I was watching an interview Emma Watson did with Ellen Degeneres and besides talking about the Oscars and graduating from Brown, she also touched on her one habit she’s kept from young – keeping a journal. She said every since she was 9 (when she started filming Harry Potter) her family encouraged her to diarise important events in her life and so she did that, also collecting notes and napkins with messages – the little things that meant to her. And she’s been doing that ever since.
Not to sound lame, but I guess you could say I felt an instant connection.
I’ve kept a diary since I was 11 and while I didn’t write everyday, I wrote substantially throughout the years since 2003 (that’s a good 10 years!). Keeping a diary was a past time that came naturally for me and my siblings – we all kept our own diaries and pretty much documented our adolescence away. At the time I didn’t think about what it would mean come 10 years later ‘cos like I said, writing was just a past time I enjoyed. But now that I think about it, I’ve collected a good 6 books (some years I shared one book) of childhood and adolescent memories. That’s something. Imagine the next 30 years of my life.
I got back from class late last night and instead of getting ready to go to bed, I found myself on the floor flipping through these journals. T’was a walk down memory lane alright. Most of my entries were emotionally charged and filled with hard pressing advice to myself that I had a hard time taking. Subject matters like bad relationships, friends, getting good grades and making my parents proud dominated the pages. Typical adolescent thoughts no? But as the years progressed, I noticed something. My way of thinking (and writing) changed. I grew up and thought about other more important things.
When you were in school everything was about getting good grades or getting into that uni of choice or achieving this, achieving that. And when you didn’t meet your target, you’d beat yourself up over it. I sure did.
I guess now that school is over for me (well almost) – my thoughts have changed. These days it’s about the bigger dreams you want to achieve,the ideas you want to pursue, but being realistic about it. It’s about the friends you want to keep and what they mean to you. It’s about taking your health more seriously and eliminating those bad habits. It’s about appreciating the little things in life – the fact that you survived what you thought you couldn’t and being grateful for those life changing experiences. It’s about all those things that now matter to you which previously didn’t. It’s about seeing the bigger picture.
That’s the beautiful thing about keeping a journal – you can read and reflect back on how much you’ve changed. Looking back last night, I sure cringed and had a good laugh.
But i’m excited and motivated to continue writing. I’m in my 20’s now and I guess this is the beginning of the next couple of exciting decades to come, yes? Keeping a journal would definitely be worth it.
Here’s to the next 10,20,3o years.