I kept a journal and wrote 1,492,490 words
I kept a journal for 48 days, with 96 entries — I wrote 1,492,490 words.
Then I re-read the whole thing. And I wrote about it because:
a) One year from now I won’t remember a thing.
b) I just felt like it.
Journaling has become on of the buzzwords in the woke society.
Along with meditation, practicing gratitude, creating atomic-habits, journaling is just of the many approaches one could take towards living in a more mindful state.
Something you do when you try to slow down and focus inward, instead of outwards.
I approached it in two different ways: kept a dream log and used it as an emotional release.
It was a safe space to vent, rant, complain and be an entitled millennial, without the judgement of over-positive personas or the worry of my friends and/ or family.
But I digress.
So, here’s the epiphany for which I only needed to write & read over a million words:
Thoughts aren’t real, but they somehow shape your reality.
I know it’s not news that our own minds tend to create more suffering than needed. I also know there are some pains you cannot avoid: trauma, grief, heartbreak, loss, bankruptcy, illness etc.
I’m definitely not a it’s all about perspective type of person, since I believe one must feel and honour all the bad in life.
I am actually convinced people who preach being positive all the time are either full of shit or sociopaths or both.
Toxic positivity is a thing, it can cause harm, and I do not practice it.
That being said…
…the mind really has a tendency to overthink and construct the wildest of scenarios out of everything.
And only when you zoom out and look at your thoughts after you wrote them, when the dust settles, you realize how…small and petty most of your grievances are.
I wrote stuff in the midst of an angry rant and the next day I wondered why I got so worked up.
And then I noticed the train of thought, circling and poisoning from itself, cycling on and on and on.
Of course you will create suffering when you feed on the bad thought. Of course your anger will grow, your sadness will develop, your lust for life will go fuck itself.
Because you give energy to the bad stuff and let the thoughts tell you the story of your day, your relationships, your self-worth, your life.
I caught myself having various entries imagining and spiraling on worrying scenarios, only to realize one week later that it was all in my mind.
Let’s be clear — I don’t believe in the new-age mentality that your thoughts generate your destiny, to the extent where you just repeat some affirmations and boom! No more world hunger.
But I do believe this:
Just as the mind has the power to produce the most luxurious of sceneries inside a dream and come up with the most creatives ideas — it can also fantasize the most devastating tragedies.
Heh — thoughts are pure energy.
They are nothing but your sensory neurons firing up brain impulses into internal stimuli, then releasing a bunch of hormones as an aftermath.
That energy is finite - as long as you rummage on the bad trip, you don’t have the power to expand on the good trip.
After 48 days I saw that most of the worries are mundane. And nothing mattered in the long-run.
I saw how easy it is to get trapped inside your own mind and dwell on the mundane and ordinary.
After a fortnight or so, the journaling naturally migrated towards a more reflective narrative, not so anchored in everyday mundanity. Almost instinctively I just brushed away the negative, taking it at face value and focused more on the awesomeness of being me.
What I mean here — it’s easy to fall into a habit of nurturing and harnessing the bad thought. But it ruins your day for nothing.
I know it’s common sense for some people to see this on their own. But for some of us it’s something we learn along the way.
I had to learn that I am actually a happy piece of fucking sunshine —only most of the times I’m not even aware of it. Because I dwelled on the bad trips and I let my mind go berserk with them.
I had to see it in writing to realize that — on the grand scheme of things, I actually worked myself into a pretty awesome life. I am the fire, as I wrote one night.
The mind is a pretty amazing place.
It sparks creativity and joy, it has intriguing inquiries worth exploring and it can come up with spectacular scenarios.
All of which are awesome and basically the reason we were born human beings and not chairs.
But the same mind can trap you inside your own little world, where you feel like the center of the universe.
Alas, the universe is infinite and has no center, so you are basically reduced to nothing.
It’s super easy to get yourself sucked in the rat race, work, sleep, repeat and live on autopilot. But that leads to a life of mediocre relationships, mediocre lifestyle, mediocre everything.
It’s just as easy to feel angry, get involved in meaningless fights, mourn the loss of the could’ve been’s.
It’s easy to regret not waking up early enough one morning and hating yourself all day because of it.
It’s easy to complain, to be passive-aggressive, to feel jealousy, envy and hate towards people, situations, and realities that have no connection to who you are.
But all these add up and you will soon find yourself to be bitter and disappointed. It also turns you into an unhappy asshole and your life will amount to nothing.
You cannot create and receive from a bad place.
The good things in life come when you open yourself up to them, and the openness arrives only if and only you detach yourself from the negative.
Just — take it as it is.
Acknowledge that shit happens, some stuff will hurt, some disappointments will arise. Feel your pain and discomfort, but don’t dwell on it.
And turn to the celebration of life itself.
You were born into a world that is full of wonders.
Here, amazing works of art are waiting to be discovered, skills to be learnt.
There are people to love, places to get lost in, books to steal you away, movies to feed your mind, music to listen to.
And all the beauty, the spectacle of the mind, the fantastic joys of truly existing are only noticeable for the mind that’s open to the charms this world has to offer.
And you as a person can also be truly charming and amazing and fantastic if you try and become a bundle of love and gratitude and power.
You have to give, in order to receive, so beware of what you give.
I don’t advocate for meditation, for stoicism — because it never worked for me. I like to be alive and passionate and caring and loving and involved with people, places, and experiences.
I don’t believe in moving on from the past and living in the present either — because I feel the past is full of lessons and we become who we are through those lessons. If something built you into who you are today, you have to respect it enough and carry it with you throughout your future.
But I do advocate for detaching and zooming the fuck out.
Seeing how some minor inconvenience today won’t matter in a couple of months, how some random burst of anger won’t amount to anything. We tend to get lost into such small pieces of trivia and get drained by such petty problems…
You are not special, unique, or a Victim. You are just a human and you should embrace the Good & the Bad.
Punch that wall, then get the fuck over it.
So — is journaling life-changing? No. But then again, what is it?
However, journaling can give you a perspective on your life. On your strengths and weaknesses, on the pains you need to heal, the patterns you need to address.
Like with everything else in life, change comes when you stop digging yourself into a hole of self-pity or a sense of over-importance.
Change, good change, real palpable change comes when you turn off the autopilot, stop believing Social Media, stop believing random Medium posts and just live your freaking life.
You want more money? Cool, learn a valuable skill, and get people to pay you for it.
You want more friends? Become an interesting person, practice vulnerability, stop being an energy vampire and listen for once.
You want love? Awesome, give and love with all your heart, heal your traumas, be real and authentic — and you will find love.
See — there’s a path for you and the amazing thing is that someone already walked this path.
So just…detach, zoom out, don’t wallow, for fucks sake, and start moving.