These are my fourteen journals! As you can plainly see, I’m a really strong believer in journaling. My past two New Year’s Resolutions have been to write in my journal every day (and I have!) I think keeping a diary is, in my ways, very rewarding. Despite the fact that rereading some of these entries motivates me to get a degree in engineering from MIT just so I can create a time machine and go back and slap my younger self, I really like looking back and seeing what my dreams were, what I cared about, and how much better my handwriting was (seriously, how did it get worse?)
These four diaries date from 1996 to 2003.
I have no idea where these diaries are from. Probably Barnes and Noble (or whatever the early 90s equivalent was). Yes, I was one of those kids with the diary that locked. And I made sure everyone in my vicinity took that lock seriously.
I was a bird-nerd even as a kid. Unfortunately, I also did not understand the concept of plagiarism. On the left is my heavily copied “paraphrased” report on the great horned owl. On the right is a dollar bill I found on the bottom of a pool (serious business). Eleven year old me would have swam to the bottom of the Marianas Trench if there were a dollar at the bottom.
Two four-leaf clovers I found once. You can see my 15 year old self’s obsession with drawing terrible smiley faces.
These four diaries date from 2003 to 2007.
Three of these journals were from Barnes and Noble, including my very coveted Shakespeare handwriting journal! The one on the top left is from Kinokuniya.
To the left you can see what is probably the most horrifying leprechaun drawing ever made. To the right is a ticket to ride in a Daytona car at Disneyworld. That car…was very fast.
Oh lord. So to the left you see my little keepsakes from the prom. (Hey, it was fun!) And to the right is something I apparently felt should be memorialized. I had a skirt that got a little too close to the heater. Fashion casualty.
To the left is a ticket from my time in England, which included trips to London. I went to see Death of a Salesman. …..I cannot give a ringing endorsement of that play. I definitely fell asleep at one point. To the right is what happens when you’re an art minor at a liberal arts college. I had a printout of a paper that smudged, so I cut it up and pasted it into a little poem. …I know.
I don’t always write my entries in English! Here is my terrible, terrible Japanese. I was just learning it and trying to practice!
These four diaries date from 2007 to 2012.
The green diary is from Barnes and Noble. The New Yorker diary is from a trip I took to England. I was concerned about running out of the space in the diary I brought, so I bought one at Waterstones. The cat journal is from Kinokuniya. The pig journal I bought in Tokyo at Tokyu Hands (my favorite store eeeevvver). It was so cheap!
To the left is the effects of law school. And a solved sudoku puzzle! To the right…I somehow managed to skip a page in the journal. This somehow happens more than you might think.
Stamps from the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in Japan. I toured the museum and had the opportunity to listen to a survivor of the atomic bomb speak to us about her experiences. While sitting in the Peace Park, I found another four leaf clover! …I don’t know why I keep finding them. I’m not particularly lucky…
Japan likes stamps, I guess! Here is a stamp from Mt. Fuji’s 5th station visitor’s center. I never got to the top of Mt. Fuji, but it was an awesome experience.
And these range from 2012 to right now (my current diary is on the right).
The journal on the left I bought in Venice! That’s the Venetian lion on the front. The one I’m using now is from some random card store in Quebec.
I went to an art show called THE(UN)FAIR, and there was an art installation that stamped dollars with this. I loved it!
So, if you don’t keep a journal, you really should consider it! I think it is a more personal experience than keeping an online blog. It allows you to tape in little things you find interesting or that make you giggle or jot down thoughts you have throughout the day. I have to say, I am so glad that my teenage years predate social media. At least all of my embarrassing angst and drama is contained in these diaries and not on Facebook!