Why You Need To Journal, Ranked
Remember diaries? When I was mad at my mom I would go write about how annoying she was on my wide-ruled notebook. I was mostly writing for the chance of my mom finding my diary and reading it, even though at the time she couldn't really understand let alone read English.
My mom would honestly not care that I wrote that she was annoying. She would probably be upset that I used a wide-ruled notebook, because the hatred of wide-ruled paper transcends generational language barriers.
Being able to look back at the mindset I had as a less tubby Liping is very enlightening. I'm able to parallel who I was and who I am now. The past sense of optimism is now heightened, and self-conscious worries are now more than dulled.
Think about what you did 6 days ago. I can barely remember what I did 2 days ago. What if something super awesome and important happened that day?
By putting that stuff on paper, you can open it up in the future. If you're feeling shitty because the hoverboards you were promised are actually small segways, feel better once you read about a specific, happy memory of yours.
One of my happiest memories would be my 7th birthday party in Venezuela. We had a piñata, a shitload of food and a bunch of gifts for me! I remember how good the potato salad was, and how I wanted to have a time-pausing superpower so I could celebrate my birthday for just a bit longer.
2. Vent and Rant
We're able to express our life frustrations through different mediums. We could talk to our friends, go eat a Snickers, or bully someone on the Internet. But your friends won't always be there. Snickers are pretty unhealthy. And the person you're bullying on the Internet is probably dead.
My notebook will always be there to listen to whatever sadness/anger I'm feeling.
And once I write it all down, I have proof showing me that I'll survive whatever comes towards me. Unless it's an axe.
I'd get stuck in a situation where I don't think I can handle everything, but then I would look back at what I've been through and be like,
"Oh yeah... I'm gonna be okay."
But you're not always going to think that you'll make it. Being able to read about your progress and redemption is a guaranteed booster.
Listening to yourself is the worst. You'd think listening to strangers called you horrible names is worse, but you're always your biggest critic.
But some people don't have self-awareness. In a bit by Sarah Silverman in her Ted Talk, she said:
"How many people do know that are not seeing themselves the way other people see them? You get the feeling that if [those] people were one or two degrees more onto themselves, they'd kill themselves!"
Could you imagine eating at a Olive Garden restaurant and then suddenly shooting yourself in the head because you realize you're such a shithead?
Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.
Through the mega magical powers of journaling, I get to think about how I perceive myself vs how others perceive me. This way, you think about how you can improve or why you shouldn't listen to them haters.
Journaling is not about writing about what you did today. It could definitely be, but you can do more than writing what Michelle said about your group presentation. I put recipes in there and write short stories whenever I feel like it. Drawing is super hot in journals, especially if you know how to draw.
Time wise, you can write whenever or wherever you are. Be it at night on a composition notebook or in the morning bus on your iPhone.
But make sure you remind yourself to write at least once every week.
Writing daily is exhausting but of course more rewarding in the long-run. Once a week provides a basic outline of your mindset and life progress.
Liping is the founder and editor-in-chief of lipinghuang.com. He is currently a sophomore at SFSU studying Business Marketing.