“What is it?” Harry asked shakily.

“This? It is called a Pensieve,” said Dumbledore. “I sometimes find, and I am sure you know the feeling, that I simply have too many thoughts and memories crammed into my mind.”

“Er,” said Harry, who couldn’t truthfully say that he had ever felt anything of the sort.

“At these times,” said Dumbledore, indicating the stone basin, “I use the Pensieve. One simply siphons the excess thoughts from one’s mind, pours them into the basin, and examines them at one’s leisure. It becomes easier to spot patterns and links, you understand, when they are in this form.”

“You mean… that stuff’s your thoughts?” Harry said, staring at the swirling white substance in the basin.

“Certainly,” said Dumbledore. “Let me show you.”

– J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

The Pensieve

At my tenth birthday party, a friend gave me a little yellow Winnie-the-Pooh diary that came with a lock and key for securing my thoughts. Having loved to write for as long as I can remember, it didn’t take long for me to eagerly fill the pastel pages with reflections, hopes, and daydreams in my colorful, loopy pre-teen handwriting.

Now, the first of many, the little yellow diary sits somewhere in my childhood bedroom closet, gathering dust at the bottom of a pile of journals and notebooks I accumulated throughout junior high and high school.

In college, when callouses from the constant note-taking began interfering with my personal writing habit, I began keeping a journal in a Word document file on my computer. Then, in 2008, I started my first blog on LiveJournal as part of an unusual project for a senior-level English class.

After that, I was hooked. Blogging, as weird as it may be, had suddenly become one of my ‘things’.

I continued over the next couple of years, documenting life as I quickly transitioned from confused post-grad to wide-eyed newly-wed, then military spouse and first-time mom.

Then, in 2012, when my husband deployed to The Middle East for twelve months, I began to see an opportunity to use my spare time to turn my journal into an arts and crafts website for moms and their children.

At first, I really enjoyed it. It was a fun way to document what I was doing at home with my own little one, while also pursuing something that I thought might allow me to help contribute a little to our family finances.

Before long, however, I found myself lost beneath all of the rules, pressures, distractions, and stresses of every day life, and I decided it wasn’t something I wanted (not in my current season, anyway) after all.

And, so, in 2013, shortly after our second son was born, I took some time off.

Looking back over the last couple of years, I regret not having kept a personal journal, online or otherwise. Although, I admit, it may be an unusual hobby to have, there is something wonderful about blogging in the old-fashioned (circa 2008) kind of way.

Blogging as a hobby tends to be something few – aside from the bloggers, themselves, of course – truly understand.

Only Harry Potter nerds like myself may truly get and appreciate this analogy, but, for me, a blog could be compared to Dumbledore’s magical Pensieve. It turns what could be a mind full of cluttered thoughts (or a neglected pile of dusty old journals) into a neatly organized database of sorts in which I can relieve myself of my thoughts and memories, and collect them so that I may examine them at my leisure – documenting life, reflecting, spotting patterns and links, and sharing them with others along the way.

Not only that, blogging is also a community where I have developed real-life friendships and followed others in their own blogging journeys over the years. I love hearing stories, learning from different life experiences, and keeping up with friends this way.

Now, I’m hoping to get back to why I started blogging seven years ago.

Do you journal?

And, if you blog, what is your blogging story? Please leave a comment with a link so I can stop by and say hello! I love the community aspect of blogging, and I’m always on the look-out for new friends to follow on their own journeys.