Friday, November 8, 2013

Journals Help Me Discover Me

"What could you do better for your children and your children’s children than to record the story of your life, your triumphs over adversity, your recovery after a fall, your progress when all seemed black, your rejoicing when you had finally achieved? Some of what you will write may be humdrum dates and places, but there will also be rich passages that will be quoted by your posterity.”
{President Spencer W. Kimball}
My ten year-old dream house 
When people talk about talents, or the church has a talent show that they want people to participate in, I usually go through this process where I think hard about my talents and realize that I don't have any of the showcase type talents they are looking for. Sure, I can throw a softball, bake some cookies, drive a stick shift car, but other than that, no singing, no instruments, no dancing, no poetry. The last time I got to thinking about my talents I discovered something that I had never considered to be a talent before, but really, I think it is: Journal writing. I don't mean to gloat, but I am a dang good journal writer. 
Not so good of a speller
I LOVE tangible memories, like journals, home videos, pictures, folders of kindergarten artwork, girls camp t-shirts, etc. My family will tell you, every time I go home to visit I always pull out a few home videos, kick back and watch the younger me (and company). If I'm not watching home movies I can be found up in the attic digging through my little attic space filled with boxes of random things that always bring back memories of different parts of my life. Last time I was home I read through some journals which is one of my most favorite activities to do and ended up bringing a few home with me to read through them more thoroughly: 

Sometimes I wonder: Who is ever going to look through all these journals. What will happen to them when I die? Is it even worth it to spend so much time writing in them? 

I discovered a talk by Brad Wilcox a few weeks ago that helped me see that it really is worth it, perhaps not for other people, but definitely  for me. The talk is called Why Write It. This line really stood out to me, "I have found my personal journal an ideal environment in which to 'become.' It is a perfect place for me to think, feel, discover, expand, remember, and dream." I love that so much and completely agree. My journals help me discover me. As I write my life story, I learn things about me that I don't think I would have learned in any other way. It's a place fore me to look back and see who I once was and then understand better who I currently am. It's a safe place for me to be completely open and free with all my thoughts, feelings, desires, etc. 

As I read old journals, I see growth and progress. I see things that I once struggled with and realize that I still struggle with those exact same things. I see how I've changed, mistakes that I've made and how I overcame them. I see what was important to me in different periods of my life, for example, I have journals filled with pictures of my hands and the color nail polish I was currently wearing. Later my entries changed to be filled with baseball scores/statistics/newspaper clippings, my feelings about Mike Mussina being traded to the Yankees, Cal Ripken's final days an Oriole. I have far too many a journal filled with my feelings about boys that I had crushes on, also my first kiss, my first date, falling in love with my husband, feelings about the decision to marry him, my wedding, my mission, my baby.
One of the many journals where I was OBSESSED with baseball.
And one where I was obsessed with anything nail polish
My journals are MY story. In fact, one of my silly little dreams is to someday use my journals to write a book about me, about my life. If not for anyone else, than just for me. 

Hellen Keller once said, "I don't want to live in a hand-me-down world of others' experiences. I want to write about me, my discoveries, my fears, my feelings, about me."

I love having this blog so that I can show off pictures to family, but also as a journal. A place to store memories, just as my personal journal does. 

Life is so precious to me. From the big fun family vacations to the little nitty-gritty everyday nuances. I know that there are things to learn at every point of this journey and journal writing helps me do just that. I 100% agree with Brother Wilcox when he says, "My personal journal is helping me become more like Jesus Christ and reach my highest potential. That is why I will continue to keep my journal--whether my grandchildren ever read it or not." 

Amen to that. A-MEN. 

1 comment:

  1. I love in your dream house how AJ's room has bars on the window, and that you wrote bathroom over a tree!