...from the Perry Castañada Library at the University of Texas at Austin around 3:45 AM with a couple of friends after a night of studying.
It’s a dangerous game I play – pushing, no punishing, myself to my mental limit. There is a kind of pain, that is perilous, and yet sweet, to endure. It started when I ended a two-year relationship, and even after a year, loneliness still haunts me. I look back and wonder how I got through it all, and it is always the same answer – my journal. Going to college seemed incredible at first, but now, if I could go back and start over again, I would. Most of the time it is boring, lackluster, and dull. Whenever small moments of joy take place, I cherish them, but only momentarily. I found, disturbingly, that it is my pain that drives me to write in my journal, and that too with great passion. Writing down my thoughts and emotions has undoubtedly kept me sane, and has given me a great, cathartic feeling. It motivates me to turn my life around, to assess how I cope with my sadness, or how I soak in the joy of being with my friends.
College is a rollercoaster that takes you on an emotionally draining ride on a weekly basis. Keeping up with it isn’t easy, but having something to write down my emotions on when something substantial happens has been one of the best decisions of my life. I got the idea during a mental health workshop and decided to buy a fountain ink pen and a journal to start my journey. It gave me the opportunity to take some time out from all the madness and keep to myself, to explore the beautiful campus, and imagine what I want my life to be like in the future. It gave me the ability to pour my emotions out when I had no one to talk to, but also help me develop my mental constitution.
After a year, writing still has a great effect, but the worst of the times is gone. At this point, if I go through a bad day or week and I write about it, I wake up fresh and ready to take on the day. With new friends, and a newfound perspective in life, everything around me seems conquerable. Through my journaling habits I have learned to take losses and turn them into lessons, and most of all, to keep my head up and continue forward. I can’t recommend the wonder of journaling enough to people, and I personally take pride in telling people I do so. The world is a whirlwind of craziness, and staying focused and sane isn’t easy. I am so glad I developed this habit, and I hope you consider it as well.