Stationery

Journaling

I started journaling daily (or near-daily) some time in middle school. Nothing really prompted me to start, I just decided to do it. I started off using spiral-bound school notebooks and wooden pencils, just writing about my day and making OCs in the margins. But I've upgraded quite a bit since then, and now I keep about 4 that I use with some degree of regularity. Admittedly, this many is a little overkill and I won't explain my system that probably sounds insane, but in short, I think different kinds of thoughts belong in different places, because I actually do like to go back and read them from time to time! Among my these, two I use daily: a Hobonichi 5 Year (which I conveniently started at the top of 2020) and Weeks (for work and study). One I use for when I really want to write a lot, some of these thoughts turned into entries on this site, or the other way around. And the last one is just scraps, maybe something like a Tome of Memories, for both extra special stuff and little things I happened to remember and want to write down.

When I came back home after my first semester in college, I went through my journals from high school and middle school again, and I was so ashamed and embarassed for myself. The overblown minor inconveniences, the poor attempts at being poetic, acts of selfishness I thought were worth bragging about to myself was all too much. The only thought that eclipsed my shame was the fear that someone else might come across my journals, read through them all, and then... judge my immature self oh no!! It was an unlikely scenario, but I wasn't taking any chances because I knew I wouldn't have a monologue prepared to justify myself and my past actions and my gay fanfics. Luckily I somehow had the sense to save some of it, which now lives in my scraps journal, but the rest was shredded as best I could manage. I think I even stopped writing for a while. But now that I'm older, I kind of regret it. There were some interesting ideas, hopes and dreams I've since forgotten about, and stories of people that were once probably very important to me in them. I'm a little sad that I don't have any of that anymore. Time feels less real when there isn't physical evidence to prove it happened.

Well, I think there is obviously a point in which "past you" separates from "present you." I don't think it requires any sort of major life event, it just happens. The "me" who couldn't help but be embarassing, the "me" who was embarassed, and the "me" that exists now, all feel like very different people. Of course, your past self never disappears because then your present self couldn't happen. But I find it weird that I can't even relate to the other two anymore. I regret and regret not regretting but maybe in 5 or 10 years or so I'll want to nuke this entire site too, ha. But I hope by then I've learned to be kinder to past me and have a proper justification for doing so if I chose to.

the juciest middle school drama

Anyway, I think journaling is something literally everyone on this planet should do. I mean like pen-on-paper unfiltered thought, or maybe lack of thought. It's an entirely self-indulgent activity that lets you bask in your own narcissism, a healthy way to release your pent up hate, anger and anxieties, and a good reminder to yourself that you exist and can grow and change. It's free therapy. At first, it's a little difficult to convince yourself that no one cares how or what you're writing because you're literally not Anne Frank, but once you've gotten over yourself, it's definitely worthwhile. Give it a try!

Paper

I really like paper. The first type of stationery I hoarded were memo sheets. Well, I printed them out myself. They were still pretty difficult to aquire at the time. But my very first Real Official Memo Sheet was this Rilakkuma one! My friend's older sister went to the local anime con and brought her back the memo pad. My friend bestowed upon me a single sheet, and as rough as it looks now, I still cherish it. I can't even describe how excited I was to recieve a piece of paper! The magic of memo pads disappeared when I realized you could just buy them online instead of driving across town to the nearest knockoff Daiso, and that the quality was not that different from the printer paper anyway. But I still maintain that this era of Rilakkuma really was the best. Never got much cuter.

I haven't purchased any kawaii memos in many years, because as it turns out you can get by just fine with only one. Or none. Luckily, culling such a collection is very easy. They're perfect for thank yous when selling things online, or leaving passive-agressive notes for your roommates. Or just regular-aggressive ones, since cute characters really add to the threat. I wish I had been around for the days when you could trade them, though!

chairoiguma could never

But for actual writing, I've found that I really appreciate off-white and cream paper. I absolutely need layflat binding. Tomoe River paper is cool and all, but thicker paper doesn't have bleedthrough either, and you dont have to worry about tears or wrinkles. It's overrated, and it really seems like the biggest fans of Tomoe River are ones that actually like it when their Hobonichi doesn't close anymore. So why does it need to be so thin?! So while I really like Hobonichi covers and I like to change them every so often, I typically use a different notebook inside.

I'm a big fan of of Midori, and I think the lined MD Notebook could only be improved with shorter line spacing. Other than that, and the price, it's literally the perfect notebook. Of course, it's inevitable that your favorite, most reliable product will eventually be altered beyond recognition or discontinued entirely, so I have to try to not like it too much.

Pens and Pencils

I'm not nearly as picky about about writing utensils as paper. For pens, just about anything will do, though I do prefer smaller tip sizes. Pentel EnerGels are fantastic for everyday writing. Of course, for drawing Sakura Pigma Microns are pretty much unrivaled. However, since I only use black, I converted to Copic Multiliner SPs some years ago and never looked back only because they are refillable at nearly the same price and last forever, whereas Microns seem to last a week at best. Micron ink might be nicer than Multiliner ink, but the difference is negligible once the paper is scanned in anyway.

For opaque gel pens, which are good for writing on photos or other slippery surfaces, I like Sakura Decorose the best, because Souffle takes way too long to dry. But like Microns, the the ink runs out so fast! Uni-ball Signo is comparable and has a finer tip size, but this there are no pastels in this line, so I only use white. I hope that changes some day.

Actually when it comes to pens, I think the ink color is probably the only thing I really care about. Consistency and quality is important too, I refuse to torture myself with cheap disposables, but I definitely pay attention to color first. So of course I own a handful of bottled inks. I have more fun with bottled ink inside of brush pens, but fountain pens are still pretty cool especially with glitter inks. Well, I can't really convince myself a $300 pen is worth it. Perhaps if I ever find myself in an executive suite with many important documents to sign, I'll change my mind. But something I've noticed about dolls, compared to other luxury collectible hobbies, is that you don't get nearly as much clout for owning a rare doll as you do owning many of the same doll, or similar dolls, even if it's rather common. In contrast, fountain pen collecters are identical to hypebeasts. Yeah I can judge, dolls are objectively cooler than pens.

As for pencils, I really love Uni Kurutoga. But other than that I like multipencils in general. Sun-Star Nicolo is my favorite multipencil because even though the eraser is garbage, like all mechanical pencils, it is safely capped away so that I can forget about it just like the Kurutoga!

Markers

Markers are obviously superior to pens for decorative writing but journaling and calligraphy are separate activities. Except for people who study just for the aesthetic, then they might as well be the same. It really should be common sense that 36 color marker sets will not improve your grades but P*nterest makes me believe otherwise.

I've enjoyed all of the Kuretake markers I've sampled. I like the Brushables of their ZIG line a lot, they behave like Copics but with a softer brush and are pigment-based instead of alcohol-based (though I'm not entirely sure I understand the difference). I overuse Wink of Stella when giving doodles for my friends and they really appreciate it.

Zebra Mildliners are overrated. I don't think any colors outside of the standard highligher colors set work well as highlighters. It's certainly a quality marker but it really should not be touted as a study aid. For highlighting and underlining and circling I will instead recommend Iconic's 2 Way marker pens. They're smaller and cuter and will fit in your pencil case better.