Monday, August 3, 2015

Monday Musings: Do you journal?

past few journals piling up 

Do you journal?

When I suggest any form of writing to my students or youth, they either look at me funny or go back to their phone screens. Journalling has probably never crossed their minds.

But just as I was packing (unpacking) my books to make way for humblet (who's still inside of me) I found a whole treasure trove of past journals. Reading them made me embarrassed first of all, then grateful that I had somehow preserved these memories.

Read on if you'd like to hear my thoughts on writing -

A youth snarled at her mum during a parent-teacher meeting, 'you have never loved me, I hate you!' And without giving her mum a chance to explain herself, the young lady stormed out of the hall leaving her mother in a mess of tears.

It's human tendency to hold onto bad memories and forget the good ones. My counselling lecturer told us at one time, 'consider carefully before you say something negative about another person, because it will take ten positive statements of higher or equal scale for the person to recover from it.'
How frightening the human mind is, that we take criticisms so seriously and yet take such a long time to accept something good about ourselves.

Writing is extremely beneficial in this battle of the mind. It is a precious and intimate individual thought-processing time. When one journals, one writes about one's own thoughts, feelings and experiences. In doing so, we go through the entire day once through and can then judge more objectively since some time has passed.

I usually write for about ten to fifteen minutes, because that's all I can afford. But it is sufficient to bring clarity. Any significant events in the day I want to remember, lessons I learnt today and so on.

Perhaps a weirder thing I record are my dreams. I am a dreamer. Riding a whale shark, living in a gyroscope underwater, building a home out of books in a forest etc. I have intense and vivid dreams which I want to pen down, lest I forget them when and if they actually happen (the more realistic ones of course).  Like the day I fell off my bicycle and earned a huge scar under my right knee, I dreamt just a few nights before about a horrendous rollerblading accident at the very same park.


Should that young student or her mother have journalled their past years together, she would have quickly found her sweeping statement to be untrue. She has simply chosen to forget the fond memories over the years and decided to hold on to unnecessary bitterness which led to hatred. It will be so hard to help her to recall that time her mum spent nights sewing that beautiful dress for her first-ever concert performance, or that time they snuck out together for that late-night movie, or maybe even the more recent birthday celebration where her mum traded-in her own phone to get her daughter the latest iphone 6.

We can only be thankful for what we remember. Let's choose to hold onto good memories and quickly brush off the dust from bad memories whilst learning from them.

Would you give journalling a try? Have you been journalling? What insights have you gained?


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