Hi everyone! My name is Katherine Yu and I just joined the Project Memory team as a Growth Marketing Intern this summer. I am an incoming sophomore at the University of Washington in St. Louis studying Marketing and Organization & Strategic Management. I just moved to the Bay Area and I’ve really enjoyed exploring scenic places, taking long walks, and trying new restaurants!
We are all constantly living a life of hurry, going from one thing to the next in our busy schedules, but journaling allows me to pause and really reflect on my day.
For the last four years now, I have been documenting my life with a pen and paper every single day. It all began when I wanted to be more intentional about practicing gratitude everyday. I knew that if I wanted to be consistent about it, I would need a tangible method of doing this, so I ordered some journals and began on my 15th birthday.
When I first started journaling, I made bullet lists of all the happy things that happened during my day that I was grateful for, including even the smallest of things such as seeing sun rays through the trees on my morning walks. And aesthetically, my journal was really colorful because I used multicolor flare pens—a different color for each day.
As I got older, my goals and aesthetics began to change, but as a creature of habit, I didn’t want to switch the way I was journaling. As a result, it ended up burning me out and I lost the joy I found journaling. I realized how important it is to do what makes you genuinely happy, otherwise it’ll be incredibly difficult to journal without it feeling like a chore.
So about two years ago, I began writing down pretty much everything that happened in my day: the good, the bad, and any other thoughts that I had. I also switched to using black pens because I wanted a more minimalist look for my journals.
Since then, I’ve surprised myself with how consistent I have been able to be with journaling everyday. I realized that the reason I’ve managed to make daily journaling a part of my life is because I’m constantly reminded of why I love journaling. While photos are a wonderful way to capture the physical moment (and I do take thousands of photos), they sometimes lack the heart and soul behind the moment. No matter how many photos I take, they can’t capture the entirety of my life.
Journaling allows me to remember both my happiest moments and my most vulnerable moments. It fills in all the gaps between the photos in my camera roll. There have been many occasions where I wanted to remember specific things like the first time I met someone or what I was doing exactly one year ago from today. Without my journals, I wouldn’t have been able to go back and laugh at the difference between my first impression of someone versus our relationship now or be surprised at how much has changed in the past year. Reading old journals is always the most special part of daily journaling because I can witness and reflect on my personal growth throughout the months and years.
"Journaling allows me to remember both my happiest moments and my most vulnerable moments."
Documenting my move from Chicago to the Bay Area
I have been in California for less than one month, and yet I’ve already taken 1,500+ photos and videos of my life here. Still, if my apartment was on fire, I would save my journals over my phone and SD cards any day of the week. Show me a photograph and I can see a moment in time. Show me a journal and I can trace a story of infinite moments from experiences to internal thoughts and feelings—this is why handwritten memories hold a special place in my heart.