Tag Archives: Journaling

One and a Half Regrets

People say to live life with no regrets, but that is almost impossible. 1½  regrets is pretty darn close and I’ll take it. The first one is silly: deleting a computer file that was critical. Not life changing, but I wish I didn’t delete the file. Now for the eyebrow-raising half regret.

I wish I started writing sooner. I thought not writing sooner was like a ball-and-chain made of pen and paper. Tears and joyful recounts were told to my parents and not to the thirsty pages of my journal. My thoughts were trapped in my mind, and not my eternal soul. I could be a more developed writer, and have a different, possibly better, perspective on life. Sounds perfect, right? But just like with all time-travel sagas in movies, even the small pebble on a pond makes ripples.

I like who I am, who I am becoming, with great tribute to writing. After-school hours would have been purple pens gracefully caressing off-white pages, but forgoing school clubs, reading and friends. Would I still be the same person if I started writing sooner? I’ve gone through some challenging experiences, and writing would have been a soothing companion, but what would I have otherwise not learned? Writing is life changing; how would this pebble’s ripple have altered me?

That’s why it is only half a regret. I honestly don’t know if I would change when I started writing, given the chance. I cannot go back in time, but with writing I can see back in time.

This piece got me published in the Creative Communications Fall 2015 Essay contest! 🙂



I Look Back

I have kept a journal on and off my whole life. I started my first journal when I was three and had my mom write with me at least twice a week. It’s interesting to read and see the world through a three, then four, then five, then six, and then beginnings of a seven year old. The things that were important to me, the people long forgotten. It captured moments and memories as plain fact, but no thought from my young self. Memories recorded from my parents building our family’s house to my first day of school to good recipes.

Then what is interesting is that I recently cleaned a drawer that a eight-year-old self pack ratted everything away in. Every amusement park ticket stub, family game night score card, things I made with my cousins, all there. It’s so interesting to see the paper objects that captured memories and how important to me they were at that time. I found a half written through journal I kept after first learning to write. The Bible verses that stuck out to me, notes passed back and forth from the Tooth Fairy, dreams. I also found short stories written and how silly some of them were and other stories were gracefully molded into something somewhat good. I was amazed that my young self knew how to form lines like that.

For Christmas of my Eighth grade year, my sister got me a book called ‘642 things to write about’. I practiced with perceptions, imagery, and slowly revealing the situation. This is when my need for expression through words and description really started. I had a compulsion to write and explain things in my mind. It helped my sort my life out and put it into words that now I am grateful to look back on. It was weird, but I would get almost a physical light ache if I had not written in a while. How amazing language is!

But by later in that spring, I still wasn’t getting my writer’s full of words and my mind down on paper. And so Marshalls got a fourteen-year-old riffling through all of their notebooks until she found the perfect one. It was a new experience for me, and it was exciting! I sat down to write and imagined everything that I liked or wish the author would have added to a novel written in journal form. The date, where I am, the time, and what day of the week it is, always end with a fact not a thought or feeling, the number of days I have written and a piece of advice to my future self and a picture to represent the day even though I am a horrible drawer. And of course a colorful pen, never pencil nor black or blue.

I have been writing with those same rules now for years and have only missed two days. My average length is two pages with thoughts, reactions, and experiences. My longest entry is fifteenth pages in a little more than four hours. Panic attacks are written in those pages. Homecoming dances are written in those pages. Rededicating my life to Christ are written in those pages. The very first rough drafts of my novel Varietal is written in those pages. My life is written in those pages.

I then started this blog in February of 2015 and have loved it so much. But there are some things I feel that I just can’t put on here. Sure there have been times when I felt like I wanted to quit writing my journal, but I just stick with it. It is mind-blowing how far I have come from a child me twirling around in my kitchen dictating to my mom what I did that day to my thoughts and ideals of today.

I just wonder when I look back at myself now years from now, what I will I think? What will I see? Will I take my ‘Future Self’ advice?


Some, not all, of my journals over the years

This was an exercise in writing my first memoir that I posted.