by Jessie Wang, senior writing coach
I’d venture to say that one of my best friends is my journal. Not only as my confidante, although I suppose journals are good for spilling your deepest, darkest secrets, but also as a sort of photo album. My love for journaling comes from the snapshots I create for myself: I have a record of myself, my feelings, and what was going on in my life from a single moment.
Although it’s important to allow time to reflect on experiences, I think it’s also incredibly interesting to have a snapshot of a moment. I’ll never feel the intensity of a moment so much as when I’m in it, or very shortly after, and journaling helps me better grasp my fleeting thoughts. Reflection is important, but I also treasure the way that I feel in the present.
This is my favorite, cherished and beloved journal that decided to compliment me back. I received it as a gift from a close friend of mine, who knew that even though I had five journals lying around at home, I still needed another.
I started writing in this journal in August, while I was at All State Orchestra camp on the beautiful College of St. Benedict campus – where I stayed up past curfew every night to write (sorry, MMEA). This past weekend, we had our All State reunion concert, and before I embarked on my musical journey in the heart of Minneapolis, I reread some of my August entries out of curiosity.
It was magic: I could still sense and remember everything as I’d described it in my journal. The sense of inspiration and excitement permeated the pages. I could reimagine the bright green grass and cloudless cerulean sky, and I remembered the warmth of the sun and the refreshing cool air in the college’s arts center.
It seemed like I was looking at pictures of myself eating ice cream under the star-studded sky, or pictures of myself cracking jokes with the people I sat by during rehearsal. I was visiting a past version of myself, but not from an observer’s perspective – rather, it felt like I was becoming that past version of myself again.
Side note: this feeling isn’t always so enchanting. I’ve revisited middle school journals and both cringed and laughed. Even reading those entries on mid-puberty quarrels though, I can still understand precisely what that situation had been like.
Journaling still remains to be one of my favorite activities. I like living a life well documented. I’d highly recommend picking up a journal, or five, this weekend and just starting to write. Begin capturing your writer’s photo album.