Journaling is far more than just putting a pen to the paper as some might suppose. There is this widespread belief that journaling is a frivolous act. It is something done just to pass time or something cute. Rather than think of this practice and trivialize it is vital for me to consider it as something much more expansive. Journaling is a meditative act, a proponent to practicing one’s mindfulness. I say it so because journaling in fact saved my life. It is never just putting a pen to the paper especially for Black women.
Living in a world in which societal expectations are placed on us daily it is imperative that we come to know who we are outside of what and who we are told to be. On the regular we are bombarded with imagery and messaging outline the perfect woman. We are told who she must be, how she must act, how she should dress, where she should live and with whom, how she must spend her life, adorn herself, and most importantly who she must love. This messaging even goes further for black women.
It is ingrained in us that we are to be strong and selfless no matter the circumstance even if it is at the expense of ourselves. So often we are admired and encouraged for our ability to “make something out of nothing” and “push through”. The ability to overextend out of necessity to keep things rolling is celebrated. We are encouraged to continue carrying on being the backbone and the foundation for everyone else but who is doing that for us?
The expectations and the projected destinies placed upon us often led by misogyny in this patriarchal world box us as black women in. They function to keep us mute, docile, meek, and submissive. God forbid we are anything but that which nine times out of ten we are ! The toxic messaging serve to groom us into beings that are acceptable dornes in a system. We are led to believe that we must look outside ourselves for love, fulfillment, satisfaction and purpose. Through journaling I have been learning a lot more about myself as black woman, or rather teastained women( make a footnote), a term I have come to learn from writer and journal creator, Chimene Jackson, creator of Vabaroad Journals. Through journaling I have learned that it allows us to take our story into our own hands. We are the main star with the recurring role in our own lives as well as the producer, the director, and editor.
Through journaling we give ourselves an opportunity to process life’s trajectory as it manifests in real time. We are able to reflect form the past and learn from it. We are able to take inventory and be mindful of our current circumstances as they are occuring. Doing this in itself really helped me to tap into my Divine Feminine energy and get in tune with my emotions. It wasn’t until I started writing regularly was I able to decipher how I really felt and what I really cared about. For so long I suppressed my emotions under the guise that emotions were dangerous and a sign of my weakness. Through writing and processing as I document my inventories I am learning the actual truth about emotions. They are very much powerful and impactful whether one takes notice or not. Taking on a meditative practice allows for a deeper meeting with the mind and thus a far rooted understanding and knowing of how one feels in real time or has felt. This all affects everything in the development of life.
This practice of putting the pen to the paper allows for a release. A release of what you might ask? A release of energy that we take on from out jobs, families, partners and any other external relationships we might be apart of/involved in. As women it has been noted time and time again how caring and selfless we are. I am learning that this is not the true characteristics for us all of us women and anytime we exist as something outside of the defined standard we are shamed for it and thus pressured to conform.
Through writing we as women are able to control the narrative and set the space for the stories we desire to be pushed forth into the world.
I was inspired to write this when Vagabroad Journals creator’ Chimene Jackson asked me to answer the question as to why journaling means so much more for tea stained women. Check out my response here under name: Cherie J.