The day’s memories flash through my mind as I lie in bed. The piano plays. Their eyes watch. My voice cracks. My music teacher shakes his head in disappointment. I open my eyes. The streetlight beams through the blinds, casting long shadows across my bedroom. I pull back my covers and hit the lights. Only one solution can clear the thunderstorm raging in my mind. I open a bedside drawer to reveal the archive of my personal thoughts.
Clasped with a letter lock, my journal contains the story of my life over years of entries. I flip it open and begin to write. A tsunami of words bursts from my fingertips as I empty every thought and concern from the day onto the pages. As I set my pen down, a wave of calm washes over me.
Journaling increases my self-awareness. It allows me to organize my thoughts and identify issues that have gone unnoticed. Reviewing what I had written, I realize I had burst into laughter during the final notes of my song, prompting my teacher to react negatively. This was actually a reflection of my own insecurity. Instead of regarding the experience as a failure, I accept it as a challenge to work harder. The embarrassment I carried in my mind now lives on the pages of my journal. I slide the book back into its drawer and close my eyes, knowing that the clouds in my mind had cleared.