You Can Learn a Lot from Your Diary

Did you keep a diary when you were a kid?

I started my first one as soon as I could print.  Those entries went something like this.  “Today our Oma came over and she took us to the park, then we watched the Lawrence Welk Show, and it was fun.”

The entries of my six year old self were simple but also informative, every entry was dated and the little pleasures like ice cream, friends and family birthday parties were recorded.

My next diary started in Grade 7 and went until about Grade 9.  This one was filled with stories of my friend Katherine and I.  The boys we had crushes on, our evenings at Kinoak Arena, skating around in circles and then heading back to her house to watch Hockey Games and SCTV with her two younger brothers.

By 1984 I was writing in a much bigger diary, one that is filled with teenage angst and stories about the ups and downs of high school and my first real boyfriend.

These diaries are entertaining to read but they also act as a trigger.  I read them and feel like I want to reach out to that little girl, that teenager and that young woman and tell her to believe in herself, stand up for herself and stop worrying about every little thing.

One of my favourite quotes is by Mark Twain, “I have had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”

Writing down feelings and exploring our emotions can be very healing.  When you keep a diary you create a safe space to show yourself how you really feel.  It allows you to escape to a place where you can see your life from a new perspective.  It can be one of the most powerful tools for getting through life’s challenges.

Recently I was chatting with a good friend about worry and trying to predict the future.  She made a great point.  She said the key to happiness is letting go.  She said it’s like zip lining.  The first jump is the hardest because it goes against everything your body knows.  You’re supposed to stay on land, not jump off of it.  But then you do, and it feels exhilarating, then you do it a second time and that’s even better.

I loved this analogy.  It also made me think about how healing summer can be for us humans! We are warm, we feel more free in the sunshine, we can swim, walk for miles, ride our bikes.  It really is a time to feel like a kid again.

I hope you are feeling the magic of summer, embracing your inner child and also reflecting on memories, circumstances or feelings you once had that got you to where you are today.

I think there is always that one thing about ourselves that we wish we could change.  For me, I wish I didn’t worry so much.  But hey, maybe we need to just accept these parts of our personality so that we can feel free.  Spill it in our diaries and leave it there for the Universe to take care of.

Here, grab my hand, let’s jump off that cliff together and let go!  Aaaaah, now doesn’t that feel GREAT?

Monica XO

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2 Comments

Marion

Liebe Moni!
I love this article you wrote so much, because it reminds me of my time in Canda:
When I had the time of my life in your beautiful country in 2003-2005, I’ll wrote a diary for my best friend that she still could be with me even when I’m far away. All my feelings beginning from fear, excitement, home sickness and of course until love, were in these little books (…and for two years you need a few pages ;-)). Once in a while I sent a month or two to my friend or gave it someone to bring it back over the ocean.
Of course we had loads to talk about when she read all of it and I always hat the feeling, that she was always with me and knew what was going on inside of me and in my life.
So I think a diary is almost like a therapy with yourself: you write down and in review you reflect yourself again and chose the possibility to do it differently or just not. 🙂
Bussi, Marion

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Llana Nakonechny

Hey Monica – I have never been able to keep a diary but I always bring a journal when I travel. I make notes about the places, people, food; I make sketches and press leaves, ticket stubs and beer coasters between the pages.
Whenever I leave home for a holiday I always think – how will I be different when I come back home? What will I have seen and done that will change me? My journal chronicles those experiences.
It also reminds me of fights with friends and boyfriends, missed trains, dodgy hotels and getting lost on the way.
Its great to go back and re-live my holidays and think about how all of those experiences, good and bad, have shaped me.
Llana

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