|An old composition book.|
When I was seven years old, my mother gave me a scrapbook. I pasted in pictures of friends and family, postcards and letters from penpals, going away notes from friends I knew I would never see again, and awards I had won. I enjoyed keeping track of the events in my life. It gave me a sense of history, and it was comforting.
At the age of fourteen, I began keeping a journal. Soon after I started journaling, I was introduced to stream of consciousness writing in my high school English class. I adopted that style because my mind was always racing, so it was easy to write. For the next five years, all of my personal writing was stream of consciousness. I used my journal mostly to empty my mind of confusing and negative emotions. Ironically, whenever I read my journal, I would dwell on the very memories that I wanted to forget.
During my first serious depression, I gathered all of my journals and threw them in the dumpster behind my apartment. I felt free. My depression lingered, but I'm glad that most of those painful memories have been trashed. Since then, I have ditched stream of consciousness writing. I prefer to write after I have had a chance to think. I'm considering keeping a journal again, instead of the scattered notes I currently keep, but it won't be about serious problems. It will be observations of things I encounter in daily life, and it will be funny. Now I would rather laugh at problems than worry about them.