Journaling

Dear Diary,

I think there are plenty of great reaasons to journal. I mean, it helps you remember things that shouldn’t be forgotten, it’s a great way to express yourself and itprovides a creative outlet. I’ve had a journal almost my entire literate life. But I think I almost alwyas started the chronicled entries with “Dear Diary”. It was a way of having a dialogue with myself without being criticised for it.

And now that I think about it, there are loads of people who look down on the idea of journaling. There are gendered expectations, age expectations and a whole slew of criticisms that accompany the idea of expression. But why is that? 

Why is there a demand for robot-like men who don’t express their feelings and have to “tough it out”? Why is there a demand for picturesque women with no power or wit enough to be equals? And why is there an expectation that journaling is something that you will grow out of?

As a scientist (anthropology is a science), your field notes are your journaled account of what happens in the world, what you study, observe and conclude. You journal all the time-recording things that can’t and shouldn’t be forgotten. Physical scientists have lab journals. There are examples of journals known by different names in almost all of the professional fields, so why is it that it is unacceptable to have one in a personal realm?

As is my yearly tradition, I picked a show to binge watch for Halloween weekend. It’s usually something that I find interesting, but can still tie into the theme of the holiday. (Personal side note, Halloween is my favorite holiday, and the fact that it overlaps with Samhain is a glorious thing, because I can celebrate my love of cheesy entertainment/disdain for antiquated stereotypes perpetuated in Hollywood and the religious holiday that is the most important, but I’ll save that post for tomorrow.) This year, I chose to rewatch The Vampire Diaries. I have seen all the way through season 4, and caught a few episodes of season 5 here and there. I know I won’t make it through all the episodes before life must resume again, but I’m just doing it for fun and I really like the ideas behind the show. Anyway, the first season (which has always been my favorite) speaks to this issue above. Elena is an orphan after a car accident kills her parents and she journals to express herself. Stefan is a vampire who journals to remember events. What Elena does some seasons later after an undisclosed death (I’m not gonna spoil it.) brings the issue to point.

   
 Why is it socially unacceptable for adults to journal?

I don’t really have an answer at the moment, the question just popped into my mind and I felt like it was a good one.

Happy Friday!

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4 thoughts on “Journaling

  1. I never have really given this much thought! Actually, I didn’t realize it was a big deal and lots of people thought ‘grown-ups’ shouldn’t have a journal! I am so out of the loop. Whatever the reason may be, I find it ridiculous! I think you can journal no matter your age, and it’s a great, healthy thing to be doing! Happy Friday to you as well, looking forward to your post tomorrow! 🙂

    1. I thought it was bizarre too, but kept on journaling. I mean, that’s a big thing they tell you in therapy (and it’s a great life lesson) that you need to express yourself. I get that there are lots of ways to express yourself, and it may not all be journaling, but I’m amazed that the people I’ve talked to have all been very adamant that they don’t (and I suspect that several of them just don’t want to share!). Thanks!

      1. Yeah that’s crazy! I mean, why would it be okay to still paint/draw/make music/etc., but not journal?! Makes no sense to me. I guess we just need to change everyone’s mind, or show them what they’re missing out on. 😉

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