I’m no stranger to writing down my thoughts. I’ve been doing so for most of my life. I was inspired to get back into it last fall, after a somewhat challenging year. I started writing daily gratitude in a simple notebook I’d no doubt originally purchased for the pretty cover, but promptly forgot in one of my drawers. I found it again, shrugged, and decided it would do. I like making lists. I wanted to be more mindful. I didn’t need anything fancy. I just needed functionality.
It wasn’t long before those lists become longer and more detailed. I found myself writing little P.S. notes to myself, for things I’d thought of or learned that day that didn’t necessarily fit into gratitude. I realized I was enjoying the process so much that I needed more.
So I bought a diary. It was clothbound. It had a ribbon page marker. It was decorated with cute foil animals.
I continued to utilize my gratitude notebook, but now I was official. I was going to be someone who Kept a Diary. And….I faltered a little. I definitely had things to say, but I was used to short notes, and suddenly I was facing blank pages in a way that felt different than the blank notebook pages. (I blame the fancy animal cover.)
I wouldn’t be dissuaded. I made myself write in my diary every day. Some days, I only put a few sentences down. Some days, I was annoyed with myself because I realized I’d said something similar last week.
Like many habits, such as meditation and changing my diet, there’s been a point where I’m going through the motions, and then one day….it clicks. I found my diary became a comfort. If I had a bad day, I wrote. If I fought with a friend, I wrote. If I had something amazing happen, I wrote. I felt genuine distress when I was going through illness and lost good writing days to the need for healing sleep. I was so excited when I finally felt well enough to pick up my pen!
Writing down my thoughts every (or every other) day has improved my moods. It’s make me more creative and a better writer. I’ve grown a soft spot for my cursive handwriting, which I used to think was ugly. If I only have one page of things to say, I don’t worry about it. Lately, though, I find myself happily filling up multiple pages.
I’ve listed many things I’m grateful for since digging out that old notebook. At the top of the list? Finding my voice again.
– Sara Myriad