A couple of weeks ago I found an empty 1970's gardening notebook in a second hand book shop. It's divided up into sections for each season with gardening information, photographs, advertising, and blank lined pages. I loved the look and feel of it, and it immedietely "spoke" to me and said journal. Just a plain simple journal for writing in, and expressing feelings, emotions, thoughts, ideas and any old triviality that I feel like writing down.
There was a time in my life, through adolescence and university that journalling helped keep me sane in an unhappy home environment. Putting pen to paper forced me to put my jumbled and confused thoughts into some sort of logical semblence, and helped me to make sense of my world. I have about 10 journals from that period, written in hard covered lined exercise books. While I was writing them, I always thought it would be kind of fun one day when I was older to be able to read them and look back, and remember. The truth was that until the beginning of this year, I'm 39 now, I never really went back and read them thoroughly. It was simply too painful to dredge up the past. Now, I'm in a different head space, and I've been doing "work" on releasing and letting go of all the useless baggage of the past - one suitcase at a time :) I've found my old journals have been so valuable in helping me, in some ways to remember how things were and to clear up the mental fog so I can forgive, release and let go.
During my adult life, after university, I only journalled intermittently. About two years ago I started a few visual journals, and although these have been a form of self-expression, they haven't been particularly deep and meaningful, they've been more of a way of having fun with different art techniques, doing collages and playing. In my new gardening notebook, I've been compelled to start writing again, sometimes about emotions etc, sometimes trivialities, some pages I just write on, some pages I do simple art work on as well. I must say though, my hands have become lazier to write after so many years of computers and keyboards.