May 6, 2019

It was one of my aunts who introduced me to my very first journal. I was about 10 when I got my very first ‘prayer journal’. Not knowing what to write, my aunt told me to write whatever I had in mind. So I wrote prayers to God every single day.

At 22, I have kept more than my fair share of notebooks. My style of journal-ing has evolved from a simple girl’s prayers to one’s epic adventures on the road. The deepest, darkest secrets that I keep or the feelings that I felt, all locked away in the pages that I have written.

I had vowed to pass this onto someone who will give it a go. So on the day that my niece was born, I had bought her a journal. Rummaging through the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul, I have found a small notebook with an amazing piece of cloth that binds it. My friends laughed at the thought as she was merely a baby, but I smiled and said, “She’ll thank me one day. As I did with my aunt.”

Sometimes putting our thoughts into writing can be the best way to look back on a person’s growth. I have tried to write on my journal every single day for the past 12 years. I fail to do so at times, but there will always be this sense of comfort when I have a pen in hand and a paper to write onto. To be honest, I would look back at my life and realise that there had not been a time that I was not writing on a journal. This was also one of the main reasons that I had wanted to become a writer. My imagination and my vision has grown by doing so and by practicing how to write, I would like to think that this had made me grow as a better writer through the years.

By keeping a journal throughout the years, I have fallen deeper in love with words. This is also a great way to release how one truly feels. For somebody like me who travels a lot and do not really talk to much people, my journal has always been the one to ‘listen’ to all my musings. Writing on my journal feels like a such a sigh of relief. Plus, the documentation process has always been so helpful to me with remembering. I would read old journals of mine just for fun and think to myself, “Wow, that happened? How funny!” Sometimes remembering past heartaches can be tough but you can always remember that there is hope and that you have come so far to give up now.

If there is an important thing that keeping a journal has taught me, it is this: life changes constantly, and it might suck now, but tomorrow it will be better.

This journal is my current one and I got it from a local boutique in Istanbul. I have lost count on what number this journal is, but I know one thing: I will never stop documenting and writing about what I know. I urge you to do the same.

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Galatians 2:20 NIV

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