Collections: Journals

This month's collection is one of my favorites.  As a child, I always wanted a diary.  I had a lot of thoughts and emotions running through my head and no one to tell them to. The thought of a diary was enchanting, secretive, and deeply private.  And then I got one, and then another.  The collection grew.  I wanted to be a chronicler of life.  When I moved out of an old apartment I had a box devoted strictly to diaries and journals, and as I carried the box to the car I realized I had become one.  The box keeps growing and I pulled out a few of my favorites to share with you. Reader beware, this is long, more so out of pure nostalgia.  I had a hard time narrowing the list. 

I received Minnie as a Christmas gift.  My first diary.  It had a lock and key, which I kept religiously around my neck for fear of someone finding out I was a closet New Kids On The Block fan.  I did not have much to say, as you can see.  Half of the page was filled with boys' names.  

The princess diary did not have a lock and key so not a lot of top secret information went into this journal.  Most of the pages are filled with the boy's name that happened to play kickball with me on the playground.  It also has ton of notes between me and my best friend.  
This one is a favorite because I collected bears.  It was a step up from Minnie because it was leather bound and came in it's own box.  My paternal grandmother gave me this diary.  She was a classy lady.  
When I received this daily reminder I felt like I was coming of age.  I was now past writing boy's names on pages and actually put pen to paper with real thoughts.  This journal is special because it's from the year we moved to another town.  I love to read about what I was going through emotionally at that time.    

Then high school hit and I thought "diaries" were for kids.  I stopped writing because I would have been too mortified if anyone would have read my deepest thoughts.  So there is a lack of journals during these years.  The only thing I was writing were terrible love letters.  

Once college hit, I was all of a sudden a sophisticated academic and went through journals like candy.  Page after page of therapy.  I went through a huge transformation, and I have a record of all of it.  I had an intense relationship that would have ended in marriage had other factors not gotten in the way, but when it ended by breaking up instead my world was shattered.  I lost 20 pounds I didn't have, got a tattoo, wrote class papers on my unrequited love (completely embarrassing now) and every last tear is recorded in this, the j. journal.  It holds those awful papers, photos, and a lesson on how not to lose one's way because of another person.  I learned a lot from that girl.  Such a pretty journal for such sad words.   

This journal has been used and abused.  It's tabbed, dog eared, and bookmarked.  It was a reference manual of sorts for a few years.  It records my journey of discovering my love for another woman.  It also holds grand dreams of what I want out of my life.   

I had this nature journal for a while.  It was while I was living in a tent.  I recorded the weather patterns, animal sightings and new plants I had not yet learned.  It holds seasonal patterns I noticed and it really forced me to be present every day.

I moved on to moleskines and started adding a lot of lists.  There is a shift in my journaling where they become part planner, part journal.  I started carrying them around with me to document more life.
    
Then I attended Sqaum and I began to myself in a new light.  When I didn't have the words, I borrowed words and added color, pattern, and art.  

Journals started to fill with goals, dreams and notes from things I had read.  Things to remember, and things I wanted to forget.  A recipe for an indigo life. 
This is one of my most recent. It's a good balance of art and words.  I'm starting to see how much I've needed this space to write and create.  A journal is like a friend that listens very well.  It's portable, doesn't have to have a battery charge, and can be used on a moments notice.  It holds happy moments and some sad ones, photos, love letters, and momentos.  To say the least, I'm hooked for life.   

Today I mostly use these journals (all filled by the way).  They are from Ex Libris Anonymous and they use recycled books for the covers.  There is little fluff in the purchasing.  They cost about $12 to buy and ship and they offer a wide variety of topics.  My only complaint would be the paper quality.  I'm looking for a journal that has recycled office papers, plain drawing and watercolor paper, and trace paper.  A mix of everything. I've started experimenting with making my own journals.  I'm starting to get a bit picky.
Are you a journaler? What is your favorite way to use your journal.  I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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For the month of February I am working on raising scholarship money to send kids from low income families to an outdoor school. Will you help me?  Click here to read my story and to donate to this worthy cause.