I’m a writer. While it feels slightly egotistical to say that – it’s true in a practical, actual kind-of-way. I’ve been writing in some shape or form since I was 12 years old and received my first journal from a dear family friend. Writing is simply something I have been doing over the course of my life.
Back in 2006, my journal habit became a blogging habit and I continued to enjoy recording my thoughts and daily adventures both for my own personal satisfaction and the joy that I receive when I share the journey with others.
My blogging adventure has not been a consistent, progressive experience that has gained momentum over time. The journey has been more like a long road trip that has beautiful scenery on the long stretches of road but also has to deal with stop-and-go traffic present in major cities during rush hour. Due to various life interruptions, of which I’ll spare you the details for now, my writing came to a screeching halt.
But I’m a writer so living life without recording it and sharing it in this way hasn’t seemed quite right.
Needless to say, I’m so glad to be blogging again!
While I may have had my reasons for slowing or ceasing to write (via pen or keyboard), what saddens me a bit is the thought of what I’ve missed by not recording my journey. What I’ve forgotten because I didn’t write it down.
Now I don’t propose that failure to journal is the equivalent of a gross or offensive sin. However, I do believe that there is something to be said for reflection and plenty to be said for encapsulating a memory by preserving it in some form or fashion.
By having blocks of time that have gone unjournaled and therefore unexamined, I now know that there are periods my life that I can’t account for. I don’t know where I was, what was important to me, who I was with, what I was doing, and most importantly…
WHAT I WAS LEARNING…
And if there is one thing I know for sure, life is built on lessons learned. In the words of Maya Angelou, “When you know better, you do better.”
Journaling via pen or via keyboard helps me to record what I know in the moment, so I can look back later to see what I’ve learned. So what have I learned due to my extended blogging break?
I’ve learned that blogging is THERAPY.
It allows me to see my own mind in black and white.
It give me an opportunity to hear my silent thoughts and separate my emotions from the will and logic of my humanity.
Writing helps me to clarify thoughts that are dancing around in my head and pin them down.
Journaling, both the good and the bad, enables me to see things both as they are and craft a plan for moving from where I am to where I want to be.
If I don’t slow down to journal, blog, or get some REAL THERAPY, I have the tendency to move too fast, do too much, and then wonder how I got to my current locale. It’s like zoning out on that long road trip…just because you are in the car and moving, doesn’t mean that you are taking in the terrain.
And blogging is CHEAPER than therapy…
Like many, in lieu of writing consistently and in-depth, I have become addicted drawn to sharing via social media like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. I’ve shared quick, short, bursts of something meaningful, funny, or simply too-good-not-to-share. And while social media is a wonderful invention, it leaves something to be desired. While I can update my status, tweet, or share a well-edited photo, I cannot always convey, why I shared the update, or how I felt about a particular moment in time, or what else was going on beyond the carefully chosen frame.
My Instagram photo is a highlight of my life. The picture of the delicious dish doesn’t show the rest of my dirty kitchen.
The Facebook status update is a glimpse of my life. It may tell you where I am or what I’m doing, but it doesn’t always describe in detail the heartache it cost me to get there or the level of happiness that I felt in the moment.
A tweet might provide a peek into daily details but that peek is grossly abridged and curtailed.
Well, at least it matters to me.
Writing helps me live an examined life, and according to Richard Swenson in his book Overload, “an unexamined life will drift toward imbalance.” I’ve noticed that with my blog and even with handwritten notes in a journal, I take time on occasion to review what I’ve written even if it’s years later. This kind of examination helps me to SEE my life for what it is or has been in comparison to how I’ve imagined it to be. Then I find that I am motivated to do better based on my observations or inspired to celebrate those things that I have SURVIVED!
The beauty I find in writing is the beauty of living an examined life. Being aware of where I’ve been and where I’m going. Being conscious of the passage of time. Being reminded that my days are numbered.
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)
Living an examined life helps me to remember that my life is the gift of a story…
…a story that I get to design and enjoy
…a tale that is worth telling
…a narrative for my children to read one day (well…certain parts of it at least)
Writing my story down leaves indelible proof that I was here.
And you never know… someone else might just be encouraged by the things I have to say….
Do you write/journal/blog? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear about your experience in chronicling your journey…