A lot of people may think that journaling isn’t worth the time and won’t be beneficial to them. I admit, I’ve gotten out of the habit too, but it’s something that I’m trying to push myself back into doing. Going all through middle school and high school, I kept a diary or journal, often writing about things that happened.

My journal was my place to vent and express how I felt. No one else would ever read them and I could get how I felt on the paper. Honestly, it took me a while to be able to start writing honestly. I always felt like someone would see what I was writing and judge me or it, but I realize that my journals were for me. I needed to let myself feel, and my journal was there for that relief.

I’ve been going through some of my older journals and found a few important common themes in them:

No matter what was going on, there were always friends that I could count on.
Family was something that was always important to me.
I often copied conversations that either hurt or helped me the most. The breakups, the apologies—those were the ones that seemed the most important to remember.
I documented the ups and downs I had throughout middle and high school.
The first relationship, the first kiss and the first break up were moments I wrote about that then kept reappearing in later journal.
The same people proved to reappear in multiple journals—friends, family, the ex.
I’m just as scared of losing people now as before.
I’ve always tried to push myself to do the best in school which caused stress.
There were always those TV shows like "Glee" that I would write about to relate too.
Each journal had what I was too afraid to say at the time.

Writing has always been something that I’ve found important to do. I like being able to look back at journals and remember the party in seventh grade where I had goldfish and cupcakes being blindly thrown in my direction, or the gym classes where volleyballs were on purposely hit at my head. I like remembering being at the beach with my family and friends and knowing that those trips still mean everything to me. I like seeing how far my ex and I have come and how I was so scared of losing him and, while I hate to admit it, still am. It’s nice to be able to look back on the events that changed me and pushed me towards becoming who I am now.

I’ve grown so much, thanks to those moments. The ones that hurt and the ones that made me laugh and smile. Each and every moment goes into making me who I am and it’s something that I’ll always want to be able to look back upon. I can compare how I am now to who I was back then and future me will be able to see how my time in college has changed me.

To me, journaling is one of the greatest ways to measure who I am and who I was. It’s something that I hope to always do whether I’m journaling every day or once a month. No amount of writing is too little or too much to me.

So thank you, Mom, Dad, Marcus, Monika, Katherine, Elizabeth, Alex, my other middle school friends, my Towson friends, and my whole family, for always giving me something to remember and write about.