Saturday, May 26, 2012

A stack of me

How journaling helps me make sense of my world
                                 12 journals in 17 years
For as long as I can remember I have been writing. First in what we call 'poesie albums' in Holland, which were friendship albums where you'd write a nice poem for a friend and paste a drawing of a cat next to it. When I was about 13 years old, I got my first journal for my birthday. It was pink and had one of those tiny locks on it - the ones that you can pick with a paperclip. I wrote about the things that kept me busy: boys, school, girlfriends, my family, my dreams for the future. Basically, in all the years since, not much has changed. I still write about the same things, albeit in a slightly different way. Or so, I tell myself.

These journals are harder to find these days - luckily I have a stash!
For the past ten years, I have always used notebooks which were sold at Chinese stores in Amsterdam. I have them in all different colors. Up until now, no other notebook is accepted - this is one of the few things I am extremely picky about. 

It's been said that people with journals tend to be more successfull (really, it's been said!). I'm not sure that is really the case, but I do believe that writing a journal helps personal development. After writing the same negative crap to yourself over and over again, there has to be a point were you realise (and I did, and do, all the time) that it's time to change course.

People always ask me if I write everyday, which I don't. I don't think it's necessary to keep a log of all the things that happened in my life. It's more important to take time to reflect on those things that are that important that I feel like writing about them. Having a rhythym for writing (at least every week, for instance) does help.

'This journal belongs to Amis Boersma, others are NOT allowed to read this'
I (and yes, it's very Oprah) often take time to be grateful for the things that happen in my life. I write down specific events or people I am happy with and I do find that overall I am happier now than before. I am more at easy with how my life is. In a way, my journal carries me through the good and the bad.

Would I want you to be able to read my journals after I am gone? I'm not sure. The crazy talk is better disregarded - and there's quite a lot of that. So, maybe if you only read the gratitude parts, yes. For now, I'll just stick to being grateful for yet another day on this planet.

Keeping a journal supports personal development

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