My relationship with letters and words has always been strong. As an infant, I loved to be read to, and I taught myself to read when I was three. My sister, then aged six, was learning, and I listened in to the exercises she did with our parents. Of course, there were some problems to be sorted when I finally went to kindergarten; I didn't realize that there was a difference between a comma and a period, for example.
The children's librarian didn't know what to do with me. I devoured every halfway-decent chapter book for grade-schoolers she knew of.
Eva was a passionate reader too. We'd race each other to finish the latest instalment in the Harry Potter series. Then we'd argue about what we thought would happen in the next one.
As for writing, I wasn't so keen on it to begin with, mostly because I couldn't write fast enough to put my thoughts down on paper. Why should I write it down when I could simply tell you instead? I warmed up to it though, and by the time I was eight and nine I loved writing short stories, which, sadly, mostly consisted of Harry Potter fanfiction. Thankfully, I eventually branched out to create my own characters and strange new worlds. But I still absolutely hated essays, especially the ones they make you write in school about pointless topics like which color is the best. Ask me about cosmetic testing on animals or smoking bans in restaurants and I might oblige.
And then suddenly I found my life as I knew it in pieces. My stories became disturbing tragedies starring young women feeling much of the same confusion and anger as I did. More than one ended in the protagonist's suicide.
To keep this straight: I do not keep a journal in the regular sense of the word. I never have felt the urge to. Rarely, I might write my thoughts down on random sheets of paper, then chuck them in the back of the closet and never see them again, but, as I said, that is only very rarely- the exception is something like this post.
For me, these fictions I write are my journal. They reflect, almost exactly sometimes, my mood and thoughts at the time of writing.
I didn't consider it introspective writing at the time, but it helped to support me during the time of insufferable depression. When writing, every character, even the coldest, most heartless ones contain a tiny piece of yourself. The characters I wrote about- they were me. I led them through their own troubles, sometimes resolving them, sometimes not. Writing these stories, often science-fiction, let me work through my pain many people say journal work does.
If these characters I write about reflect me, that would lead one to assume that I reflect them as well. If I made them happier and more optimistic, would I become so? Naturally, there's the argument that I have to be happier and optimistic to write about them like that, which I suspect is true. Maybe if I try to view myself writing my own book, my own story, I will find an easier way to pull through.
Who's to say?
The rest is still unwritten.
There we go- a drop of optimism.