Tom's Journal of Life


I've never been the best at keeping a diary or a journal. The idea of it has always been really cool to me because I love documenting things that happen in my life - big or small. Every time I've bought a diary or a notebook, I've kept it up for about a week or so then it kind of always just fell off the radar. Having said that though there is one thing that I've managed to keep going for five years now - since 2011.

My 'Journal of Life' (14 year old Tom did NOT have a talent for naming things) came from a need to vent my anger and frustration towards my bullies and what not. It was basically my form of therapy and was an outlet for me to tell someone - something, that things weren't OK. The journal started in March 2011, the peak of my bullying, and I stopped writing in it about a year afterwards.

Now I write in it every now and then - I last wrote in it in September 2015, and it's mad to see how much has changed since even then. I was excited for university, for all the things to come in the year - and it's weird to see myself write then with a kind of naivety to everything. The year has been radically different to how I expected it to be when I wrote in the journal - something which I really enjoy actually. It's weird to read back through the past five years and see what I thought things were like/going to be like and how things actually turned out.

For example: on Monday June 13th 2011, I wrote about how I loved my friends and I wrote a bit about each one of them and why they were so amazing. 15th Feb 2013, I wrote about friends again but this time the people I wrote about were completely different to the ones I wrote about previously give or take a few people. It's just interesting to see different 'versions' of myself since I was 14 talking about more or less the same thing but with a different attitude.

The journal began with my recording every single one of my experiences with bullies - but turned into more of a once-a-year log for checking up on myself. I forget about the journal most of the time, but it's been everywhere with me and it always seems to pop up when something big has changed. It's been through school, college, uni - lived everywhere that I have, documented dates, bullies, friends, my dog dying, parties. It may be battered and it might not be the nicest journal ever - but it's always there for me!

If, like me, you can't seem to stick to a journal - buy one anyway and update it whenever you can. Even if it is every few months or once a year, eventually you will have something that shows things (I didn't really know how else to explain it). It will be something that shows you things that have happened and how much you've changed. And as cringe-worthy as that may seem, it's really nice to look back and remember the good, the bad and the ugly.

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