I picked up the habit of journaling in France. It started out as an FYS requirement, but soon turned into a way for me to process everything I was seeing and learning about. That sounds corny, I know, but writing has always been the way that I worked through difficult moments in my life.
When I got back to the U.S. I promised myself that’d I’d keep writing. But you know the story: you get a summer job and the hours are long and you’re tired when you’re done and don’t feel much like writing and it’s so sunny out you don’t want to sit down and actually write something. And so the habit slipped. When I got back to SLU in the fall I picked it back up. If not daily, I write once or twice a week on what’s going on in my life.
As a surprise, my parents bought me this Q&A journal for Christmas. Essentially, it asks you a question every day for five years, the questions repeating every year so you can see how you’ve changed in that time.
Next to my waterproof journal, it was, by far, the best gift I’ve ever received. It’s eliminated all excuses in the book: who doesn’t have time to answer one question a day? The questions typically aren’t that difficult ranging from “what was the last movie you rented?” to “how do you describe home?”.
It’s kept me writing a little bit everyday and it’s made me stop to consider something about my life. Some of them are pretty tough:
March 15: What do you not want to talk about?
December 27: When was the last time you felt at peace?
January 2: Can people change?
The point here is not necessarily that you have to go out and buy this book, but rather, I think we should all take some time out of our day to answer the questions we never bother to ask ourselves. It’s easy to get caught up in the flow of daily life at SLU, but for all the artist and writers out there let’s take a few minutes to think about the things we never make time for on our plate.
So my question for all of you is: What are you going to do with these last several weeks at SLU?