The “Why” of Journaling

My journal is moving along.

I am one happy camper as far as that’s concerned. I have kept a diary and wrote long hand since I was child. Even when I first arrived here in 2000, I would write in those elegant journals – pouring my heart and soul into every word. At the same time, I was sort of writing online but in a very spontaneous way.

I still have a blank journal from years back – a holiday present from someone who used to answer to “Husband of Pinay New Yorker,” (now answers to “ex”) – I haven’t shaken off the urge to write and chronicle what happens in my life, what I feel and think about – be it in a dozen words, a picture or page after page of entries. Somehow writing those things longhand was always my preferred mode over typing, despite my typing speed of 90wpm.

Not too long ago, I discovered art journaling and that opened a new channel of expression for me. I found that I did not have to relay every single thought or feeling or memory in words– I could represent them with my own version of art.
Decorate a Journal for Swap-Bot I have always loved writing. The spoken word, to me, has always been about expression. Writing is a means of memorializing my day to day. I like that I’m able to do that with words, with color, and express so much with just one photo.. or two.

I journal like I blog– principally for my personal benefit, so that I can capture the day or a thought. Because at the end of the day, we tend to forget. During some moment in the future, remembering might actually help us.

I know that it has helped me to move forward remembering what happened so many years ago. It has helped me to reflect on how far I’ve come when I go back to those days and moments I had already forgotten. And sometimes I do need to be reminded. I need to go back to that “once upon a time” moment to remind myself to go in a certain direction to avoid the pitfalls of yesterday.

I like going back to those moments when a word or a phrase I read now brings me back to memories of “onion soup”. I like going back to both the dark and happy times because it lets me see how far I’ve come. In my weakest moments, remembering helps me to move on. During those moments of triumph, I feel grateful as I read about how I was in a very different place, not too long ago.

I journal because I want to learn from the mistakes of the past and cherish the happy times that have come after. My journals remind me I have time and again overcome, and whatever comes my way, I will be able to handle.

Why do you journal?

Related post: The “How” of Journaling

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Hits and misses

My Altered Book: Layout in Progress: HAPPINESS Multi page layout

This is the current layout I’m working on and as you can see, it is far from finished.  There are some mishaps that need correcting (like my “H” seems a little wobbly and will need some “beefing up”), and I might have made a mistake painting the panel across “S” in red in the same color.  Of course I can always cut out that portion that is not agreeing with the final look I have in mind so I can have the last “S” in bright yellow green over a different final background.  (I know I am making sense only to myself.)

I wanted to take a photo of the layouts uncut but I got too excited and cut it up over lunch today.  =(  I haven’t been good with the updates, but the other layouts have come out rather nicely.  I have the photos, I just haven’t had the time to write a blog post. 

The boy, for one, has sequestered my laptop over the weekend (since it was a long weekend because of Columbus Day today), and while I like typing on the iPad with my Zagfolio keyboard, it isn’t quite the same.  I have gotten used to editing pictures straight from my memory card, uploading to my Flickr account, then posting it as a graphic here, and no matter how others rave over the tablets, I still think they work best in helping us enjoy what’s online, but creating and pulling things together require more than they can offer.

I have proudly finished five ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) but I failed to take into account that today is a holiday — hence, no post office.  I dropped them off at the mailbox anyway, hoping to send them off on their merry way.  And I picked up some beautiful Yuzen Origami sheets for some Oriental ATCs due on Wednesday, and try as I might to find a suitable origami geisha or kimono doll tutorial, I am leaning towards doing a simple collage.  Sometimes I wonder if I’m in over my head with the swaps I’ve signed up for over at Swap-bot, but save for one major mistake in my pea-brained misunderstanding of instructions for one swap, I’ve been having a blast.

In fact, I got a surprise message today from a swap-partner-to-be for one of the ones I signed up for who appears to be reader number 8 of my blog.  It was one of those simple messages that made me smile and almost want to jump up and down for joy and do a happy dance.  Small world.. I did warn her, though, that she might have the wrong blog. (I thought I only had 7 readers.)  But the truth of the matter is, I am so amazed at what a small world this is for us to have actually bumped into each other on Swap-bot.  See, my blog is identified in my profile, and swap etiquette dictates that one should check out the profiles of the people you are sending out to to make it an extra special swap by taking into consideration what they want and don’t want.  And she found me.. or rather, we got assigned to be swap partners. =)