5 Reasons Why You Should Keep A Journal

5 Reasons Why You Should Keep A Journal

Because it will help you, that’s why.

As I mentioned in my previous article, keeping a journal could be a creative New Year’s Resolution and has a lot of benefits besides. It is something that I do as often as possible and find to be personally rewarding. As if I wasn’t convincing enough the first time around, here are just a sample of the many powerful reasons why keeping a journal is beneficial to you.

1. It may make you happier

Writing about your life will help you understand what makes you feel happy and confident and what makes you feel sad and miserable. From there, you’ll know what toxic people and situations you can cut out of your life. Recognizing the wonderful parts of your day (and life in general) will also boost self-esteem.

2. It’s cathartic for emotional situations

If something happens to you that is upsetting and you just don’t want to talk about it with a real person, then write about it. James Pennebaker, a social psychologist at the University of Texas, says that writing about stressful events helps you come to terms with them and improves your physical health, since the stress won’t be taking a toll on your body. Plus, your journal is for your eyes only, so you don’t have to worry about someone else reading something so deeply personal.

3. You can organize your thoughts

Ever felt stressed to the max and don’t know where to begin to comprehend what’s going on? Write about it. It will help you get in touch with what you want and provide a unique perspective on the situation. You may also find that you feel better about the situation afterward and know exactly how to proceed in real life.

4. It may enhance your creativity

The best way to improve your writing is to just keep writing, so journaling often will help you with your writing skills. This source cites that writing in a journal helps with: effective communication of complex ideas, memorizing essential information, brainstorming, creation and understanding of a new perspective, breaking down complex ideas, and organizing information.

5. You will remember what’s important

I cannot tell you the number of times I have read old entries in my journal and read about an experience or event I totally would have forgotten otherwise. If I hadn’t written it down, it might have slipped away and been forgotten forever. Though some situations or instances may be so hard you want to forget them, having a record of how you were then versus how you are now will really help you see your personal growth.

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It's Time For The #MeToo Movement To Apologize

The question is — is it OK to question victims of sexual assault?

Last weekend Babe published a story in which a now 23-year-old Brooklyn-based photographer named "Grace" reported that comedian, actor, and writer Aziz Ansari had coerced her into sexual acts and assaulted her several days after meeting at a 2017 Emmy Awards after-party. In the article, Grace claims she was "taken advantage of" by the recent Golden Globe winner (who ironically — or not so ironically — wore a Time's Up movement pin, a women-led organization which seeks to end sexual harassment and violence in the workplace) and that the date was "by far the worst experience with a man I’ve ever had."

Soon after the publication of the piece, Ansari began receiving backlash as the article was read and shared by millions of people online, prompting swift action by those associated with the #MeToo movement, and a potential career-ending impact to life as the comedian once knew it. Ansari is most well known for his stint on "Parks and Recreation" as the outspoken and know-it-all of all things dating (cue "treat yo self!" moment) Tom Haverford.

He has also become known for his rather famous stance on feminism, sex, and consent, showcased in his best-selling book "Modern Romance." In January, Ansari spoke out against sexual harassment in Hollywood after accepting the Globe for Best Male Lead for Netflix's award-winning show Master of None which has been praised for it's cultural and sexual diversity.

In other words, Ansari has pretty much based his career on feminism and the empowerment of women, often basing much of his standup comedy routines around the very subject. That's why, to many people's disbelief, it came as a shock when Ansari was accused of sexual misconduct. How could a man that had become famous for being a "woke" alternative to the traditional male, treat a woman in the way the article described?

This very notion of indicting men based on rather unscrupulous claims seems to be a trend in society. Just saying names like Weinstein, Spacey or Lauer that had once been recognized as symbols of Hollywood elite, glamour, and northeastern family values is now enough to send shivers down the spine of any feminist just as much as it bothers those who have any inkling of indecision in their voices to see another surname added to the list.

The "Time's Up" movement started as an offshoot of Twitter's #MeToo, which became somewhat of a social media victory stemming from investigative reporters Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor's scathing New York Time's expose on that once famous film producer. Along with The New Yorker's Ronan Farrow, the trio was able to paint a portrait of a serial predator who used his position to prey upon young women. In what was originally intended to shed light on the very serious issue of sexual assault faced by both women and men has since turned into an all-out war against the male stigma.

I have no problem with the initial intentions of the movement, I for one can even say ditto to all those women who proudly say "me too." I have been there. I have experienced it firsthand. I am saying that at some point this has to come to an end. The name-calling and the idea that because a man was simply acting off of another's perceived actions, that one must pay with their career by vindictive claims.

Although people have come out in protest of Ansari's actions, by which I am not saying are entirely excusable, several writers have stepped up to support the comedian. The Times op-ed, " Aziz Ansari Is Guilty. Of Not Being a Mind Reader," by writer Bari Weiss, claims that Babe's article is "arguably the worst thing that has happened to the #MeToo movement" since it began, and implies that Ansari's accuser is to blame for finding herself in a situation in which she felt uncomfortable.

HLN's Ashleigh Banfield wrote an open letter to Ansari's accuser, asking Grace to reflect on what she claimed was the "worst night of her life." Banfield says, "This was not a rape, nor was it sexual assault. Your encounter was unpleasant." She continues, "you had a bad date with Aziz Ansari. Is that what victimized you to the point of seeking a public conviction and career-ending conviction against him? Is that truly what you thought he deserved for your night out?"

This has become the problem with the #MeToo and Time's Up movements. Innocent men who have only acted as would nearly every other man are being publically shamed and ridiculed for something that had seemed consensual at the time. At no point in Grace's experience did she verbally say no. She continued to go to Ansari's apartment, perform oral sex and get naked with him. This was all done consensually. At no time did she leave when she felt uncomfortable. She was not raped. She was not sexually assaulted. It's time for women to stop claiming their consensual non-romantic encounters as sexual assault.

The Atlantic published a similar defense of Ansari this week with its article "The Humiliation of Aziz Ansari." Atlantic Contributing Editor Caitlin Flanagan writes, "Was Grace frozen, terrified, stuck? No... Perhaps she hoped to maybe even become the famous man’s girlfriend. He wasn’t interested. What she felt afterward — rejected yet another time, by yet another man — was regret."

The question is — is it OK to question victims of sexual assault?

In my unpopular opinion, yes.

As hard as it is, it is just as important as questioning the perpetrator. That is the sad part. These movements that were once a source for good have turned into a witch hunt, and in a time where we should be celebrating both women and men who are courageous enough to speak out against these vile acts, we must also question them.

Aziz Ansari did not sexually assault Grace, and because of her very public actions against him, he will now suffer for the rest of his life. #MeToo has turned into a grey area in which people may see events misconstrued as a crime instead of a bad date or cringe-worthy sexual experience. Men and women need to be taught that there is no vagueness when it comes to consensual sex. It is either yes or no. At the same time, when one is feeling uncomfortable, action should be taken on both ends to stop anything from moving forward.

Bad dates, experiences and regretted sexual encounters are by no means cause to claim sexual harassment or assault. What Grace and Babe have done is disgraceful and a slap to the face to any woman or man who has truly experienced sexual assault. Babe's article is bringing the progress made by so many brave people to a screeching halt and is giving me and many others a reason to question it's true intentions.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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10 Thoughts All Non-Athletic People Have While Participating In Athletic Things

We are not made for this whole "fitness" thing.

When I was younger, I ran track, danced, and played city league soccer. As time went on, like most, my studies became more important and I slowly reduced myself to just the color guard in marching band and dance. My senior year I was down to doing nothing.

50 pounds later, I'm here at college, participating in a boxing class twice a week and the occasional Zumba class. While I'm not totally fit, I am definitely not nearly as built as I was in high school. Exercise used to be fun, but now I just feel like I'm dying. I believe that I speak for all of us unathletic people when I sum up the thoughts that go through my head.

1. This won't be that bad!

I mean, just look at those cute little puppies running! There is no way that it can be that bad when they look that happy. I mean, they're dogs, if a dog can do it, so can I!

2. OK... this is intimidating

OK... she's totally built and perfect, but hey, everyone had to start out somewhere... right? I'm sure she looked just like me before she looked like that.

3. Pure confusion

This is right... I think? I am doing this right. Maybe I'm doing this right. Are people staring at me? Is it supposed to feel like this? Oh... I am TOTALLY not doing this right.

4. Exercise isn't even that bad, why did I complain?

Hey, I'm actually feeling pretty good! I don't get why I was even complaining about it earlier. My heart is pumping, the endorphins are going, it's awesome!!

5. Yeah, this is great!

*Eye of the Tiger* plays

6. Exhaustion begins to set in

OK, so maybe this isn't all that fun. My muscle hurt, my head hurts, I want to just lay down right now. I think I'm starting to remember why I didn't want to do this in the first place.

7. Possibly death?

Nope. Nope. Nope.

8. Sudden revival

I am literally unstoppable. I don't even know why I was tired earlier. I have enough energy to run 4 marathons!

9. Actual death

Yeah. I'm done.

10. That's never happening again

I am perfectly content with never stepping foot into another gym the rest of my life.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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