Spying, Journals, and Obsessive Habits: Three Reasons You Should Write
July 15, 2013 Kristance Harlow
|My first journal, circa 1996|
I have kept journals since I was a kid and Harriet the Spy came into my life, I read the book and watched the movie (about a dozen times). My first journal starts with “Kristance The Spy” on July 4, 1996. Wow, seventeen years ago! All of my handwritten journals from 1996-2009 were spared from the fire, as well as my computer entries from 2005-2009 because my mom had been storing them since I left for Britain (thanks Mama Harlow). That’s what you call luck. We don’t have to get into how I had my own custom made Harriet the Spy kit, if you’ve ever seen the movie, I basically had everything she did, only it fit way more awkwardly around my waist. A backpack would really have been a much better choice.
|Harriet The Spy also circa 1996|
|1996, I think that’s supposed to
be my mom I should have
become an artist
1. To Rant and Rave
|That’s a lot of ranting.|
Having a journal is the perfect place to rant, complain, and bitch about life. It’s a nonjudgmental place to say whatever you want. By putting pen to paper and thoughts to words, you can release your tension in a healthy way. You can go off on a tangent about anything you want, rant away, no one will be there to piss you off or argue with you.
2. To Remember
|It is a little hard to remember it when you
can’t read your own handwriting…
I have a terrible memory, I mean, I forget where I park my car in small parking lots. My mom and I spent a good 20 minutes looking for her lotion in her apartment the other day, later that night, we saw that it had been on her vanity the whole time. We had looked there. Apparently the can’t-find-what-is-in-front-of-your-face is hereditary. Generally speaking, I am a story person and not a fact person. I have a First Class Honours Masters degree in Archaeology, but if you think I could tell you a whole bunch of facts on history you’d be wrong. Don’t ask me for dates or names, ask me for theories and the whole picture. The same applies to my life memories. I don’t always remember everyone’s names, or exactly how specific events unfolded in my life. My journal knows though. I can go back to almost any year and find out exactly how I saw something happen.
3. To Be Honest
For me, writing is when I am most honest. I don’t disguise myself. Particularly in my journals, I’ve been looking at my old journals and cringed re-reading some things that I wish I had never written down. Total cringe-worthy confessions. More than that, it forces me to face myself. I can’t hide from my rawest emotions when they are staring at me in black and white.
I used to have a very difficult time talking to people about feeling sad or confronting someone about an issue, so I would write about it. When I had no where to turn, I could turn to my journal. It helped me learn to rely on myself and it also taught me how to express myself. Now, when I get upset with someone, I can more easily differentiate between myself overreacting and an issue that I ought to address.
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