When I was a girl, I fell in love with Harriet the Spy. She was the plucky heroine in Louise Fitzhugh’s book of the same name who spied on her neighbors and kept copious notes about them. I fell in love with Harriet, the journals, the people watching, all of it. And to this day, I do not mind layovers (unless they are an unexpectedly 20 hours long in Dubai with a 5 month old infant who has just joined your family and thinning supplies of formula and diapers but that is so a different story). Back to Harriet. Pretty soon after reading Harriet the Spy, I started keeping journals. Over the years, I wrote about my day (had pizza today at lunch. Jenny sat next to me-type thrillers), composed poetry(how& when& where/ do you cut first loves off/ or why even?/i do not wish/ to cut you off, to cut you out of me, to erase your piece. NOTE: I did not mention the caliber of the poetry. Just that it was written. We will note that while I originally went to graduate school for poetry, I now write prose), worked through small and large crises of confidence and conscience.
Journaling, truth be told, ended up being my ticket into myself and probably was the greatest single tool I discovered in my quest to find and be true to myself. In fact, journaling is what took me to gradaute school in writing and, ultimately, led to my writing career (I went to graduate school to improve my instincts about writing because I was using it so much in the classroom- I was a high school teacher in love with that career- in an effort to help my students find their voice; since writing had helped me find my voice when I was their age). And journaling, by design, is a large part of the Beautiful You experience.
I know some of you have picked up Beautiful You in the last week or so or will be picking it up soon (thank you!), and while I talk about this in the book, I just wanted to go ahead and encourage you to go ahead and find a journal to accompany you on the BY journey. I’ve found mine. It’s big- 8 by 11- and is spiral bound with bright white pages. I wish that it had a combination of line, graph, and blank paper but it does have easy pages to write on and the ability to tuck back the cover which I love and what’s most important is that it be a welcome place to write. It is. When you find yours, snap a picture of the cover and send it my way, if you are so inclined. I’ll start putting together a little collage of our Beautiful You journals as a reminder of the work we’re doing everyday to treat our whole selves well.
What has your experience been with journaling? What type of journals do you love? What memories do you have of jornaling?