Peek Inside My Journal, New York

messy thoughts

Emma is the editor & creator (and occasionally writer) for The Messy Heads. She enjoys yellow curry, print media, and singing to herself.

I have about 20 moleskins of various colors- navy, red, and tan, that I have accumulated since moving to Los Angeles about a year ago. While I was in college, I kept most of my thoughts and doodles confined to the pages of my planner, which I threw out at the end of the year.

When I was younger, I distinctly remember one journal in particular, a blue hardcover with a black lab on the front. My mom protested against having a pet in the house, so I picked this cover as a manifestation to one day get a dog. I remember that in these pages I wrote about my first crush, my first hug, and things that felt so, so secretive. I accidentally left it in in the bedside table of a hotel room once, and feared that someone was going to one day expose that I had a crush on someone in my second grade class.

Journaling is chronicling your life, writing your own history, and also a place of non-judgment where your thoughts can roam free. Your journal is between you and you alone, so say what you want. Get those bad, icky thoughts out on a page. Confess your secrets, talk about the details of your day, and remind yourself what you love about you and about your life. If you feel uncomfortable having these thoughts physically on paper, burn your pages after you are done writing. It’s another way to release negative energy, watching the smoke twirl up in the air and hard times go with it.

Here is a little peek into the past six of my journals.

check out the two new journals in our shop, each comes with an exclusive sticker pack to customize your cover



some doodles that I made for Issue 2: Rebel Rebel. See if you can find them throughout the magazine.


I painted this before going to Paris, an analysis of how I am always daydreaming. It reads..

“Sometimes I think…. About how I want to travel to france with you, sleep in a chateau, drink wine… maybe even ride with a baguette in a bike basket. I romanticize things too much. That if it were to actually come to me, it would not live up and I would be dissatisfied, and maybe that’s why I stick to daydreams.”

This totally didn’t happen, and I had the most romantic, memorable experience darting through the streets of Paris. But when I re-read this piece I remember to balance myself between my daydreams and to not let them become expectations. Life as it is is good enough, and I want to be appreciative and living in the moment rather than disappointed.


I drew and wrote this while out on my fire escape before winter hit and it got too cold for me to sit there anymore.



I wrote this in Paris, thinking about how a fruit stand I stumble upon or a two euro gelato in a cobblestone alley is a spot someone grew up with. How marveling at the Senn at night is a popular hangout spot for locals. How I view this place so completely differently from a Parisienne or another tourist.

Everyone is living in their own world. 

hers is full of terracota walls, grapes for breakfast, wine stained laundry, fresh baked bread on Sundays, and foreign tongues that kiss better.

his is grey and structured, with a red pen to underline and a thick black marker to border. dictated by an alarm and a punchout. the scent of whiskey still potent no matter how much you rinse the glass. 

hers is sunny most days with waves that crumple and fall before her. nights are salty and dense and smell of lavender and mystery. skin taut from crisping in the sun. 

mine is full of memories I can’t seem to remember and cigarettes on fire escapes. time wasted and time cherished and time isn’t real at all. thai food and walking for miles. and I miss you. 


life is…

Isn’t that how so many poems, quotes, stories, and speeches start? Life is… hard? Is pointless? Is like a box of chocolates. But life is _______. Life is blank. Whatever you want and will it to be. You fill in the blank. You add meaning where there is none, reason when theres no rhyme, and rhythm when theres no time. 


Cybelle has a deck of daily guidance angel cards, with little bits of advice or things to focus on. I try to draw one every morning and this is a transcription of what I drew just the other day.


7 in the morning in a packed airport. People in airports think they are highly important, as if they are the only one who paid $300 to go home to see their grandma for the holidays. We’ve all got grandmas, we’ve all got holes in our wallets, and yes, you are going to have to go to the back of the line just like everyone else.

I grab the first middle seat I see. It’s a free for all, and I know I’m going to sleep most of the way anyway. There’s no need for a window seat to press my face up against and marvel at the city right before I touch down. I’ve been here’re before. I know the water and the space needle and the little islands that dapple the sea. I’m disappointed that I’m treating this plane ride like a bus ride. I’m about to leap from New York City to Seattle in the span of just a few hours like a greek god, and I don’t care enough to grab a window seat. I didn’t even bother packing a suitcase. I just grabbed a backpack, journals, headphones, some pens and my laptop— like I was just going to Brooklyn.

But I’m going “home”. To a place that’s never been my home to a bedroom I didn’t ever have a sleepover in and a pillow I never put a baby tooth under. Isn’t it these feelings, these memories, that makeup a home? I’m pretty sure the bedroom I sleep in always has the door closed if I’m not there.

It’s mine for all intents and purposes, but I didn’t pick the wall color or the bedspread.



check out the two new journals in our shop, each comes with an exclusive sticker pack to customize your cover


  1. Loved this post so much; it’s so special to be able to peek into someone’s journal, so personal, so unique. I only have a few pages left in my journal and I can’t wait to fill many more…

  2. Your journals are beautiful. The part about “life is…” is my favourite. Everything you write is so inspiring and thought provoking. Much love x

  3. It’s so interesting seeing how people journal in their own unique way. I’ve been journalling for around 2 years and I feel it has gotten me to think about myself a lot more than I used to do. You have to channel you, write with no distractions and be truthful and it can he challenging but it is so rewarding!!

    Infinity of fashion// Lucy Jane

  4. So lovely to read, really inspires me to use my journal more. It’s clear to see how much you value creativity and personal growth. So much love for you guys xxxxxx

  5. Absolutely in love with this! It’s so pretty, aesthetic and your writing is so amazing! You are very inspiring.

  6. Your journalling is so inspiring. I’ve taken it up this year, finally, but I don’t do it enough. My journalling seems to spread across my iphone notes, random word documents and my left wrist. I’m trying to combine it in my notebook.

  7. Sarah Kat says

    I’ve been rewatching all of the retrogrades out on emma’s channel and whenever I do passion seems to flow out of my head and I have to let it out somewhere, so I often journal. I also do it during the podcasts. It seems as if the messyheads is my muse and somehow I guess I am a messyhead?

  8. Earlier today I was on the hunt for a new journal as I have just finished my last one. Sadly, I havent found one that felt right. Im kind of picky with papers and I dont stick to one notebook. This post made me crave even more for a new one! Im gonna go back to hunting tomorrow. But for tonight, my thoughts lie in scratch papers.

    Thank you for letting us into your journal. I hope to have that courage one day. Soon maybe.

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