A friend of mine, Cara Ansley, shared an article with me from the current issue of O Magazine—the Oprah Magazine. It gave a sneak peek at a few entries of Oprah’s journals. My initial thought was, “I thought Oprah would have nicer handwriting!” I enjoyed seeing this look into her personal thought life—what she felt as a teenager, her real thoughts and feelings, her experience during a movie shoot. I was talking to Stephen recently over coffee at Starbucks  about how seeing people during their downtime makes them seem more real, more human. That’s what Oprah’s journals helped me see—that she’s just a person like anyone else!

After not picking up my journal for about a month, I pulled the book off the shelf and opened it again to start sorting out some ideas that were going back and forth inside my head. I’ve found that writing with the intention of shedding light on what I’m feeling—just getting it out there and “talking” about it on the page instead of trying to keep things sorted inside my brain—is revelatory. Oprah said at the end of her article, “It’s astonishing to be able to track your own evolution—who I was, who I’m still becoming.” I could really relate to that. Between the last sentence of my entry a month ago and my newer entries, I could really see how I had come a long way in some ideas in just a few short weeks. Would I have realized that without a journal? Maybe. But it probably would have taken me a lot longer to realize that I’d gotten anywhere at all!

So I’ll keep following Oprah’s lead and jotting down my thoughts—who knows where I’ll be when I can show 20+ years of journaling?

Oprah's 1979 Journal

Photo of Oprah’s March 2, 1979 journal from Oprah.com

You can read the article online and see photos of her journals here or pick up an issue of the April 2011 Oprah Magazine in your local bookstore.