Journaling has been a pivotal part of my life. Growing up, we always had a nightly task of either reading, writing, or drawing for thirty minutes before bed. I often times chose to journal. It taught me how to analyze my feelings and be analytical of the world around me. Not only did I have journals that I used as a diary, I had journals where I would write elaborate, fiction stories with all my imaginary friends and making drawings on some of the pages.
As I got older and my penmanship got neater, my stories became less like comic books and more like novels. I excelled in English class and often times I would get complaints that my “summary” of a certain book was a multiple page novel of what the book entailed, rather than being a simple five sentence paragraph. I was actively writing creative stories and I actively journaled from the sixth grade on. (I even have my journals from over 10 years ago!)
By the time high school rolled around, I used my writing skills to join and excel on the speech and debate team. I worked in a team on a public forum circuit and always wrote arguments and speeches during my history and math classes, which my teachers would get mad about since I cared more about debate than I did my other classes. But I kept my grades up enough to compete at every tournament. I maintained my journals as I went through life’s adversities and struggled with my depression.
By the time I graduated and went to community college, I stopped writing fiction stories altogether and focused solely on writing academic papers for school and I slowly stopped journaling after I got diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
It wasn’t until I started blogging this year (after a 3 year writing hiatus) that I got back into creative writing. I debated doing NaNoWriMo this November, which is a writing project where you write 50,000 words during the month of November. I held off on that not because I didn’t want to, but with SAT studies and trying to get this new job as a registered behavior tech, it limited my time. Not to mention balancing my relationship with Diego and trying to move back in to his house (which I still have yet to do… stupid pneumonia and foot and knee surgery.)
I digress. My blog became an active and public journal of my life. Everything I would have written in a private journal, I then publicized myself to make my life with bipolar known and to bring awareness to the disorder.
With the issue of privacy coming to my attention, there is also a bit of a journaling fad that is going on and that is: bullet journaling. I asked for one for Christmas, but I saw one on sale at Barnes and Noble when I was purchasing my SAT prep textbooks and had to see what this trend is all about. I have seen photos on Instagram and Pinterest of completed, colorful and artsy pages of financial data, schedules, about me information, etc.
I ordered some nice pens off of Amazon that are fine tipped and the ink doesn’t bleed through the page and had a set of pastel markers to go along with it. I was now prepared to start bullet journaling. Well, I thought I was prepared…
Bullet journaling has changed my life!
It takes all the benefits of journaling regularly and my artistic abilities and combines them into a low pressure, relaxing, time consuming project. I enjoy it because the pages are dotted which makes writing and drawing straight lines easier, I can spend as much or as little time as possible on it, I get warped into this time suck; time flies and it feels like a matter of moments when really hours have passed. I don’t get bored because I can choose what I write and draw. My level of interest and ability to pay attention is what determines the type and length of my project. It’s colorful and fun, it makes writing schedules so clear cut and I don’t know about you, but the pens I got are to die for and they glide on the paper, they don’t smear or smudge and are a 0.38 mm fine tip point so my writing is petite and extremely neat.
The photo above is of this week’s schedule that I made last night in my bullet journal. It took me about two hours to do while I was watching my work training videos. I created a schedule of this week’s appointments and worked out times for me to do my training and pre-hire tasks. Don’t worry, I scheduled in a little bit of recreation and family time.
I highly suggest if you enjoy journaling in a physical notebook or like to doodle that you should spend the $10 to get a bullet journal. I am excited to start tracking mental health changes and moods in my journal and I will share with you all as I go with that.
Today I am thankful that I found bullet journaling and that I have a new hobby. I am thankful for waking up at 4:30am and having my time to blog, drink my tea, and journal.
Until next time,