Most people who know me well will know that almost everywhere I go I am carrying the same, slightly battered notebook with me, which I guard with secrecy and normally don’t let anyone read. Journals have become a popular hobby recently due to the ‘bullet-journal’ trend, which sees people creating intricately crafted journals with complicated key systems and charts mapping and organising every part of their lives. It makes for some beautiful Instagram photos, but also I imagine it to be incredibly time-consuming, which is great if you’re already organised enough to schedule time into your day to keep up your journalling habit, but otherwise if you’re as disorganised as I am then your journal will be shoved in the bottom of your desk drawer and forgotten about after a week.
Instead, I don’t like to follow any rules with my journal, and its something I use to relax. I try to write in it every day, even if I only have time to write one page. I mostly write about the nice/interesting things I’ve done that day (if I write on an evening), but very often I like to write first thing on a morning, and I’ll write down things that are on my mind as a way to destress and process things I’m worried about. I also write down my dreams, funny quotes from friends, new songs I’ve heard and enjoyed, and sometimes even mundane things like a to-do list.
My journal becomes most important to me when I’m travelling, something which I love to do a lot. When I’m away from home my journal becomes my bible — I like to plan my trips very meticulously, making sure I write down train times, plan routes and days out, and map everywhere I intend to go. Every day I love to spend time sticking in the little mementos I’ve picked up throughout my journey — train tickets, museum programmes, postcards, business cards. It means that at the end of a trip, I have a gorgeous work of art to look back on and remember what I’ve done, and its individual to me — better than buying tacky tourist souvenirs.
Here are a couple of pages from my journal from my recent trip to Belgium, which I’ve also written about in a couple of other posts on the blog.
A particular favourite journal of mine however, is from my trip to Paris last year — the book is signed by people we met on the way (including Jarvis Cocker after a DJ set of his we went to!!), and being with a friend who was also making a journal made it even more special as we both sat working on them together in parks as we ate our lunch.
I’m excited that in the future, perhaps when I’m 30, I’ll still have these books, and I’ll be able to spend hours looking through them and remembering the fun times I’ve had — there’s something incredibly special and unique about a journal.