As of late, I have fallen in love with writing again. Here I don’t mean typing or even just writing a story, but I actually mean writing. Simply taking a pen to paper and letting your thoughts flow in whichever direction they choose to go.
The perfectionist in me used to avoid writing on paper whenever possible. This is due to my handwriting not being the neatest on the planet. However, handwriting is one thing that adds to the uniqueness of a person and what makes them completely and utterly themselves. My handwriting is a part of me. Just like the way I string words together is part of who I am. Even though I didn’t perceive it as being ‘perfect’ because it is messy, I realised that I am messy, my imagination is messy, and it is simply an extension of self.
I often struggle to stay organised and my brain naturally jumps to different ideas, without completing the initial idea. I am currently trying to ‘organise’ my thoughts, without limiting myself and my creativity. One of the best ways that I have found so far to accomplish this, is bullet journaling.
It is a method of staying organised that was created by Ryder Carroll and it has been a system that I have managed to stick with for the past two months. As of late, bullet journaling has become extremely popular and I was intimidated at first by how unique and beautiful other people have managed to make their books.
There are countless Instagram accounts and YouTube channels featuring extremely aesthetically pleasing journals and planners, with meticulous handwriting and gorgeous layouts. Everything from full blown watercolours to intricate sketches find their homes in these journals.
Until I realised something. The beauty of their creations lies in the fact that they put their heart and soul into their journals. It is a book that they carry around with them everywhere for whenever they want to write anything down. You simply open a new page and a new category is born. It is something that is extremely personal to each individual.
I have unconsciously been following a method similar to bullet journaling, except I used to have different notebooks for all sorts of different things. It is much more efficient for me to have everything that comes to mind in one book. This way it it is easier to evaluate my thoughts when moving to a new bullet journal. It forces me to go through everything, and decide which ideas and thoughts to improve and carry over to the new one, and which ones to leave behind.
I have also been more interested in proper journaling. Now I know some people do their journaling in their bullet journal, but I take up way too much space with that, so I have a separate book for more in depth writing. I keep my bullet journal for ideas and tasks to complete. It organises my life. Journaling lets me express myself more deeply, and over many more pages.
I recently received the gift of a fountain pen from someone who is quite close to my heart. I have never had a fountain pen before, as it is not mandatory for us to write with them in my old schooling system in South Africa. However, here in Dubai I discovered that many schools make it compulsory for students to learn to write with a fountain pen.
I ended up doing some research about the pens, because I was very ignorant about them. I was under the impression that they were difficult to write with and that they leak ink often. This is quite far from the truth, as I came to find that I adore writing with a fountain pen and I have not yet had any ink-malfunctions. Anyone who has had the fortune of writing with a fountain pen should know about their smoothness and lightness.
It has also allowed me to improve my cursive writing. As the pen flows more smoothly, it is much easier to form cursive rather than printed letters with it. It was one of my goals at the beginning of the year to improve my handwriting in general, as well as my cursive.
Some spring cleaning in my room also helped me to organise myself a little bit better. A cluttered room makes a cluttered mind after-all. All of my pens and notebooks and everything else now have a proper home and it is mush easier for me to locate everything whenever I need it. I am still a bit of a mess, but the mess is a lot more organised. I would call it eclectic now.
A few weeks ago, I discovered the danish concept of Hygge, and it is really worth reading about. Some candles and a cosy blanket have really made an impact on how I feel and how I spend my time. It has taken me some time to accept myself as I am, and my writing has been reveling in the aftereffects in the past 10 months or so. I have even started doodling a little bit.
After nearly 21 years, I have learned something that I wish I learned and accepted long ago. The best things that I have learned about to make me happy, did not take place at school or university. I discovered my magic for myself, without the pressure of getting good grades or the consequences of failing at the first attempt. The limitations of perfectionism are immense.
You can learn so much by yourself, in your own time, when you discover what you are truly passionate about. Elizabeth Gilbert talks a lot about creativity in her book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, and she rightly says that when you do something that makes you happy, you may unintentionally make others happy too, and touch their lives in ways that you could not have dreamed of. Whatever you do, don’t feel pressured to do it to please someone else.
That is the mentality that I am going to attempt to have and continue to follow my soul, wherever it leads. In my experience, things tend to happen as they should. I am looking forward to what secret joys (and sorrows) lie beyond the next bend, slowly waiting to unfold.