Today I have a guest post about journal writing written by my 15 year old daughter, Allison. She has been a consistent journal writer for many years. I recently wrote about my own experience of how journal writing has become a gift to my future self. A few months ago Allison had an experience that taught her this same lesson. She is light years ahead of her mother. Here is her teenager perspective on journal writing.
For the past two years I have been writing in a journal. I try to write every day, but at the minimum I write at least once a week. A habit I got into after writing for a year was reading what I had written on the same day the year before.
Several months ago, I was doing my nightly routine of reading my journal entry from a year ago when I stopped. That day one year before, I had written about how I had spent the day with a girl from school who I thought was becoming my “best friend.” I was shocked to read this, because the girl ended up being anything but a best friend. As I read, I could see how that day was the beginning of an important lesson in my life.
In the beginning of 8th grade, I was feeling a little lonely in the group I had hung out with in 7th grade, so I started to make some new friends. I had talked to this girl I wrote about in my journal a little bit at the end of 7th grade and now in 8th grade we had every class together. I slowly began talking to her and hanging out with her more and more. We grew closer and she was constantly declaring that we were “best friends.”
Over time, I slowly began to realize that this girl was simply clinging to me and using me. She would only ask me to hang out if we were going to the same place and she needed a ride. I started to see that my relationship with her was not healthy or normal.
A big, dramatic event occurred one night on a weekend that put a huge strain on our relationship. At school, she sat at the same lunch table but wouldn’t look at or talk to me. The other people at our table didn’t even know this was going on until she handed out invitations to her birthday party. When my friends asked me if I was going, I simply responded that “I wasn’t invited.” This didn’t bother me much because of the way she had been treating me.
This experience was hard, but some good things came from it. If I hadn’t hung out with this girl, I wouldn’t have met some other amazing people who I still hang out with very frequently, even though we go to different schools. I also learned to trust my parent’s judgement because they had warned me about my relationship, but I didn’t listen.
After I read my journal entry from the the year before about how we were “best friends,” I wrote two pages in my current journal about my experience. As I wrote, I saw so much growth from that experience. I was learning so much about myself from reading what I had written a year before.
If I hadn’t written this experience down, I firmly believe that I would not have learned the things I needed to learn. Journaling has now become an even bigger part of my life and is very special to me.
Sign-up here to get updates + easy access to my free printables.