• Elita • Nomadic Thunker

How Journaling Became My Choice Of Self-Expression

I write to understand how I am wired I write to understand how I can rewire It takes practice A practice of 15+ years through which I found journaling to be my choice of self-expression

Because while change isn’t easy, change is the only constant Acknowledging how I was wired wasn’t easy But knowing that if I wanted to, I could rewire my outlook, was what I turned into MY practice


How journaling paved the way for self-expression and in turn, for expression too

Writing is my life-force

I began maintaining a journal/diary when I was 15. I had just begun junior college – my world had expanded and contracted at the same time. I had the whole world to behold. But it was also one to get easily swallowed up by.

My thoughts were too private to be shared. So I chose journaling to anchor me. The pen would become the only tool to keep up with the speed of my thoughts. Back then, I didn’t know the pen would evolve and put words to the inexpressible as well. And anchored in my self-expression through journaling, I developed a super-power: self-awareness


Mind you, in 2013, I knew zilch about self-awareness – let alone being self-aware myself. But I knew this: I had a hyperactive mind which when wasn’t being satiated by books, needed an outlet on paper

Because as a teen, my thoughts raged more than my hormones If I read to feel less alone, I wrote to get better acquainted with my aloneness More than 15 years later, my thoughts still rage more than my hormones More than 15 years later, I still write to get better acquainted my aloneness


If I read to feel less alone, I wrote to get better acquainted with my aloneness

I was scared of being found out

At times, I’ve been so scared of being found out – for keeping a journal – that I wouldn’t write what I wanted to write about – defeating the very purpose behind why I began journaling to self-express.

So I wrote about not writing what I wanted to write I wrote about that feeling of not being able to write I also wrote about that feeling of not wanting to write; of not wanting to commit to paper what I was conveniently flirting within my head


Over the years, I gradually began writing about all the feelings

I got braver and wrote about the things that terrified me – about myself, about the people in my life, about life as I knew it, about life as I would never know it. Everything slowly poured its way to the page.


A scary thought on paper was much better than a toxic thought lurking inside. When you see your thoughts and/or feelings in your own handwriting or on the screen, as intimidating and overwhelming it is at first, it is far far far more surmountable from there.


My thoughts rage more than my hormones

I know this because I have kept my journals

Do I not feel sad or angry about certain parts from my past? Do I not feel ashamed or guilty about certain parts from my past?

Nope

I don’t feel held as a hostage by them or my past. If anything, they’ve borne witness to my maturity and transmutation. My journals are a testimonial to the power of not giving up on myself. All of which would have been such a haze if I hadn’t persevered and provided an outlet to my experiences – especially the never-ending loops of confusion and angst, the plateaus of indecision and dread, or the lows of helplessness and debility.



Read: “Dear Me”: An open letter to the Me who quit her job 5 years ago

My journals are a testimonial to the power of not giving up on myself.


How journaling paved the way for self-expression and in turn, for expression too

Too often folks discount the power of maintaining a journal practice.

I wouldn’t be half as expressive as I am if it wasn’t for my journal practice I wouldn’t have honed my blog-writing or Instagram posts if I wasn’t this expressive I wouldn’t have dared start a venture if I didn’t feel liberated every time I wrote a blog or IG post I wouldn’t have stayed as grounded if it weren’t for the nerve to bring expressive writing to more folks

But I say all this with one caveat – a caveat that my journal practice has been supplemented with other techniques and therapeutic interventions that I’ve integrated into my self-expression through journaling.


My journey feels more complete because I wrote to understand how I was wired. My journey feels redemptive because I wrote to understand how I could rewire.

©2020 by Nomadic Thunker