Do you ever have those days, where you are constantly replaying conversations in your mind and carrying around an anxiety about a certain situation? Well that was me on Saturday. And I knew I had to write it out or it would just fester. But I had lots to do outside of the house so I went on a Journal Field Trip.
I packed up my messenger bag with the supplies: journals (Seven Seas Writer, Paperblanks Ventaglio Rosso Midi, Pierre Belvedere Green), pens (Cadence, TWSBI Eco, both Parker Urbans, Monteverde Purple Prima, 4 different colours of Staples Optiflow, pencil case and some markers), glue runner, paper inserts, and scissors. My aim was to figure out why I was carrying this anxiety around but I also had projects to distract me if the words just wouldn’t come.So I ran a few errands, which included returning a movie to the library (The Theory of Everything – great film). I noticed my favourite library carrel was free so I settled in. I didn’t feel ready to confront the issue in my journal so I thought I would play with paper and glue for awhile. I’m going on a spiritual retreat soon and I printed the prayers for the Stations of the Cross for my Prayer Journal (I am using the Ventaglio Rosso Midi for this purpose). I grabbed the journal and the prayers but realized I had forgotten the glue runner and the scissors. That also meant I couldn’t work in the Pierre Belvedere journal either (keeping track of the solicited reviews for the blog). I still really wanted to write so I had no choice but to jump right in to what was bothering me.
Forty-five minutes later I stopped and re-read my journal entry. I felt freer, lighter. I checked in with my anxiety and found peace. This has happened to me before, of course, as I know the power of journalling to clarify thoughts and feelings and to let resentments and upset go. But this was a complicated burden I had been carrying for a while and I wasn’t sure one 45-minute session would do it. But it did. I left the library with new resolve and a much better frame of mind.
I ticked a few more things off my list and then I was finally able to go to my favourite coffee shop, Good Earth, for an Earl Grey Latte. My reward.
This time I found myself writing about the previous evening we spent with a friend, eating spaghetti, watching a movie and laughing. And of our plans to take some vacation in September and how excited we are about a last-minute treat David and I have planned for our birthdays. I spent about an hour an a half writing. By the time I finished the latte my hand and shoulder were cramping.
Two different writing sessions, same journal, same pen even. One intense, short and focused, the other carefree, long and playful. The second wouldn’t have been possible without the therapeutic first. I am just so grateful that I have this outlet and can soothe myself with words when needed.
I hope your journal can do the same for you.