way, the way I was taught in grade school and at university with calligraphy class. I get to unload all the thoughts swirling in my head. And when my pen moves quicker, I try to refocus and slow down. I found that as my kids wrote Chinese characters most of their life at grade school, they don’t really know how to write cursive and also have a bit of problem reading cursive, hence I am trying to write clearly and neatly as I can.
Not exactly sure why I started this side project, maybe it was those little signs that got me started. A bit of nudge from my daughter to write things down before I get dementia (yes, thank you for that jolt of reality) and then her gifting me with a 3-year diary with prompts, or was it listening to an excerpt of Barack Obama’s memoirs, or maybe after listening to Michelle Obama’s memoirs? Or maybe these were in my reticular activating system or RAS (something I learned from listening to Mel Robbin’s High 5 Habit audiobook).
Nevertheless, I am enjoying these pockets of time to journal.
Do you journal?
Analog or digital?
Would love to hear your experience and/or approach to journaling.
Thank you for reading.
I love journalling just for myself. These loose thoughts and moments of my life are my best memories. I discovered that journalling with no pressure to perfect look of spread, give me calmness.
It’s something magical in traditional memory keeping like this.
So so so true, Kinga! And I guess that is why I don’t want to put pressure on making my pages pretty and also not share because once I do that, there will be pressure. Journaling brings a sense of calmness and in a way I find it helps to quiet all these thoughts in my head.
Thanks for sharing! This post really mirrors my thoughts and what prompted me to start organizing the digital/analog mess that was my journal.