This blog is inspired by a semester-long exercise one of my college professors instructed my class to do. Every day, we had to journal five things we noticed/dreamed/felt. This was the only rule: at least five. When told, it seemed so easy that I barely gave it a thought. Until the next day, when my journal came in. I sat down at the end of my night and thought through five things. Out of the infinitesimal things I experienced during my 14-hour day awake, I could barely remember one thing that stuck out.
The next day I decided to journal as my day went along, focusing on sensory details—what I saw, heard, smelled, tasted, and felt. As the semester unfolded, I began to notice and appreciate the smallest of things—my mailwoman humming to herself as she stopped at our mailbox, a squirrel throwing acorns from the treetops as I sat on my back porch, the frequency with which the sky changed color—and I found myself feeling happier, more grateful.
Through this project, I realized there is beauty in writing about the monotony of our lives, whether this gets us through the day, inspires our future writings, or is a nice break from stress. Writing like this is so simple once you get into the swing of things and the reward is so much grander than I had initially imagined.
Here are some entries from my Journey From My Journal:
- My grandmother explaining to me the concept behind My 500-lb Life.
- The price of papayas in the supermarket.
- The QCODE story of Borrasca.
- The uprooted tree, lying on its side on mile 2 of the reservoir.
- Sleeping through a tornado.
- How quickly mushrooms change color and size when you cook them.
- Tuna that is too fishy.
- Being run over by a car.
- Bella, the Bernese Mountain Dog.
- What is the proper spelling of omelet? Omelette?
- A quote by Mary Gaitskill: “I feel sadness because much of what is in that bowl is sad. But because of that tender sadness, I also feel humility and joy and love. It’s strange because much of what I write about does not seem loving. But to write it makes me feel love.”
- Brooding, but stunning, reds in the sky.
- What is it like to live in the home of your neighbor?
- Giving a friend who is sad a hug.
- A fluorescent green fish spinning in spirals in his fish tank.
- Lying down in the middle of the street at night. Dangerous? Relaxing?
- Yellow leaves floating off the trees and landing on the surface of the pool.
- Anxiety attacks and ways to combat them.
- What would it be like to listen to everything as a fly on the wall in your own home?
- Hurricane Laura. Almost an oxymoron.
- A single flower lying on the floor in front of my washing machine.
- Smell of breakfast at dinnertime.
- The portal in the door to my closet.
- Homemade swimming pool in a garbage can.
- Remains of a spider squashed between the pages of a book.
I hope by reading this you are inspired to start your own journal! Then, share your writing with us by emailing it to email@example.com.