“I haven’t quite dared myself to open up those notebooks just yet, but the overarching theme is self-preservation. A budding need to capture every moment, no matter how mundane, and tell others that I’m here, I existed. But perhaps that’s a tale for another day.”
Journalling, blogging, capturing our highlights reels, sharing the ins-and-outs of our lives on Twitter… Perhaps it was from growing up online and during a time of pivotal growth in the digital world – or perhaps I am truly just a Pisces through and through – but I’ve always had a penchant for self-preservation. A need and want to capture every moment so it can be savoured, revisited again should I ever want to. I’ve always been one to seek out the smallest of joys from my everyday; it’s been a brilliant coping mechanism through many rocky patches in life. When there seem to be no big joys to sink into, the small ones amount to a lot in its stead.
Romanticising my life in this way has meant that, for the most part, I live each day with a sunny outlook. Every moment, no matter how mundane, deserves to be remembered and fully appreciated. These moments tell others that you were here, you existed. I stopped journaling for a spell back in 2016. After I lost my beloved Granny, I simply couldn’t see… the point? Why would I want to document the ceaseless wave of grief? In hindsight, I’m gutted that I didn’t. In fact, I wouldn’t regularly journal again until 2018.
Perhaps it’s the incredibly tumultuous waters we’ve found ourselves in over recent months, but occasionally bringing out past journals and immersing myself into specific moments from my past has been like therapy. There’s 10-page long entries from my first heartbreak, messy run-on sentences – tear-splashed for the drama! – where I didn’t think I’d ever find another. There’s scrapbook-esque pages full of ticket stubs, genuinely candid photos and time-aged receipts. I can barely make out what I bought, but it’s like a time capsule. While mid-pandemic I felt like I was completely invisible, a dip into old pages reminded me that I felt those emotions once, then, and grew. I grew. I’m growing.
Day to day, it can feel as though the everyday mundane takes hold of you, you might feel like you’re fading into the wallpaper. But taking stock of these moments and documenting it however you wish – in journals, in words, through scrapbooking… – reminds you that you’re here, you exist, you matter.