I had a kind of epiphany a couple months ago about my life, and life in general. I was sitting on the couch browsing Pinterest and hanging out after finishing work when I realized how fast time had been passing after graduating college last year. I then made a mental list of everything I had achieved in the last season and realized that although I had been doing a lot of fun things with friends and taken some exciting trips, I hadn’t done a lot that was propelling me forward personally or professionally. Each day I was simultaneously happy during my day to day social life, but deeply unhappy with the overall direction of my life. And I didn’t even realize it until that moment.
Laura and I had this one conversation a long time ago that probably stemmed from a moment of extreme exhaustion during finals about what we really wanted for ourselves in the future. We talked about living a “big” life, and something about this phrase carved a place in my heart and has never really left me. There it was- my unspoken truth, the part of me that realized that my ambition and goals weren’t only about having a good career, but were also about always striving for more from myself. Living a big life is about living where you steadfastly go after your dreams, want more than what is familiar, and are constantly “growing” as a person. The terrifying thing about becoming an adult is that when I look closely at the people in my life who are now my peers, I feel like a lot of them have settled for small. They settled in jobs that don’t make them happy, or they were too afraid to move to a new place, or they have simply stopped looking for new passions. Living a small life was my equivalent of going home after work and Pinteresting until I got bored and it was time to go to sleep. I had talked a year before with Laura about keeping my passion for life, and yet here I was on autopilot slipping into a very small way of living. So I decided to do something about it, and this is what I did.
First I bought a journal. If you have never visited the journal wall of Barnes and Noble, you should go right now. There are so many of the most beautiful leather journals on that wall I spent probably 45 minutes looking through to pick the perfect one. I even shamelessly asked a random tall man to help me get a couple down from the top shelf so I could see every option. That was actually very embarrassing, but I haven’t seen him again so oh well haha. I settled on a beautiful black leather one that I divided into three sections: The first section is for writing down the things I am grateful for, and the things that happen daily that make me smile. I also try to write down one random act of kindness everyday. This was actually such a great thing to do, because it made me do things that I wouldn’t normally do. If I didn’t have anything to write down already, I would go do the dishes before someone else got to them, or I would grab a pack of friends favorite pack of gum when I was checking out at the store, or I would call someone I was thinking about that I hadn’t talked to in a while. Really anything counts and I’m such a space cadet I probably wouldn’t have even thought of doing those things before. The second section is where I write down all the quotes that inspire me. I took them from books that I read, Pinterest, or things people have said to me that really stuck. Sometimes I know right away I need to put them in my journal, but other times they end up being things that I’m still thinking about as I go to bed at night. This section is so great because I find myself referencing them when I’m in a bad mood, need patience, or just need a little bit of inspiration to get off my butt and do something. The third section I reserved for fun. It can be lists of books that I’ve loved or want to read, projects that I really want to start, fashion trends I like, or healthy recipes or exercises I want to try. The third section is what I envision writing a lot of on this blog actually.
The journal was a huge step towards getting my priorities straight, and being more mindful of how I was acting and how I was spending my time. It is also where I’m starting to write about what I want to achieve, and then draw out a game plan of how I’m going to get there. You guys, it’s going to be awesome.
Do you have any advise for keeping a journal, or is this something you would want to try?