Ack. Another month has flown by already. And we have three months left now to give any annual plans or desires that final push. Given that, why don’t we make our monthly journaling theme time-related? Let’s make it specific to age. Below are some questions to get you going. Take them in any order. Skip some, repeat others — as you wish. The goal is to use them as simply a jumping-off point. Your aim should be launch into at least a one-pager with each. Digress if you must. Enjoy.
1/ What age were you when you read your first book?
2/ What age were you when you watched your first full movie (that you can recall)?
3/ At what age did you first cook something that others ate?
4/ At what age did you first win something in a competition?
5/ At what age did you first lie that you can remember?
6/ At what age did you have your first kiss?
7/ At what age did you have your first sexual experience?
8/ What year did you first vote, if you’re old enough? If not, what will be the first year you get to vote?
9/ At what age did you meet your best friend ever?
10/ At what age did you meet the love of your life? Note: this does not have to be a person.
11/ At what age did you experience your biggest loss to date?
12/ What age would you like to live until?
13/ At what age did you achieve one of your life’s important dreams?
14/ What year did you first travel for fun?
15/ If you could go back to a certain age, which would it be and why?
16/ If you could fast-forward to a certain age, which would it be and why?
17/ What is the age of your youngest friend?
18/ What is the age of your oldest friend?
19/ If you could pick the age that you die, what would it be? This doesn’t have to be morbid but it helps to think about death as just another part of our cycle here on earth.
20/ At what age did you start using social media if you do? If you don’t use social media, you can write about the time you began using electronic communication of any form.
21/ At what age did you do your first public performance? Doesn’t have to be the usual — it could also be talking before a group or demonstrating something to a group.
22/ In your heart and mind, what is the constant age you feel?
23/ Your biggest regret in life so far — what age were you?
24/ Your biggest accomplishment in life so far — what age were you?
25/ Your biggest happiness in life so far — what age were you?
26/ Describe one thing you would like changed to reduce ageism in society.
27/ Describe one ageist idea/belief that you hold even though you may not be proud of it.
28/ Describe how someone has surprised you by doing or achieving something entirely unexpected for their age.
29/ If you could be given the same number of wishes as your current age, list out what you would like them to be.
30/ Are there any age limits to any particular activities in life? What are they?
31/ If you could do something this year yet that is totally not expected or suitable for your age, what would it be? What’s stopping you from doing it?
Let’s end with a couple of quotes on age and journaling:
Anybody can look at a pretty girl and see a pretty girl. An artist can look at a pretty girl and see the old woman she will become. A better artist can look at an old woman and see the pretty girl that she used to be. But a great artist — a master — and that is what Auguste Rodin was — can look at an old woman, portray her exactly as she is . . . and force the viewer to see the pretty girl she used to be . . . and more than that, he can make anyone with the sensitivity of an armadillo, or even you, see that this lovely young girl is still alive, not old and ugly at all, but simply prisoned inside her ruined body. He can make you feel the quiet, endless tragedy that there was never a girl born who ever grew older than eighteen in her heart . . . no matter what the merciless years have done to her.
There is, of course, always the personal satisfaction of writing down one’s experiences so they may be saved, caught and pinned under glass, hoarded against the winter of forgetfulness. Time has been cheated a little, at least in one’s own life, and a personal, trivial immortality of an old self assured. And there is another personal satisfaction: that of the people who like to recount their adventures, the diary-keepers, the story-tellers, the letter-writers, a strange race of people who feel half cheated of an experience unless it is retold. It does not really exist until it is put into words. As though a little doubting or dull, they could not see it until it is repeated. For, paradoxically enough, the more unreal an experience becomes – translated from real action into unreal words, dead symbols for life itself – the more vivid it grows. Not only does it seem more vivid, but its essential core becomes clearer. One says excitedly to an audience, ‘Do you see – I can’t tell you how strange it was – we all of us felt…’ although actually, at the time of incident, one was not conscious of such a feeling, and only became so in the retelling. It is as inexplicable as looking all afternoon at a gray stone of a beach, and not realizing, until one tries to put it on canvas, that is in reality bright blue.