Hi everybody! My name is Susanne and I’m known as @isabelhoops on Instagram. I'm so excited to have the opportunity to tell you a little bit about myself, the start of my bullet journaling and how it has helped me find solitude away from all the hustle and bustle of today’s world.
This is my Bullet Journal Story
Looking back to my early days of school, I still remember teachers complimenting me on my drawings, saying that I have a real knack for art. To be honest, I never thought of myself as a serious artist. I’ve mostly viewed drawing and painting as a way to relax; time that I simply enjoyed having just to myself. However, once graduation rolled around, I thought why not make this passion part of my career. I decided to study Art. More accurately Art and German with the goal of becoming a teacher, seeing how I always have loved the idea of being an educator.
Fast forward a few years, I was well established in my teaching career, happily married and mother to a beautiful young daughter. Then life, after having treated me so well, went ahead and handed me a big bag of lemons. Without going into detail, I can say with certainty that this marked the beginning of the most difficult time of my life and would change me forever.
In 2016 at the height of this personal turmoil, I was feeling hopeless, lost and alone. Fortunately, as fate would have it, I happened upon a stranger’s Facebook post showcasing a few pages of her personal notebook. I pored over those pages and was instantly hooked. As far back as I can remember, my life has been busy. Consequently, I have always enjoyed organizing my day by writing notes and creating to-do-lists. The whole bullet journaling concept looked to be a perfect fit. I immediately went online to check out Ryder Carroll’s website, which explained the basics of bullet journaling. Then I went on to Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest to fire up my imagination. From there on out, it all just took off.
Initially, I started by adapting some of the layouts others were using. That quickly led me to include more and more of my own ideas and designs. Quite frankly I couldn’t believe how quickly I was back to drawing, painting and just enjoying myself being creative again. It wasn’t long thereafter that my "animal spreads" came into existence. These were drawings and paintings of animals I would use to decorate my weeklies. Nowadays, I tend to create an overall theme for each month, although animal drawings still remain at the heart of all my designs.
Working within the framework of the journaling format (I am currently using B5 notepads by the way) is a real joy. However, it’s not merely the challenge of getting the drawing and painting the way I want it, it’s also figuring out the layout, which
- should perfectly compliment the picture
- remain functional despite the artistry and
- retain plenty of space for appointments and lists.
Even after three years, journaling has lost none of its magic. Looking back, it's amazing to see how the pages have evolved over the years, both functionally and artistically. Through my journal, I’ve become even more organized and gained a renewed confidence in myself and my creativity – sometimes I even dare to call myself an artist.
A little break makes a world of difference
Balancing the combined responsibility of job and family can be tricky. In the midst of constant activity and distraction, you are required to make decisions, answer questions, assess, convince, comfort and at times even reprimand. Each day I strive to show strength, provide support, convey confidence and above all show enthusiasm. The sense of purpose and fulfillment this provides carries with it a heavy weight of responsibility that takes its toll. I’ve found my personal balance by taking a little time in between to regenerate. For me, it’s peace and quiet, jotting down my thoughts and ideas, planning out my daily tasks and creating little pieces of art – in my bullet journal. So at the end of the day when it’s already dark outside and the streets have fallen silent, you’ll find me in my 3rd floor studio, letting go of the stresses of the day, starting a new journal entry and losing myself in thoughts and shapes and colors. Just being happy. Just being me.
About the Author
My name is Susanne and I live in the middle of Germany. I’m the mother of a 6 year old girl and I’m working as a teacher at a German Gymnasium where I teach Art and German. I love drawing, painting and crafting, my journal, good books and most of all spending cozy times with my little family.