As a young girl, I would sit down on the carpet of my room and write small secrets into my puppy-themed diary with my pink-feathered pen. It was a daily occurrence in my childhood, filling the pages with the names of kindergarten crushes and stories of days in school. It was my own little ritual.
Although many kids tend to grow out of their diary-writing days, I — on the other hand — still fill most of my nights with pages and pages of entries to this day. Even at 22 years old, I keep a diary within close range, although I have definitely graduated past puppies and pink feathers.
I found that keeping a diary helped me with self-reflection. I often write of my experiences and hardships and look back on them as a way to look at how far I’ve come and how much I’ve evolved since then. It’s a perfect way to record my progress with my mental and emotional health, as well as to find patterns in what might be affecting it.
My journal helps me purge out my emotions when I need to most. Instead of dwelling on my negative thoughts and feelings, I spill all that negativity onto its pages until I’m completely alleviated of it. It keeps me from holding grudges or bottling things up, generally benefitting me in the long run. I know that along with my general support system, I also have my diary always readily available.
Journals also don’t only have to be for secrets and emotional thoughts. I often use my journal for reminders and creative ideas that come to me throughout the day. I’m incredibly forgetful, so writing things I want to remember in my journal greatly benefits me. I fill its pages with important dates, brainstorms, inspirations and more — basically holding everything that could ever be important to me.
I’m also really expressive, and being unable to do so makes me feel suffocated. My diary allows me to spill mounds of creativity into it, whether through the general aesthetic I wish it to look like or the words I want to put into it. It’s a form of expression that I have complete control over without judgment from others.
I think it’s time to retire the notion of gendered immaturity often associated with diaries. Journaling not only maintains many personal benefits, but it’s also just a fun thing to do. You can make it into a small project to dedicate your time to.
My diary is an extension of who I am. It holds significant pieces of my soul within its binding, and I wish to never give up the hobby at any point in my life. Diaries genuinely aren’t just for little girls. They’re for anyone looking for simple modes of reflection, expression and clarity.