In trying to write my big four part series of the road trips that started it all, I've been finding more and more little journals all over the place. I have some devoted to travel, one for thoughts, a few with scribbles that aren't important, and a few more that are just empty. Reading through has been helpful, insightful, and of course reflective.
I have three travel journals, I think there's one more somewhere though, because I tend to forget them when I actually travel. The original, started in 2008, documents the second, third, and fourth spring break trips, a trip to Minnesota and Michigan, and a few nights I was in West Texas for work. A second journal, bought in Alaska, has details from my 2017 trip to Alaska, a camping trip to New Mexico, the drive home from Portland, and my 2017 BFF trip last year to Utah. I have a THIRD journal is specific to my recent trip to the Olympic Peninsula earlier this year, and only has one or two pages of writing. I'm debating how to go forward with these journals. Obviously, step one, is to be more mindful about bringing a journal along and restricting myself from buying a new one. Step two is to remember to record things that pop into my head - either as a voice note or in the designated journal. Step three, probably the most important, is to slow down and take everything in. You can be efficient while enjoying everything and remembering it.
The original travel journal has a lot of funny quotes, phrases I can't quite understand, and writing from everyone on the trip. It is a special piece of the past and I honestly think I didn't really continue writing in it because trips like those didn't happen anymore. Making peace with the way things used to be and moving forward is what I'm doing and I'll continue to fill it in for years to come.
My thoughts journal is my most personal. It contains those thoughts you can't say aloud or to anyone else, but need to put them somewhere other than your head. This particular thought journal started in 2015 and has a few gaps in there, but has something from every year. When something is just too big, good or bad, I write it down. By writing it down, I'm breaking it apart and finding whatever it wholly is, it's just pieces put together.
The Motivation Part (or whatever)
I don't know how inspirational or motivating this post is, but it's just a way for me to highlight that writing or recording thoughts can be a helpful exercise in maintaining some clarity. If I didn't have the website, these journals, or my phone (for recording thoughts while driving), I'd probably be even more anxious and scatterbrained. I encourage anyone to scribble for a bit and see what it does for you. Maybe writing it all out will help organize your thoughts, or maybe it will do nothing for you. Either way, it's worth a shot.