Last year, probably around this time of the year din, I developed an unhealthy obsession watching bullet journal videos on YouTube. I don’t know, must be the calligraphy, sobrang ugghhh orgasmic, or the designs, or it’s just therapeutic for me watching people plan out their lives when here I am, just living my life one day at a time. Sobrang amaze-balls!
To cut the long story short, watching those videos made me buy a journal again after a very long time. I also picked up a few brush pens, colored pens, and washi tapes. I was excited to revive my love for arts and crafts/scrapbooking. And I did!
For a noob, I was pretty proud of myself. Sobrang sakto rin because my friend Chinny taught us the basics of brush writing and I was loving it. And so started my bullet journal journey.
Upfront, I have decided I’m not going to do everything I’ve seen in bujo videos and I’d only pick the ones that made sense to me, lalo na’t naiinis ako sa usual journals that stationery companies sell every yearend, like, anong gagawin ko sa mga ibang areas dyan? Kebs. None of those journals speak to me, so I never really got into it. I was never hooked with the Starbucks journal as well. I’m that girl who asks the next person in the queue, “Nagco-collect ka stickers? Sa ‘yo na lang yung akin.” So customizing my own was really the logical answer for me.
To start off, my logs included the following:
- A year in review page for 2018 to chronicle the “amazing” things that happened to me. (hindi ko nasulatan because hindi pa tapos taon nung sinimulan ko. It seemed like I was waiting for my 2018’s plot twist. Spoiler alert: walang plot twist na nangyari.)
- An index where I could write the content (hindi ko rin nasulatan because tinamad na ko.)
- A calendar (that I am very proud of!)
- Mind map (na hindi ko rin nasulatan kasi I never had the time to really think about what I want for the year. See the pattern already? Nakikita niyo na ba ending ng journal na ‘to? Hahaha)
- Habits to Kill and Habits to Grow (in fairness naman, I did some of the things I’ve written here lalo sa habits to grow!)had to redact 7 and 9 hahaha!
- Ideal Schedule (I wrote wake up at 5am hahaha! Did this for a month when I was writing the book. But after that, I started waking up at 8am)
- Travel Goals (everything I wanted in this lifetime so I won’t get distracted from the usual travel goals ng mga tao. Must be the reason why I also didn’t travel a lot this year, save for that one time in Bohol when my sister got married.)
- Financial Goals (still on my way to completing the goals I set for myself. Had a major setback in January when we had to pool our money for a family emergency)
- Travel Fund (still working on this)
- A master plan for the entire year (e wala ring nasulat hahaha)
- The monthly logs (included an expense tracker)
I was doing pretty good during the first quarter, “new year, new me” vibes everywhere e, writing on the journal every night, updating it with what has happened, logging meetups with friends, family, and other things that needs to be logged.
And then April came…
I really thought I could do it for an entire year, haha, but joke’s on me, it only lasted for a few months. Buti na lang hindi ako bumili nung napakamahal na Leuchtturm journal haha. What happened was I got tired of designing it in the second quarter of the year. I remember I was a little down then, ewan. I was not feeling good about myself and I didn’t want to write about it. So anong isusulat ko? So I figured I want to take a break from it all. It also felt like a chore. Na para bang obligasyon ko siyang gawin kasi binili ko na yung journal sayang naman yung P299 ko at pens and all napakamahal din ha, di ko na kayang panindigan. Naisip ko, why does this feel like kailangan ko siyang gawing assignment when it should be fun, ‘di ba? I should have fun planning my life, ganoin? Kaso I’m really bad at planning. Even my trips, I only ever plan a week before leaving because tinatamad nga ako. I usually just decide on the spot. Must be my problem, no?
Anyway, I’m slowly going back to writing in this journal sans all the fluff of designs and shit that I see on the internet. Will probably just do the design thing if I feel like it, otherwise, wag na lang. Content over style tayo. I feel like writing on a weekly basis during my downtime is something that is working really well for me, it’s also something that I’m looking forward to, tbh. On some days, I even brainstorm with myself, “ano bang magandang isulat?” Ano bang tawag pag brainstorm tas mag-isa ka lang? Haha. I even try to find new ideas from other blogs and get topics from podcasts I listen to just to have something interesting to write about. Something I want to give my opinion on. Also decided to veer away from politics, I have Twitter for that, unless 240 words won’t cut it.
In fairness naman, my current journal has turned into a smorgasbord of stuff, a peak inside my head: a brain dump journal where I put in ideas I could go back to if ever I run out of ideas; budgeting for two weeks (ang goal ko ay to live off of last cutoff’s paycheck one day haha kaya natin ‘to self); a “friend” where I can really write about what I feel without filter, no judgments e, nakakagaan din ng loob mag-dump lang ng mga bagay na nagko-cause sa ‘yo ng joy or pain, like Joker. Okay, not turning into an evil villain, ‘kay? I’m writing about it to prevent that from happening, actually. Haha!
Okay, few realizations in the many years that I’ve been journaling, albeit on and off:
As mentioned above, bujo as a planner does not really work for me, nai-intimidate ako magplano ng bonggang-bongga. I have this feeling na kapag sinulat ko kasi siya, dapat magkatotoo, tapos pag hindi natuloy, naiinis lang ako. So I don’t think bujo as a planner is for me. It’s more of a journal for all my thoughts and things that happened to me that I don’t want to share on the web for everyone to see. It may seem like I share everything here, especially yung mga nagpe-personal blog, but I still believe that may mga bagay na dapat sa ‘yo lang talaga.
Writing daily is not just for me, probably because I already write for a living. Parang ang redundant na, guys? In retrospect, hindi rin naman ako nagsusulat daily sa diary ko dati.
Speaking of old diaries, my sister gave me my old photos she got from our old house back in May. Today, I unearth it and there are a few pages from my diary in fifth grade as well. Re-reading it is a little hard. Cringe! Hahaha! I realized that even then, I was very secretive with important details – especially names, scared that people get to read it and know how I truly feel and be seen. To this day, I’ve never really opened up to anyone besides myself. Sure, I share bits and pieces of my life to people I trust, but I never really have a person who knows everything. I don’t know if that’s sad or that’s just how I’m wired. Tulad nga ng sabi ng mga kaibigan ko, “ang taas ng walls mo.”
I hope one day I’d find myself brave enough to show my vulnerabilities. But until then, I am starting small, really hoping that I can continue this whole shebang because honestly, this whole “pause and reflect” thing is working really well for me.