When I was in my early teens I had a diary. It was a "secret" diary, mostly full of embarrassing writings about my latest crush, as well as the occasional mention of the hopes, dreams and regrets of thirteen year old me. I would write in it about once a month, but the older I became, the less I confided in my diary. However, I managed to make those 200 or so pages last around five years. By the time I had my first boyfriend and I had got into uni, the internet, academic work and romance made me feel like I didn't need a diary any more. And now, in my mid-twenties, I regret not having kept it up.
Despite not having an actual "diary" during my uni years, I did carry a notebook around with me at all times. I never knew when I would need a pen and paper to hand, and those notebooks wound up full of scribbled ideas, fragments of stories, poems, letters to friends and even the odd lecture notes. But when my best friend from uni gave me a jumbo notebook as a parting gift, I decided I didn't want to spoil it with any old rubbish, especially not with the dedication from my friend on the first page. So the notebook sat on my shelf for at least a year, until one day I decided to start noting down something nice from each day, or at least each week. Whether that be a special moment, or an entire perfect weekend, the main idea was to create memories. I realised that I barely recorded my time as an Erasmus student in Germany, which was, hands down, the best five months of my life so far, and so I took a vow that I would keep track of the most beautiful moments and days of my life, if only by writing a sentence, a few bullet points or even a paragraph in my notebook.
Every now and then, I flick back through my notebooks when I need some inspiration, or else when I'm feeling a bit blue. An afternoon spent drinking coffee with a friend or watching the sunset at the beach two years ago might seem like something small, but those are things I especially like to do, things that make me happy, and it's memories like that that might fade from my mind, but they will always be there in my notebooks as long as I take the time to write them down.
What enjoyable things did you do today, in the past week, or even in the past month? Is it your birthday, or the end of the year and you want to reflect on your time, or perhaps there is a special event currently taking place? Whatever the occasion, however you're feeling, take the time to write it down, even if it's just a sentence. You never know how that memory will cheer you up days, months or years from now.
Here's to full notebooks.
Here's to making memories.