Journal Page “Hey, little girl!” © Mandy van Goeije, 2013
I haven’t posted many images from my journals the past years.
But in previous years I posted a lot of them.
And sometimes those images lead to people worrying about me.
Some people would even try to cheer me up a bit!
Well, before anyone starts worrying about me after seeing the journal page I did today,
I just want to say that I am doing FINE!
More than fine, actually.
Then what’s with the gloomy image?
Well, to you it might seem gloomy because you don’t know the whole story.
And forgive me, but I have no intention of sharing my whole story here either.
You will just have to take my word for it that my paintings and illustrations are symbolic.
I tell my story with images that tell the whole story to ME.
Very often I find that I didn’t even know the WHOLE story until I’d painted a new picture.
Then it talks to me and fills me in on the things I wasn’t aware of.
So no, dear readers, I am not depressed.
I am not even feeling gloomy or otherwise heavy in the heart.
I am feeling swell.
And this journal page to me represents something wonderful and fills me with joy.
One of the most important lessons to learn when you start journaling with images,
is that it is NOT about pretty pictures AT ALL.
A journal is a diary – is about meaningful pictures.
Personal, intimate and meaningful pictures.
Meaningful to YOU, the diarist.
I share some of mine because I hope they will inspire you 
to make your own meaningful pictures of your life.
If my pictures ring a bell for you, if you can read them 
and if they happen to tell your story as well, that’s a bonus.
But in spite of my sharing them with the world my pictures remain private.
That’s not to say you cannot ask me how I’m doing.
I don’t mean to bite here. 
I just want to explain three things here:
1. Showcase that a journal = a diary = not about pretty, but about meaningful pictures
2. That gloomy pictures do NOT always represent gloomy stories
3. That my gloomy journal pages seldom mean that I’m not doing well. If anything, they’re mostly about growth and blooming and the realisation of how far I’ve come.
So, what stories do you have to tell? 
How far have you come in becoming who you truly are? 
And what pictures tell YOUR story?