27 Sept 2017

revisiting old journals - a yearly occurrence

Each year, I get a little nostalgic where my old journals are dug out and flicked through. Having kept a journal since I was in my early teens and as cheesy as this sounds, it really helps me see how much I've grown up over time. It's also entertaining and cringeworthy to see what topics take precedence as each year goes by. At school, the things talked about the most were friends, classes and (predictably) boys. Recently, it's more been about future career fears and budgeting!

For me, the main benefit of journaling is reflecting on how I was as a person a year ago, two years ago, three years ago, etc. It was only two years ago that I started to journal weekly without fail but there are still entries often enough stretching back ten years for me to gain an idea of what I was like as a person.

By reflecting, I can see what parts of my character are ones that I don't really like about myself and what parts I do like. Obviously, we all have an ideal we strive towards and this reflection helps me see how far from this ideal I am. It's also interesting to see how things change and how my priorities change throughout the years.

Do you do anything similar?


  1. I never really look at my old journals, but I can definitely see the usefulness in doing so and might have to start! I just always think of journaling as an in the moment thing and don't think to look back at old ones. I would definitely see a similar shift in focus to you if I did though.

  2. I do read my old journals. The entries I most enjoy reading are reviews of concerts, plays, exhibitions etc. It is amazing how often I forget the details or even forget how much I enjoyed them. I also find it useful to reread about my earlier passions and goals because when work and responsibilities get on top of you you can forget your dreams. The two journals I don't read are the ones for the years when my parents were dying. It was therapeutic writing them, but I don't think it will ever do me any good to reread my accounts of their medical procedures etc.