Recently, I finished a journal and opened up a new one. For those of you who are frequent journalers, you may be able to understand that feeling of closing out a journal and starting another. It can be a significant transition. My journal has always been a loyal companion along the way. Never judging what I write in its crisp linen pages. Always allowing space for me to go on as long as I need to about a topic until I have fully expressed my thoughts and emotions.
I tend go through phases with my journaling. Sometimes writing for a few days in a row and sometimes letting a few weeks slip by between entries. My most recent journal started in May 2016 and it carried me up until last week. This particular journal was especially hard to close out, because it contained all of the entries from the time when my Dad was sick and after he passed away.
As I was sitting out on the balcony preparing to start my new journal, it occurred to me that my journals have so much information and yet I rarely go back and read them. Mostly, I use them to process a topic that is weighing on my mind or to brainstorm ideas for the future. Of course, I have also used them to document conversations with crazy ex-boyfriends or deal with stress in my work or family life. Once the information is written down, I tend to just let it go.
Sometimes I feel like I learn some of the same lessons over and over. And maybe I do. If I took time to read my old journals (or my blog entries for that matter) then maybe I wouldn't have to experience that feeling. So I decided to try an experiment.
My journals date back to high school. Of course there are years in there where I barely wrote anything and other years where I wrote an entire novel about my life. It would feel too overwhelming to try and read all of that information in a few days or even a few weeks. So instead, I have decided to pick one day and go back through all of my journals to see where I was and what I was doing on or around that day throughout the years.
I am not sure what I will learn from this exercise. Or whether I will learn anything at all. But I am curious to see where it leads. My journals are back in Michigan so I won't have access to them until this weekend. But as soon as I finish my little expedition, I will share the results with all of you.