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Journals, sparkly pink pens, fairytale dreams of the new year

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JANUARY 27, 2023

Funnily enough, my long history of journaling started after a Princess Diaries marathon during midterms. After all, middle school midterm week is when emotions run rampant and just about anything seems like a better way to pass the time than studying. That was over five years ago. I still can’t believe it has been that long since I have started writing in my journals.

 I do admit that at first, I started journaling because I thought that it would turn me into a princess. I would get my sparkly pink pen out, write about my different crushes that would change almost every other week, and dream of the day my words would become a real fairytale.

Sadly, I never became a princess. But one dream did come true — as I continued journaling, I experienced my life turning into an interesting story that only I could have written. No matter what happened, whether it was me feeling extremely bored during a calculus lecture or crying crocodile tears after finding out that my longtime crush had been dating another person (true story), everything was important and developed meaning when I wrote it down in my journal.

Now, one of my favorite rituals to do before the new year is going through the journals that I wrote in that year. What stories stand out to me the most? Which characters of my life do I remember? What made my year sparkle? 

Although I no longer write with sparkly pink pen, my journals still help me fulfill my dreams. As I read over my journals from years ago, I see how much of myself as a character has changed over time. No matter how hard life can be, with difficult organic chemistry classes or a messed-up friendship, you still find that little bit of fairy dust that helps you smile and make your day worth writing in your journal. I remember the brilliant moon I saw walking home after an audition or the fresh smell of rosemary bushes right next to my 8 a.m. lecture hall that never failed to make me smile with its scent. Every entry transports me back into the small tidbits of happiness that I felt and cheers me up again.

My journals help me learn important life lessons as well. Instead of living for other people and only finding my happiness in making others feel happy, writing helped me realize that I was the main character in the comprehensive story that was my life. Reading and writing my way through different relationships further helped me see that although I am the main character in my story, I could be nothing but a common shrub in others. But that’s okay, because I am the same me.

So as another year wraps up and another unfolds, I open my journals. What new stories will I be able to write this year?

Contact Emily Kim at [email protected].

JANUARY 28, 2023