When I was a little girl, I received a small notebook from my aunt as a present. I fell in love with that thing and started to write in it everyday. I wrote about everything you can imagine… The boys I had a crush on, the hockey tournament that we were out of town for, when my brother and I would get in fights, the birthday parties I went to, who my best friends were, the sleepovers I had, and what I dreamed of becoming one day. At that time, it was between a fashion designer and a nurse. At least one of those is still the same! 🙂
Recently I received another amazing gift of a nice journal from my brother’s amazing girlfriend, Judith. She bought it for me when I am away from home this fall. Judith is from Australia and attends school at the Minnesota State University Moorhead. She spends many months far far away from home. For her everything is different here. The seasons, the time change, the way we live, and the landscape. Judith bought me this great journal and attached a beautiful note about some tips and tricks for when I get homesick and how to deal with it. I thought that this was the most thoughtful gift I had ever received. She also gave me a necklace with the latitude and longitude coordinates of my home address. This is so I will have a piece of home close to my heart while I was gone. Matt, don’t let her get away! 😉
I started to write in the journal recently to document the before, during, and after of my study abroad adventures. But, now I have started to also journal about life and the ups and downs I have experienced. I forgot how really great it feels to write things out.
Not many people know this, but this past winter I decided to see a psychologist for some anxiety/depression I was dealing with. At first I felt like it was great to talk things out.I looked forward to my appointments. I was ready to tackle another issue! I always thought that the idea of talking to a professional was a great idea. After a few months, I kind of lost interest. I felt like it was helpful but I also just felt like this wasn’t for me anymore so I stopped going. For me, I like to solve every big or small problem ASAP. Why wait and make things worse? Talk it out! I just felt like I wasn’t getting things figured out fast enough. Obviously it takes time and effort but I guess I wanted to be “fixed” right away. P.S. I TOTALLY encourage anyone that is considering to seek professional help to do so, its different for everyone! I see myself trying it again someday, but just not yet!
So when I started to journal again, I felt relief. I felt like I wasn’t necessarily figuring things out and solving my problems, but now I could live with them. Each time I’ve journaled, its like I can breath a sigh of relief. It feels so good to talk it out. The fun thing about journalling is looking back at each entry to see the progress or see what was going through your mind at that time in your life. Everyone finds their own way of dealing with their problems… from seeing someone, talking it out, writing it out, etc. It may not make sense, but as long as it helps thats all that matters.
My journal is for me to look back at later in life to remember what life was like at 21. It’s also for me to have someone to talk to that won’t judge. I write about what I have to do to prepare for Norway, my best friend leaving me for the summer, whats bothering me, questions I have for God, and many other things. While writing, I like to write as if I am talking to God. That way I have some consistency throughout. I was recently told to write in my journal 5 things in life that make me happy. Now that was fun! It makes you find the positive things in life and remind you what you need to do when life gets you down. I can always look back at that list and remind myself what I need to do to cheer up. Especially when I am in Norway and I get homesick.
Little Rachel would be so excited that I am journalling again. She would probably encourage me to draw out little pictures of my friends and write, “Smile” using the cool way to make the S. 😉 She would also tell me to write my crushes name all over my journal, and write mini stories… she was pretty creative! Little Rachel would be impressed by how much better I can spell because she didn’t do such a great job. I think picking up this habit again was just what I needed…
“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin” -Zechariah 4:10