To Etch a Life in Words

By Allison Stein

A journal is more than a record of the writer’s life—it is a notebook that, page by page, teaches the writer how to live. To etch a life in words is to lend it new meaning in the process. Here are the top 10 reasons to saturate paper with the songs inscribed in your soul:

1. To Capture Change…in Real Time

  • February 15, 2016: “Everyone else…seems to be looking forward to a sparkling gem of the future, but I’m holding on to all I can.”
  • March 24, 2016: “…I’ve changed so much between now and then that it seems a near eternity has elapsed.”
  • April 18, 2016: “[T]ime goes too fast as it is, so I’ll simply savor this moment.”

2. To Crystallize a Moment in Memory

  • January 19, 2016: “I know the odds are against me, but I can’t help but hope.”
  • January 25, 2016: “I have to trust my instincts: They’ve never let me down before.”
  • May 24, 2016: “I have to at least try.”

3. To See Through the Scope of Retrospect

  • March 2, 2016: “I suppose I…have to take comfort in the fact that I did the best I could do.”
  • May 12, 2016: “I’m just proud I never gave up.”
  • June 13, 2016: “…I’d fallen hard, so hard I thought I might crack, but I wouldn’t break.”

4. To Solidify Ideals

  • March 14, 2016: “[D]reams come true…if you chase, you will catch. You will lose your breath and trip over your own feet and fall down, but you will catch…”
  • May 16, 2016: “Let faith be your compass.”
  • May 17, 2016: “Take joy in the successes, and take heart in the failures, but remember that, ultimately, the only worthwhile validation emanates from within.”

5. To Wrestle with Insecurities

  • March 28, 2016: “Sometimes I feel like a horrible person. I’m so flawed, so far from where I want to be.”
  • March 28, 2016: “I try hard…but I still fall short…”
  • March 29, 2016: “I’m scared I’m not good enough.”

6. To Accept and Embrace Flaws

  • February 23, 2016: “[C]onformity is too often a prerequisite of acceptance—but it is the soul under the labels I have to live with.”
  • July 4, 2016: “I want to be accepted for the person I am, not molded into the person they wish I were.”
  • July 4, 2016: “I hope the world knows I try to be a good person: I have good intentions, a good heart.”

7. To Find a Purpose

  • January 19, 2016: “Maybe I’ll make a difference to somebody, somewhere. That’s the dream.”
  • February 21, 2016: “…I owe it to the world to be the answer to someone else’s prayer.”
  • March 9, 2016: “…I didn’t want to take a passive role in my own life.”

8. To Gain Perspective

  • April 4, 2016: “God always aligns the constellations just right.”
  • May 22, 2016: “[I]n the toughest moments…I was listening hardest for the voice of God…”
  • June 23, 2016: “I learned that…people are good…”

9. To Seek Answers

  • March 2, 2016: “God will stay with me, and I’ll be okay.”
  • March 20, 2016: “I have to remember that God has a plan, and He will take care of me…He gave me a heart to reach out to others. I can do this.”
  • May 6, 2016: “[I] kept praying that God would make it happen the way it was supposed to happen.”

10. To Be Grateful

  • January 11, 2016: “I thank God for memories every night—and for the people I made them with.”
  • April 2, 2016: “It is so wonderful to have someone to call a best friend, someone to open my heart to.”
  • April 17, 2016: “I am…blessed to be around people who love me.”

While I hope you enjoyed reading the reality I strived to etch on paper, I also invite you to write your own story—and, word by word, build a life you are proud to live.

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