The birth of my Bullet Journal (BJ): Part One
I never realized how much I love drawing and colouring until I allowed myself to finally explore this in my bullet journal and on my iPad. This, dear readers, is the story I have wanted to share for a while: the birth of my BJ last year, in 2021. It took me a while to decide on sharing this part of my life because to be honest, my BJ is something really personal to me. I hope by sharing this story - and parts of my BJ here - you will be inspired to create, to explore your hobbies, to become vulnerable through art, and to learn more about yourself and your talents/interests. (Note: no images in this post are mine. When I share my work, it'll be clear that it is mine!).
I used to spend time on Pinterest exploring pins on bullet journals, adoring the spreads before me. I loved the ideas there, but for some reason, felt like I could never do this. First, I was not 'good' at art. Second, I didn't even OWN a bullet journal or tools to draw/colour. Third, I didn't have the time to make a bullet journal (BJ).
These reasons were all, of course, simple excuses and easily manageable. All it took was some quick online searching and a visit to the store - and I had myself a bullet journal, markers, and journal pens. There. Now the excuse of not having a physical journal and drawing materials was solved.
What about not being 'good' at art? This one took a while to overcome - and to be honest, sometimes it still creeps up. I have never been an 'artistically successful' person. In elementary school, art (and gym...!) were my lowest marks. I remember struggling to draw things in school, and being teased about this. I believe that these experiences made me hesitant as an adult to draw and colour, even though I really enjoyed them!
Isn't it interesting how childhood experiences truly do contribute to our beliefs as adults? Because as a child I was told that my artwork (by peers, teachers) was not 'good', I felt that as an adult, making a bullet journal was pointless. It was as though I was worried that I would fail at this too, even though a bullet journal now would be strictly for myself - as an act of self-care, for fun.
But deep down, I really wanted to have my very own BJ. I had so much to draw and write about: quotes, life lessons, Bible verses. realizations, reflections, etc. What did it matter if I did not know how to draw as well as others? I could 1) do my best; 2) look online and follow tutorials; 3) trace pictures; and 4) use this as an opportunity to learn and explore my artistic side. Plus, my bullet journal would be for ME. If I made 'mistakes' or the drawing/page did not look 'beautiful' - well, to be frank, WHO CARES? And what does 'beautiful' mean, anyways? What does 'good at art' even mean?
And then came tackling the issue of 'lack of time' for this. Sigh. With 24 hours a day, I could not find time for 'fun'?! Well, to be honest, my days are pretty full. Between meetings, work, family time, friends, church, etc...all of this did not leave much time for my bullet journal. Some deep reflection helped me see a few key facts: 1) I had to MAKE time for my BJ, because it was something I valued and wanted to do; 2) there was no 'rule' dictating that I HAD to work on my BJ each day (hence, decreasing the tendency to be rigid and perfectionistic); and 3) spending time on my BJ would contribute to my wellness, which would in effect, make me more efficiency at other activities.
And hence, began my BJ. It has been about a year, and I have enjoyed it tremendously. Is my art amazing? No, if you compare to others. But to me, what IS amazing is that I let myself make a BJ. I allowed myself to draw and write, to make mistakes. To use different colours and styles on paper, and to look at what I made and to smile. To be proud of the work I produced.
And throughout the next few posts, dear readers, I will share some pieces with you. The pieces of my BJ may not be as good as others', as artsy as your own creations, or as beautiful as what is available online. But, it is my BJ, and I am proud of it. I hope you learn something from this story about how my BJ was born, and from the pages I will share.
Let yourself be creative - you may be surprised at what you are capable of...I sure was!