Why I Keep a Diary

Just a few days ago, I read through all my old diaries. You might have guessed from the theme of this blog – a twenty-something’s journal – that I’m a big believer in writing down one’s thoughts. I started keeping a diary at eight years old after I’d been given one for my birthday. Since then, I’ve been filling journals more or less conscientiously, the only year between 2003 and 2015 without any entries is 2012. To be honest, I’d had no clue that I’d kept writing my journals so consistently over the years as I’ve only really started doing so regularly and deliberately two years ago.

Reliving former experiences again made me realise many things about myself. Naturally, there are the random sweet memories like what film I went to see at the cinema in 2005 or which friend I hung out with on a particular day but I also discovered other sides of my past. Two years ago, I began having minor panic attacks and frequent feelings of anxiety. I already knew then that I’d been having this constant uneasy and nervous sensation in my stomach for quite some time, and that it’s probably only had come to the surface at that point due to additional stress I was dealing with. I also occasionally struggle with feelings of depression, sadness, lack of motivation and drive, loneliness, and self-doubt. When I look back on my later high school years, I can best describe the image that pops into my head as a dark void. Not trying to sound dramatic but my life back then did consist of getting up, going to school, returning home and instantly going to bed, sleep being my remedy and all-round cure for when I felt sad, angry, down, stressed, exhausted, or empty. It was my way of drowning out everything. Now, while I definitely did remember this period in my life it was still haunting to see, thanks to all the detailed records I’d made, when exactly that switch in my disposition happened. Nothing compares to reading one’s own words and through those recall the raw and vivid emotions felt years ago. To see my transition from a happy carefree kid to a negative unhappy teenager was fascinating and the fact that some of the things I lamented over are still relevant to me today is crazy. I really don’t feel that different from this person I used to be although I’ve learnt to have a more positive outlook on life and have “accomplished” some of the things I was fretting about by now. Still, I do fall into my old ways every now and then but I won’t let myself be held down for too long.

This summer brought about quite many changes, changes that required me to make difficult decisions and caused me to feel demotivated, discontented, and even hopeless. That’s when I increased the frequency I’d write in my diary even more (I’ve now grown accustomed to scribble down something every single day) because it helps. Writing down what’s on my mind, in particular when caught in situations where I’m at loss what to do, writing forces me to reassess my thoughts, see things more clearly, and guides me to take in the bigger picture. I’m more in tune with my emotions, as well, having learnt to trust myself more thanks to the self-reflection that comes with keeping a diary. It opens up your eyes to your flaws and mistakes. Helps you to grow and tackle any obstacles. Makes you understand yourself a bit better.

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The First Chapter

Dear reader of this journal,

As I’ve mentioned in my introductory post, this is my second blog. I thought I’d explain the reasons prompting me to start a new one right away and how I came to call this blog Lifespotting.

I’ve been blogging more or less for two years now, having started in 2013. I do still very much enjoy writing on it and am continuing to keep it up; however, a recent conversation with an old friend made me want to open up a new blog. I used to be very secretive about my blog until one day I decided to stop being so silent and let some people know about it. It can also be found on other social media profiles of mine, so I was indeed aware of the fact that my blog was easy to find. Still, this didn’t prevent me from feeling utterly shocked – a strange tingling sensation crawling all over my neck, back, and hands – upon hearing my friend casually mentioning my blog stating that she’d read a post or two. Terrified, I rummaged through my brain trying to remember all the things I’d ever written on that blog (despite knowing there wasn’t anything I was going to be too embarrassed of). Since that incident I’d been contemplating my blog’s future and ultimately decided to stick to it as well as keep everything as it was. Nevertheless, I couldn’t get the thought out of my head that I would always feel at least a bit inhibited whenever posting new content. Especially after this. And so I’ve come to create a new blog, one I wouldn’t tell anyone about, that would allow me to have an online presence in which I can be as frank and honest as I wish to be.

Another aspect I envisioned for this new blogging adventure of mine was that I wanted to explore a new style of blogging. Something deeper and personal, like an online diary. My other blog is personal as well (I’m not doing it for business or professional reasons and mostly talk about my interests, what I read and watch, etc.) but I hardly ever admit what pains me, what bothers me, which worries and fears I have. I always admired writers who could do that: share their innermost feelings. I love reading posts that tell of the writer’s thoughts and emotions; it makes me feel connected with them. And I always wondered whether I was capable of becoming “such a writer” at some point. So here’s me at my first attempt. My head’s filled with ideas of how I want this blog to read and feel but I’ve made no concrete plans as to which direction this eventually will lead. I’ll just surprise myself.

Lastly, I’m going to explain the origins of my name and blog title. As usual, it took me quite some time to come up with something as I pick my online names very carefully because I want them to have meaning. Lifespotting Twenties is, obviously, for one thing an allusion to my age, which I found quite fitting for I will be writing about my current experiences. Trainspotting being my favourite film of all time (there are several close seconds, though) and inspired by it’s famous opening line Choose Life, I merged these two into Lifespotting, the image I had in mind after “creating” that title was of myself looking at my life through this blog.


Hopefully, this has given you a bit more insight into what this blog is all about and maybe piqued your interest to see what’s next to come.

typewriter

Welcome to Lifespotting Twenties

Welcome to the online journal of a twenty-something! This is the place where I’ll share my personal thoughts, opinions, and experiences. Read on to find out a bit about me and my life and while going through my posts – laughing at my mistakes and embarrassing stories, agreeing or disagreeing with me on my views and standpoints, and feeling for me in my worries and troubles – maybe you’ll see a bit of yourself in them 😉

Some facts about me:

  • I have recently entered my twenties and, like so many others of my generation, got the need to share bits and pieces of myself with the world (hence this blog).
  • This happens to be my second blog, so I’ve got some experience with the voicing of opinions online but I am planning to do it a bit differently this time round. The concept of this blog is that of an online journal – a collection of my most personal, deepest, and sometimes secret thoughts, dreams, and hopes.
  • I’m currently studying towards a BA in English & American Studies and it is my biggest desire to one day be able to call myself a writer.
  • My favourite things include reading, taking pictures of sunsets & nature, riding my bike, spending too much time on the internet, food, getting into (small) arguments, drawing & painting, watching movies, day-dreaming & talking to myself, dancing, list-making & note-taking, receiving mail, travelling, home decor, inspirational quotes, and, of course, writing.
  • My interests are language and literature, arts and culture, photography, film and television, media and communication, feminism, travelling, music, sociology, history, and philosophy.

I hope you’re now inspired to follow me on my journaling journey – feel free to join the ride!