17 May, 2010

Be a Journalist

Be a journalist. I know it sounds too technical that you may get an image of yourself inside your head carrying a notepad, standing like your job is to save the world, with a small bag hanging from your shoulder and wearing a comparatively huge vest with a number of breast pockets situated in all places including where the name will seem inappropriate. That’s a journalist – the one who works for newspapers or TV stations whose job is to find news, gather information, write about them and finally report them, panicking in the middle of the process if he couldn’t find his pen. It sounds pretty cool but the job is rather exhausting and quite demanding at all times. Ultimately, not all of the events that a journalist might find are news-worthy. The journalist chooses his topic, examines it, and thinks of it as how important or interesting it is to his readers, who are, in any case, a huge population. He will go get the story that suits his criteria, no matter how difficult it will be. Of course, he will spend more money to travel to a far-off island, where year-long hostages were taken to, at the day they will finally be released, rather than just drive a few miles to witness your first ever zip-line ride. But won’t it be a little disappointing if no one will keep a record of such an event that involves the exhilarating moment and personal achievement of you finally overcoming your fear? Well, you don’t need that guy who went brushing elbows with terrorists because you can be a journalist yourself! Not in the technical-slash-professional sense, however. What I mean is… keeping a journal! (Or if you’re seven years old, a dear diary)

Journaling is the term used for the practice of keeping a, well, journal, whose function is to explore one’s thoughts and feelings surrounding his life’s most precious personal events. It is a handy self-exploration kit that will describe and thoughtfully consider the happenings in your everyday life. At first, the thought of having a journal is too inwardly or introverted and anti-social, like people are going to judge you as such and as too into yourself. That is the misconception people will most likely have that I can treat as a clumsy accusation and an irrational conclusion. Why, a person can have a journal and still have a life! In fact, a journal has no sense if the person who has it does not have quite interesting personal events. A normal life doesn’t really have to be as interesting as news or primetime shows. There’s no need for hostage takings, a suicide attempt, a cheating girlfriend, a backstabbing blonde cheerleader best friend, a paranormal activity, an orphaned self. NO! Even if you do not attend concerts or parties, or there have not been such things in a while, you can still write anything as mundane as burning your French toast or taking your spaniel for a walk. By starting with trifles like these, you may end up talking about other toast recipes or the best breakfast you’ve ever had in a cafĂ© somewhere (or in your neighbor’s house), and also end up talking about your observations in the streets while you were walking your mutt. Journaling is just a way for you to discuss your mood and opinion towards what “just happened to you”. It’s like a log of your life. I repeat, it’s just a log of your life. I think there’s no question to that. Of course you’re not going to dedicate all of your time to your journal!

While journaling is a record of events, you may also write quite really personal things in it. Yes, I mean your feelings towards other people. Your classmate, your colleague, your sibling, your parents, let’s face it: they give us some troubles more often than we wish. It is sometimes too hard to keep them to yourself that you’ll wish there’s some Dr. Phil or a journalist who will interview you just so you can vent it out. Your friends might joke around you saying how unfriendly keeping a journal is, that is, how you can say such personal things to an object instead of sharing them to your friends. That is the number one reason I can think of why others say that people who keep journals “do not have friends.” Well who cares what other people think? Thinking of what other people will say about you will just aggravate your stress. First, you need to let it out. If you haven’t even done that and you already worry about other people, then you might already consider getting a psychiatrist. Before you even get to that point, you, for once, just need to try hashing out the problem by yourself. It is even easier to do it in your journal because with it, you can clarify your thoughts and develop solutions more effectively. Indeed, safer and more effective than alcohol. Writing will give you self-knowledge and self control that alcohol cannot. Before you lash out on someone, write about your problem first! It’s been scientifically proven that keeping a journal counteracts many of the negative effects of stress, and that it is actually a stress management tool similar to meditation and yoga (minus the muscular relaxation routines). Besides being a stress therapy, journaling also has a number of proven health benefits such as decreasing the symptoms of health conditions like arthritis and asthma, and also boosting a person’s immune system. An effective journaling, as a psychologically therapeutic means, is writing about your feelings with a mental beginning and developing it emotionally. Recall the event and try to find the lesson, and it isn’t too hard to do without a huge ego, because it’s just like what you used to do with stories when you were a grade-schooler. Try to explore a different side of you and you’ll eventually find the solution to the problem, and finally obtain the courage to face it.

Being your own life’s journalist is a really good thing to do. Not only do you keep track on what’s been happening to your life, you also get the psychological and health benefits that involve finding solutions to problems. To start, what you need is fortunately not the journalist costume I mentioned before. You need a… what else, journal! Buy a notebook or whatever stationery product that can serve the purpose of a journal. What kind of notebook you buy depends entirely on you. Do you want a scrapbook-like kind of thing? Do you want it to have some designs and details in the borders of every page? Whatever will do as long as it can serve the purpose, and of course keep a pen handy. You may also want to do it in your laptop or computer. If you want to keep your journal private, you can buy a book with a lock or you can just keep your notebook locked in some place. If you do it in your laptop, password-protect it. Tools, Options, Security, then enter the password (in Microsoft Word). Having your journal private will remove your worry that someone will read your personal entries so that you can write anything and you will never need to hold back. Once you have what you need, you got to find time. Spare five to ten minutes (even twenty) from your busy schedule. Dedicate it to writing. You may want to write everyday so it will feel like it’s a log of your life. You may get the mood to write only when something really fulfilling or an excursion comes up. Still, I need to remind you that the benefits of keeping a journal come from everyday thoughts. You may write in the morning, to start off your day, or in the evening before you sleep to summarize the day. Once you got what you need, and the time aside, the only thing left to do is write. As discussed earlier, the subjects can be anything that’s been happening. If you’re really stuck, just to clear your thoughts, you may want to consider writing about profundities like what your purpose on earth is, what you can do to make yourself a better person, what your goals in life are, and the other feelings you have on your surroundings. People might say that it’s too Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul, but again, who cares? You’re getting the benefits of keeping a journal, anyway!

Just go on writing and let the thoughts and events flow, and do not even mind your grammar or how dirty the ink is on the paper. You can write creatively or just plain casually. It’s just about you so start writing! You’re just your own life’s journalist. Write what is happening. Write what you think. Write what you feel. Write your life! Someday it will be fun to read the journal from the very beginning, and, with every flip of the page, witness your own life unfold.

kudos to the new journalist you.

12 May, 2010

First Post!

Well, this isn't my first post ever, but definitely the first one here in Overville. I'm just not sure of what I'm gonna write here right now and I just thought that I should at least have something in here. I've been switching from one blog to another... and now I'm here. I'm gonna try to write as many topics as I can, so just tune in. 

kudos to Overville.
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