My Journaling Journey: PART 1
“If you read someone else’s diary, you get what you deserve.”
― David Sedaris
I have this time-killing habit of watching YouTube videos of mind-numbingly beautiful models. I don’t know why I do it, but I guess it’s the lure of glamour. 😀 Occasionally, I gather something useful from them, other than oodles of jealousy, like the recipe for a salad, or ideas on how to do my living room!
So, there was this model, talking about how she gets up every morning, has warm water with lime (that’s the super-in thing, seems to have gained even more traction than green smoothies, hasn’t it?), and before I get distracted further, coming back to the model, she said she has warm water with lime and writes one sentence each day!
One sentence? I had to rewind it and see it again. Yep! Yes! That’s right! One sentence ONLY.
Now, I don’t know about your sense of humor, but this struck me as really funny. Whoever heard of writing one sentence a day? Ideas began to race in my head of what those sentences must be.
I got up today. <OVER>
The weather Is really hot today. <OVER>
I am grateful to be alive and healthy. <OVER> — Now, this one isn’t funny 😊
If the sentence were somewhat long, it would be something like:
I got up today, had a glass of water, and gazed at the sky, and felt grateful for the sky and its blueness and vastness <OVER> (That is the longest, cheesiest one-liner I could compose 😋)
I’d be blown if I understood how she gained peace & calm from jotting one-sentences like she claimed to but let us assume she knew what she was talking about or else, she was lying. The latter seemed more probable. In any case, she was disciplined, ha-ha.
Somewhere during this journey of judging her, I realized she wrote a sentence. At least a sentence. And what did I, sitting on my high horse do? Watch these videos all the time but not put an ounce of energy into applying any of the tips. No salads, no smoothies, nothing! Who was I to make fun of her when I was not even writing a word. And as soon as the laughter had erupted earlier, so now surfaced the shame. I am not such a bad person, eh, I go from wicked to remorseful pretty soon. 😋
So that’s how I decided to get up each morning and have a glass of lime water (warm water please) and write a sentence or more in my filthy, gathering-dust-from-three-years diary.
Now, if you observe, there is a “Part 1” to the heading, in the hope & belief that there will be more that I’d learn and write about, but if there isn’t, just know that one of the following three happened
I ran out of pages and Amazon isn’t accepting non-essential delivery (okay, I know it is, but it has just started)
I was too lazy to go buy lemons.
I had the lemons but was lazy to warm the water.
The initial days were uncomfortable. Pretty much how anything new is! Remember not being able to sleep on a new pillow or a new room, just tossing & turning for hours? That kind of uncomfortable. This is how a typical entry would look like: Mornings: Face wash, moisturizer, sunscreen. Night time: Face wash followed by night cream… Call granny, she’d taunt you otherwise…Finished reading Career of Evil and my my, can JK Rowling write?… I am going out today, isn’t that exciting! Lock down has been going on forever…
Resolutions, distracted plans, lists of movies I must watch or the name of one I had watched last night. One-line that didn’t proceed to two lines simply because I had forgotten what it meant to express details in writing. Sentences that felt forced, bored. But because I had to “stick to the plan”, something ought to be written and was written. Oh, and did I mention my handwriting? TERRIBLE. I honestly did not remember using paper and pen in ages, to jot more than a to-do or a signature, and my fingers had forgotten they could type outside of a keyboard. My handwriting was huge and scrawny, barely legible.
This last part particularly saddened me because in college, my friends used to describe it as “moti se akshar” (handwriting as neat as a pearl string, I know- have the best friends ever! 😃)
So passed the first ten days or so. After that though, I began to notice something. I could now write more honestly. Where earlier I had written cautiously, as if I was writing to present it to someone even when I wasn’t, now I wrote freely, throwing all caution to the wind. I began to write for myself. Anecdotes that felt amusing TO ME, philosophies that I had adopted and loved and was living by. Of things gone astray. The virtues of aunt A, and the wickedness of aunt B. The pages had now more than the to-do’s and the had-been-done’s. They contained reflections, emotions, fun, wickedness and reproach for some acts (not all) of wickedness. Memories, especially long-forgotten ones would come rushing back to me. My life story seemed to flow out of my pen. My handwriting became neat. Miraculously smaller. Closer to its original self. Nothing felt forced for that half-hour.
Journaling is nothing more than noting down your thoughts on a daily or regular basis. It is a narcissistic hobby for sure- it’s about you, you and you after all. But from my first month of <almost> daily journaling (there is always an almost with me), I have realized that it can be truly calming and therapeutic. There is so much that happens in a day, and so much that has happened already. Life is passing by, sometimes in a blink, and our brain runs helter-skelter all day, so there is great comfort in knowing that you can return to the blank page of a journal and have in it, a patient, non-judgmental, waiting listener.
I know that something will make me continue with journaling for life. Any guess what that something is? I have begun to truly enjoy it!
As for my skin, it’s begun to glow just a wee bit from all the lemon consumption. 😜
P.S. Thank you for reading this. I would be happy to hear from you, if this inspires you to start journaling. 😊 Tip: Buy a good pen in multiple colors if you will, and a pretty-looking journal.
Also, since I wrote this while listening to the song “Gustakh Dil” on repeat, I wanted to thank the song.