Monday, October 12, 2015

I can handle the truth

I've been keeping a journal for a few years now. I don't write in it every single day, usually only when something is really on my mind. Which let's be honest, if something is on my mind, it's usually something that I can't say to anyone, so I just want to rant and get it off my chest. 

But I was reading an article the other day about someone who journals and they said something to the effect of: "I want my family to be able to read my journal." And it bothered me at first, to think about my kids or grandkids, or whomever, reading my journals after I'm gone. Or even if they stumble upon them now. 

I keep my thoughts to myself usually. There's so much noise in my brain that I wouldn't want to burden someone else with it all the time. Which is why journaling speaks to my heart so well. I can just write and not worry that I'm bothering anyone.  

So I allow myself to write in my journal whatever it is that I'm thinking about. I could be mad, sad, happy, anxious, whatever. I allow myself to express whatever I'm feeling to the fullest. It might be an entire page full of F-bombs, but if that's what I need that day, then so be it. And so it briefly made me wonder if I should change what I write about. Or how I write it. I certainly wouldn't want my kids to think I'm an over-dramatic weirdo or that I can't spell any words that have more than 4-letters. 

But the more I thought about it, the more I understood what the author of that article was trying to say. It didn't mean that I should censor my thoughts, because otherwise, what would be the point of keeping a journal? I might as well write a fairy tale with perfect characters and a happy ending if I was going to follow the path of censorship and puppies and unicorns. But I think that the point was that I shouldn't be afraid for my true thoughts and opinions to be shared with my family. That if they read my journals, they would then know some of my most private thoughts. And I don't think it's a bad thing. It could give them insight into what I was going through at a particular moment, or what kept me up at night, or what made me happy. 

“I should rather like to tear these last pages out of the book. Shall I? No - a journal ought not to cheat.” -Dodie Smith

So, I'm going to continue to express myself in the most authentic way possible. Knowing that someone some day may read my words doesn't intimidate me. And if nobody reads them, that's OK, too. My journal is for me. And I can handle the truth. 

Do you keep a journal? Does anybody else read it besides you? Do you censor yourself? 

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