Wednesday, April 11, 2012

J is for Journal - A-Z Writing Challenge

J is for Journal in the  2012 A-Z Writing Challenge.

Do you keep a journal?
Journaling Pictures, Images and Photos

When I was growing up, a journal was something one kept that was far more exacting than a diary. You were recording your feelings about friends and events that you wanted to remember and pass on. And, it never got vicious -- you meant for it to survive the ages and be read by future generations.. (Narcissistic, I know.) My little Dear Diary (rarely kept beyond the first month, or two) with the attached key, revealed the emotional roller coaster of my transition from girl to teen. And, the spell of keeping a 'private' diary was broken as soon as my siblings would find it and share my heart with their world, laughing all the time.

And, then, I had another journal that was (I thought) kept well-hidden because I never told anyone about it. Nothing shocked me more than when I came upon my husband reading that journal with his breakfast coffee. I felt invaded in a way that, even today, I find hard to describe. He said he 'found' it.

When asked what he was doing reading my private Journal, he said it was his way of getting to know me better and to know what I was thinking. So, I asked for his journal so that I could get to know him better and what he was thinking. He said didn't have one because his thoughts were private. (I am NOT touching the psychology behind that dynamic!) That journal, whilst not revealing my absolute deepest feelings about my little life, was my place to explore, come to terms with, and resolve my feelings, about anything that was important to me, at the time. He destroyed that and I never wrote, openly, in the journal, again. It had, then, become just another job. Soon after, I stopped writing in it, altogether.

But, my point is that an offline journal is where your venting belongs. Repeat: Blogging is an illusory world. You live with real people. There's really no excuse for hurting others because you feel a certain way and compelled to write about them, at the time of writing. And, that's the key phrase, at the time of writing. We all change, as we grow up, and gain an understanding that often adjusts our first impressions. Your online caustic words will never go away and you don't know when someone you love will read them (and, yes, they do read them) and be deeply offended. Until you can prove that you're the litmus test for what's right and good in the world, let your words be mellow and let other folks have an off-day without judgment. Do you really want what you wrote a few years ago to come back and destroy the older, wiser, you?




For those of you who have just happened upon this page, I'm Entry #424 in a group of 1862 participants in this 2012 A-Z Writing Challenge! Do yourself a favor and check out a group of fantastic bloggers. You're bound to find someone you might like to follow. Don't forget to leave some loving comments and spread the word. It could even inspire you to think about joining next year's Challenge, yourself!

12 comments:

  1. I suppose we could describe a blog as a for of journal. I have a desk diary but that's all. Anyone has access to it until it's thrown away after c5 years

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    1. Oh, Bob, I have a desk diary, as well. But, it's not what I put personal things that I'm trying to work through or share with the next generations. It's what I've always called my CYA Journal (Cover Your Ass). I've even had them used in court to prove evidence. But, that's a different post.

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  2. I do have a written journal in a way; I usually read the Bible daily and keep thoughts of what I have written in it, along with poems I've written, thoughts I'm having, etc. I have over 20 of them, I just use notebooks like for school, a little smaller size. Not sure what to do with them upon my passing. I think I better tell hubby just to burn them because I have written some venting thoughts in there about a lot of things that I wouldn't necessarily want others to read.

    The only time I read someone's journal without their permission was my then teenage daughter who was severely depressed and suicidal at times. I felt I had to read what was going on to try to keep her safe if she was planning something. I'm sure people would judge that what I did was wrong but at the time it seemed like the right thing to do.

    betty

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    1. I'm with you, I burn things I don't want others to read, once I've left the planet. Although, a good case could be written for bringing fuel to family gatherings! Your call. Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. I have kept journals since 1978 and without them, I'd probably be dead. They are where I sort everything out and dump all my bad feelings so I don't dump them on anyone else. They are where my ideas are stored. They are where answers come. Journalling is my path to healing.
    Karen

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    1. I know exactly what you mean, Karen. And, I think, that's why I was so shocked to find my husband reading what I thought was a private journal. It invades a part of the psyche that is nobody's business but your own. And, if you can't feel free to have a journal in your own home, that's pretty sad.

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  4. cool! i talked about journaling in my post today. i love it! :D

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    1. Great minds… Great minds. We are what we are, Stephanie. Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. You make a very good point about journaling online, that's not the place to vent or to put your private thoughts that are for your eyes only.
    Good J-day! :)

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    1. Thank you. It was one of the first things I learned about computers, way back when they were almost the size of the wall. Forums were more the way people communicated, back then, and they quickly discovered how blown up the smallest venting can become. I would've thought, by now, it would have been second nature. Thanks for stopping by.

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  6. Oh Sharlene, now I feel so MEAN! *suddenly wanting to race 'home' and erase half of every caustic bit of nastiness ever plonked*
    Well at least you're nice. And that's nice!
    Happy A to Z!

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    1. Now, Cathy, there's no reason for you to feel "mean" just because of little old me. If you haven't had any fallout from what you've said before, just be a little more cautious, the next time. But, I strongly suspect you're not mean at all and you're just trying to make me feel good. It's a win-win relationship! Thanks for visiting.

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