Journaling is NOT a Scary Proposition—
by Lucy Dakota
“Do Not Open! For My Eyes Only!” it probably says on the cover, yet you still worry no one will listen. You freak out, fantasizing about who will read it and who they’ll tell. The idea of someone even opening it and maybe seeing your pictures, writings or doodles scares you so much you hide it, have nightmares about it, and generally have decided you’ll just die if it falls in the wrong hands. Sounds like your journal? This pretty much describes mine to a “T” and how I used to feel about it.
My journal is kind of like my best friend. I share everything in it and I mean EVERYTHING: who I had my first kiss with, who my favorite band is, what I’m wearing to my best friend’s birthday party, how much my parents might be making me nuts (or how awesome they are being), and who I am crushing on at any given moment. I used to be petrified that my parents would find it and tell my friend who was over at the dinner table about the time I accidentally laughed too hard and wet my pants just a little or something equally embarrassing. Or that Keri, who used to be my best friend but sometimes treated me like crap, would get so angry that she’d read parts of it out loud at school. Even thinking about it is terrifying. That’s why for a very VERY long time I never kept a journal. I was so freaked about it falling into the wrong hands, I wouldn’t dream of putting all that important and super secret stuff all in the same place. In fact, it seemed like it’d be social suicide if I did.
Now, I feel so totally different about my journal. I don’t want everyone to read it, but the more I had to write in one during my adventures in the Rockies, the more confidence I learned to have about myself and the more I felt safe with what I wrote in there. I’ve never been great at saying how I feel out loud. It’s always come easier to me to write it out if I wanted to just get it out or tell someone. Now I realize that you CAN safely share your journal if you choose to. In fact, there are ones you can get called Journal Buddies that are made for sharing with other people, because sometimes it’s easier to write how we feel than it is to say it. I keep most of my thoughts in my journal to myself, but sometimes I share what I think others can learn from to or what I look back on and just thought was silly or funny. Who knows? Someday I will share my journals with my daughter on purpose so she’ll be able to see I went through some the same things as a teen that she did.
If you want to learn more about how journaling can help you discover yourself, take a look at Rocky Mountain Beginnings, which shares the story of the time I spent in the mountains where I got over my fears of writing down my thoughts and became best friends with my journal. You can enter for a chance to win a free copy of Rocky Mountain Beginnings just by finding me on Facebook, liking me and saying “hi.” We’ll randomly give away one book per week through September 17, 2011 and anyone who “likes” my page that week is automatically entered to win. Or you can order a copy by visiting Amazon.com,
Barnes and Noble or LucyDakota.com.
After you’ve read about journaling, maybe you’ll see, like I did, that it’s not so scary after all and can actually make you feel a whole lot better about yourself and your life. Then you can pick up one of your own and get started. Don’t know what to write about? Check out Journal Buddies for ideas or see what I write about in my blog.
Happy writing! Hope to meet you soon!
Journal Buddies award winning books for kids are available at Amazon.