Thursday, 25 October 2012

Keeping a Journal

As a "historian" I have always found myself being intrigued by the idea of leaving something behind for the generations that come after us. I want to make sure that a part of me, my life, my beliefs does not simply get lost in the future. I know that I am not going to become a person that is important enough to have books written about her, I am no Clara Zetkin and no Angela Merkel and I really don't want to be! Still, I love the idea that in the future some weird nerdy kid might stumble across a bit of my life and get all excited to learn some interesting yet absolutely unimportant things about me and the past.

Nothing in our lives really lasts forever. We live, we die, we get burried and after 20 to 25 years our grave becomes the grave of somebody else. More and more people decide to get cremated which means that not even our skeletons will be left to please the curiousness of the people living after us. We have loads of skeletons, skulls and bones from different times in the past that we can clearly identify as being the remains of an identified person and I am afraid that will not be possible with us and our remains.

If we look at our clothes, we often see that we tend to wear certain things for a season, maybe a few years and give or even throw them away afterwards. Nothing we make is really meant to last forever, except maybe for jewellery. Back in the past people had most often less clothes and accessoires and the ones they had in their possession were often kept for as long as possible because they were expensive, often handmade and made out of high quality material. I am not only talking about the Victorian era, the Middle Ages and so on but also about the youth of our grandmothers and grandfathers. My grandma owns clothes that are up to 40 years old and still in great condition, simply because the quality and her magic hands keep them in this condition. The generations after us will not be able to find vintage items that belonged to their grandparents (us) because we live in a society where nothing is made to be kept forever.

I want to make sure people will remember me and the time I live in, I want to leave something behind. Something that isn't my carbon footprint. That is why I keep a journal.

My journal is not a diary, it is not a book that I write in on a regular basis. Instead, I use it to document the things in my life that make me happy.
 Things I put into my journal:

  • travel reports
  • tickets from movies, trains and concerts
  • my favourite quotes
  • thoughts on books I have read
  • pictures that I find beautiful and inspiring
  • things my friends drew or wrote 
  • a list of things I have learnt 

An entry about a museum I visited

Harry Potter quotes, I reserved a few pages in a row for this

The journal is neither a scrapbook nor a travelogue or a diary, I guess it is something in between. If people in the future ever find it they won't get any knowledge about my daily life but rather about how I like to spend my free time. I enjoy writing/glueing/stamping in it a lot, it gives me the possibility to relive those positive moments in my life another time.

Do you keep a journal? What do you write in it? What would you want future generations to find?

Have a great day,

The Countess


  1. I've kept a journal of sorts on and off since I was seven, and in recent years I have a variety of books: art journal, travel journals, scrapbooks, quote books, etc. - not to mention the blog. I'm inclined to think future generations might have too much information about me - I don't have a fireplace to burn the embarrassing stuff.

    1. On the other hand one could argue that the older stuff shows how your development in writing and drawing, so maybe they are not embarrassing after all because they show from where you have started.

    2. To a point, yes... but decades can't hide the cringe-feste of my early teen years.

  2. I keep a gratitude journal and count all of the positive things in my life that I am grateful for.

  3. Aww, it's a subject that makes me melancholic. To know that after a while no one will remember us...

    I've kept a journal too, yet I hope no one will read those, though I have no heart to burn them nor to stop writing them. But I hope that one day I manage to write a story that will make it into a book and which will maybe end up in a library where it can be found by curious people, haha.

    1. Haha,I also still hope that I might become a famous writer one day :)
      Still, I would love to be sure that people will not only remember my stories but also me as a person...