J17–Writing My Story: The Value of Journaling

Tune your ears to the mournful strains of keening violins as I recount my tragic tale:

Scribbled in crooked cursive across a chalky turquoise background with a stark white bloom, the words “I, Abigail Grace Kenyon, Started this diary on October 2, 2013” commenced my short-lived—and sparse—relationship with journaling. The opening sentences to my sixteenth entry accurately embody my on-and-off affair with diary-keeping: “Don’t mention it; I know. It has been a million years since I last wrote.” With a total of twenty-five entries, on May 31, 2015—the day before I turned thirteen—my pen never again graced the crisp white pages of my journal.

The tragedy of my tale lies in the value of what I lost. Yesterday, I rolled out the top drawer of my desk and rescued my forlorn diary from a stack of uncharted doodles. Skimming several entries, I became reacquainted with my eleven and twelve-year-old self—her dreams, fears, sorrows, joys, plans, resolutions, stories, and even her stationary: she sat across from me, spanning the age of five years—which might as well have been an eternity, for I had forgotten all about her. And as she stared back at me across the years, I understood my sixteen-year-old self better. Now I assimilated where I had come from, what I had overcome, what I had carelessly castaway. Yet, after my twenty-fifth entry, sixty spotless pages gaped blankly up at me as the only chronicle of my life since then ‘til now. In that moment, I felt the pain of loss.

Journaling allows you to trace your life and appreciate the bigger picture: and studying the bigger picture illuminates the present fragment. For this reason, I have been prompted to renew my familiarity with diary-keeping, as the scribe of my journey. My style of journaling, I’m afraid, resembles my ten-page rambling method of outlining—a pinch of dreams, a teaspoon of hopes, all seasoned with a touch of history: a bit of everything. As I fully realize that the same pitfall of my previous journaling attempt will return to haunt me anew, I have resolved to set a goal of jotting down my thoughts at least once every week. I took another precautionary measure: to encourage me on my spiritual journaling journey, I have set up a new—very new—blog, Confessions, on which I will publish mostly biblical reflections among other posts.

To whomever has already begun their chronicle of life, let me congratulate you! And to anyone who has yet to embark, let me invite you to join me on the voyager of journaling to chart our unknown paths by the light of the stars!

4 thoughts on “J17–Writing My Story: The Value of Journaling

  1. Oh, Abby. 😀 I love (and need) journaling, even though I am not always faithful! And please do send me the link when you get Confessions up and running (if you want to) — I would love to read it! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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