I've written diaries, or journals, before. Sometimes I've gone back and read the things I wrote years ago and I'm surprised by the girl I find between the pages. We forget, it seems, the trials and even joys we've had in the past. The intensity of emotion that once seemed so poignant and maybe even irreparable fades, though it's impression is left on the pages.
While I've kept journals in the past, I've never been very consistent with it. While I was pregnant with my son I kept one and vowed to myself that I'd keep it going. A brief dip into its pages reveals my last entry on Wednesday 17 October 2012 - over a year ago.
Still, whether I've been consistent with it or not, my experience has been that journal writing is an exercise in mindfulness. It allows us to download our private thoughts onto the page; to dig within ourselves to uncover what's beneath the surface. Sometimes it's surprising what comes up, other times it seems intensely bland.
I find it funny that as a writer I find keeping a journal difficult. Surely my passion for the written word should be enough to compel me to write every day - if for no other reason than to offer myself an outlet for my anxieties, hopes and dreams. Writing can offer clarity to otherwise murky thoughts that become stagnant in the mind. It can bring to the fore things that we didn't know were there or allow us to see the ordinary in new and extraordinary ways.
For all of these reasons and more, my challenge this week is to journal every day. Why do I feel vaguely anxious at the thought of it? I'm not entirely sure, though it will be interesting to see what lays between the pages of my journal come week-end.