Journaling That Doesn’t Suck

I’ve always been a writer, but I didn’t realize it until 4 years ago when I broke and began blogging out of necessity to live. I quite literally felt like I would die if I didn’t express myself, even at the great risk of exposing myself to further judgment and hurt…and boy did it.

I’ve journaled non-religiously (because I wanted to and it felt good, not out of a sense of obligation that I was “supposed to”) throughout my adult professional religious life. I’ve got a few journals spanning the last 20 years wherein I poured out my heart and soul to myself and whatever God there is as I understood Them at the time…and the evolution of my voice reflects as much. The earlier years are formal full paragraphs and I bothered with punctuation and proper grammar and such. What’s funniest and most cringe worthy to me now reading the me of yesteryear is the repressed and stilted language I used, addressing God as “Lord” and heavily salted with all kinds of christianeze platitudes and catch phrases to express my most intimate thoughts and feelings.

LAWD, that poor damaged child, speaking to appease and avoid condemnation of the church biddies even in my own head, prayers and private journals. Stiff and stagnant as those early journal entries may be, I can still see the nuggets of revelation and inspiration that inspired me to write at all, and I was diligent about dating them and revealing some context of what was going on in life at the time.

Then there were the years where my entries were all about figuring out how to do church, thinking there was some magic formula of reading and studying and praying just right that would make it all come together. Gah…I can’t even handle looking at that now. All I want to do is reach into those pages and pull my tortured soul out of that toxic wasteland into sunlight and freedom. I look at the date of every hopeful entry where I was doing my darndest to pull myself up by my bootstraps, stay positive, do and say all the right things, and like watching a horror movie, I see the monster around the corner who’s about to devour the unsuspecting damsel. It doesn’t matter how loudly I scream, “No! Don’t go in there!”…she does…and it’s a bloody, gory mess.

My voice definitely evolved over time, or…devolved, actually, as everything I’d been led to believe and think crumbled away bit by bit until the final crash and ultimate deconstruction. The last few years, if I journaled at all, it was mostly short phrases and ideas, sometimes even just a word. Toward the end, that word was “FUCK.” When you’re a mangled bloody mess, it just works and brings a certain level of comfort and release when you can find precious little of either anywhere else.

Blogging had become my journaling…sort of. More like journaling on steroids. I do absolutely love the medium to talk about the things that are important to me, but it takes me hours and hours to get one out, usually using more words than most care to read. I can’t Tweet to save my life. The challenge to say something meaningful and witty in 140 characters or less….ha, ha, ha…NO.

I’m going to use my natural wordiness and passion for story telling to write a book, sooner than later, but on the way and as part of that process, I’m going to resume journaling and share them here on the Cage-Free blog – jotting down random things for no other reason than I notice them and want to document and save for posterity as blocks I might use to build something substantial down the road. That’s not work for me but 100% pleasure and how I make sense of and recognize the sacred in life 24/7. It ain’t preaching or trying to convince anyone of anything. It’s simply what I see as I go.

You (whoever you are) are so very welcome to see too…or not. Take or leave whatever you will, my blatherings are offered freely and without condition or expectation of what anyone else will do or think about them.


Now to figure out what I want to do with these. Part of me wants to burn them and release that poor repressed caged girl once and for all. The communal BBQ right outside is calling to me.

7 thoughts on “Journaling That Doesn’t Suck

  1. I saw a similar transformation in my own blog – from a kid who parroted the pastor exactly to an adult who questioned everything the pastor says. I totally see so much so differently now. I keep around my old posts to remind me how far I’ve come … and how far I’ve yet to go. I lament some of the hurtful things I’ve said and I know I could just erase them and not have them hanging around – but I’d rather be held accountable and use it to consider how beneficial change can be. What really scares me is that as I’ve become increasingly liberal, I’m seeing a lot of push-back from the frighteningly conservative crowd that’s extremely vocal. I think that what it really comes down to (at least, for me) is that what I thought Christianity should be (take care of the poor, feed the hungry, speak up for the oppressed) has been morphed into a beast that’s all about it’s own power and control over people (taking care of the poor is entitlement, anyone who doesn’t agree with us deserves lesser treatment, etc.) It’s as if the gospels have been outmoded by the epistles and God’s just waiting to punish everyone that doesn’t believe the right things the right way.

    Liked by 2 people

    • LOL, no really, there isn’t any treasure to be had there other than being able to see that I have always been me. Universe sized me stuffed in a pill box was trying reeeeaaaaallly hard but came up short to say anything of value worth holding on to. The best thing she did was just tell her story, and I get to see her start to do that and the beginnings of stretching her legs and breaking out of that prison. I’ll hang on to them for that alone, to honor her fight. She wanted so desperately to be seen and heard yet was her own worst jailer and abuser. So ironic to see how heavily filtered and repressed my writing is in private journals that were for my eyes only vs. the raw and unleashed honesty of the blog that anyone can read.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I will take that…and trust me, there truly is treasure there cus that is how Mama rolls…She takes the weak things to shame the strong and the foolish to shame the wise.

        Just be sure to keep them, of this I am utterly certain, and maybe even do a calendar reminder for 7 years hence to read them again…and then look around for the new littles in your life and how they will need their own “Charissa” during that time!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. When you find your passion … What you do with it counts. That is what happened to me .. From a humble background in Africa, I write my heart out on the same stage with people who have 24/7 Internet access, libraries and very good computers. Because of passion … I taught myself literature and I spare the little I have for Internet access, BT I’m happy because my life is beautiful and I am happy.

    Liked by 1 person

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