The Struggle {in Writing} to Find Meaning


 “What is important in the Olympic games is not winning, but taking part. What is important in life is not the triumph but the struggle.” 


One of the things I love most about journal keeping is that it is the writer’s safe place. In the journal one explores, reveals, discovers and dreams on paper. Truly, for the writer, the journal is playground, training center and friend. A journal is the friend you hang out in sweats with, the one you can call anytime, the one who accepts you just as you are. I never dress up in or for my journal, I just reveal myself for better and worse in pages that always embrace my words and value my worth.

I ramble, create, doodle and rant in my journal.

I trust the blank page and it helps me step out of myself into possibility.

The journal I am sharing from for this month’s Random Journal Day comes from 1996.


The Summer Olympics were in full swing, I lost the one person I knew for sure loved me – my grandmother, I was on the tail-end of a long-term, very unhealthy relationship and running in a million different directions at once. I journaled through every moment of joy, sadness and the struggle that continues to resonate to this day. This journal reveals a turn, or return toward poetic efforts to put into words that which I found hard to articulate otherwise.

Where are your struggles? What do they reveal? We must ask ourselves how the superficial struggles in our lives reflect what is happening beneath the surface. 

OK, enough of my pondering. Straight from the journal Dated July 18, 1996-August 26, 1996. (I don’t think I have shared this before but I may have shared from this journal before-sorry if I did- here it is anew!)


Summer 1996

The summer of leisurely breakfasts

and introspection,

of losses and learning…


new beginnings,


Sunny blue skies and stormy grey days

both to be embraced,

along with teary eyed memories 

of “Amazing Grace”

Confusion and Clarity

walking hand in hand,

feeling closer to home

travelling in a foreign land.

New and familiar 

at the same time

Everything old becomes new again,



The same, yet different simultaneously:




Nothing matters, everything matters.

It’s simple.

Love is the only answer to every question.

Love is all that matters.

Please join us for Random Journal Day  and a giveaway (happening all week long ending Monday!)

Linking with:

Create with Joy


Published by enthusiasticallydawn

Dawn Paoletta is the author of Journaling for Discovery and Delight. Her writing is included in several anthologies and her poems have been included in the Wickford Poetry and Art Exhibit and Books. Dawn is currently working on her next book. Inquiries at

11 thoughts on “The Struggle {in Writing} to Find Meaning

    1. Oh, thanks Mary! I am blessed that you did find this to be CP&W worthy- and hoped it would be even if it was not a post that I tried to add scripture to (although a few did come to mind!) but more reflective of walking in our humanity as you say being real in our reflection, writing and acknowledging- not denying our struggle…which is not against flesh and blood- but the battle is won or lost in the mind before it plays out in reality. Thanks again!


    1. I started blogging in 2011 and called it my great coming out of the closet (as a writer!). Which should have been coming out of the journal! Thanks for visiting and commenting, Rachael!


  1. Your very first thought is one I struggle with. I always believed my journals were my safe place. I’ve kept them in some form since I was 7 years old. My family ruined that for me. My husband and children are apparently no respecters of privacy or boundaries. Several times in the past they snooped in my journals and came away angry.

    Nothing that I wrote was worse than anything that most likely ran through their minds at times…I just chose to process my thoughts on paper. Writing helps me to focus and I am more articulate on paper. I wrote things I felt or thought and ran through the process of working through them. The things I wrote I’d never have said to anyone’s face and the whole point of journaling them was to let them go.

    Apparently, those who don’t write, don’t understand that need. They all took it very personally. I still journal, but the only really deep emotions and feelings I write about are about myself. If I touch on anyone else, my writing is now tainted by the thought that they may read it and I write to not offend.

    The other thing that has changed? Once a journal is filled….I destroy it. I don’t want it around to have my words twisted and used against me.


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