This is the first official entry of the Journal of the Friendship being entered by Twilight Sparkle. Well, Princess Twilight Sparkle, I should say. And that's been a really big, unexpected change for me. I've been really nervous and feeling so much pressure. The Tree of Harmony had my cutie mark on it, and when we put the Elements of the Harmony back in the Tree, it revealed this mysterious chest with six keyholes. And I've started searching, but so far, I can't find any information on how to open it or where to find these keys. But I know it's important and vital to helping me discover who I am as a princess.
Hopefully, reading the Journal of the Two Sisters will help me be less scared of this whole princess thing. After all, Celestia and Luna became princesses of Equestria and had to tackle really big problems. So if they could do it, then so can I. Right?
My friends will also be contributing to the Journal of Friendship so we can learn from one another. And maybe someday other ponies will read it and learn from our experiences as well. After all, we ponies have some really amazing adventures!
I'm mighty glad Granny Smith's legend about the Shadow ponies wasn't true. 'Cause I'll admit it right here and right now, I was so scared that if I'd seen or heard one more spooky thing, I woulda taken off like a jackrabbit, and Rainbow Dash woulda won Most Daring Pony. But like Twilight said, "It's good to know that whenever your imagination is getting away from you, a good friend can help you rein it in."
Just had the coolest adventure with the coolest pony ever. Came this close to blowing it because I got so wrapped up in how awesome she was, I almost forgot about how awesome I was. Good thing I didn't, 'cause it gave me a chance to show her how important it is to put your trust in somepony else.
And I guess I never realized how lucky I am to work with a team who I totally trust. I mean, of course I handle things on my own. But being me, I've gotten into a mess of scrapes. And without my friends, those scrapes would have been a whole lot messier. Never underestimate the power of friends who always got your back.
Rainbow Dash said I could put in a journal entry since the Cutie Mark Crusaders and I just earned the honor of carrying the Ponyville flag in the Equestria Games. But we almost didn't because I was too focused on myself instead of all of us as a team.
See, what makes Ponyville so special is that it's a place where Earth ponies, Unicorns, and Pegasi live together as friends—like Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and me! But when I got it in my head that I wasn't a good Pegasus because I couldn't fly, things got all messed up. All I could focus on was trying to fly instead of realizing that our routine was awesome already and the abilities I had made it that awesome. I just couldn't see it that way. I thought I didn't matter because I'm...different.
The thing is, being different and not being able to fly aren't bad things. It's part of who I am! Plus, my friends love me for the pony I am now, not for the pony I could be in the future. That's real friendship. So I was awfully silly to run away from my teammates when they would stand by my side no matter what. And now we'll be standing by each other's sides as we carry the Ponyville flag into the Equestria Games!
Sweet Apple Acres almost had its lifeblood of apple juice sucked right out thanks to this pony bein' shortsighted with a short-term solution. Why, when vampire bats threatened our orchard, this pony couldn't see the forest through the trees. My good friend Fluttershy thought of the needs of the critters, sayin' we should give 'em a piece of our land and that, in fact, the bats would make our future crops even better. Leave it to this pony to be stubborn as a mule! I didn't want those varmints anywhere near our apples or our land! So we made Fluttershy go against her good nature and put the STARE on them creatures so Twilight could cast a spell on them, sucking away their vampire ways. Well, we were the ones that ended up gettin' bit 'cause that there spell turned our sweet friend into the biggest vampire bat of them all! Just goes to show you should never let anypony pressure you into doin' something you don't think is right. And when one of your closest friends tells you no, you better pony up and accept it because nothin's worth jeopardizin' a friendship.
Manehattan was simply grand. It was in this magnificent metropolis that I learned that while there are ponies who will take advantage of your generosity, you should never, ever let that cause you to abandon your generous spirit. Nothing feels worse than taking advantage of the giving nature of your friends.
After all, it is my friends who pulled me through this debacle. It is my friends who generously gave up their time and all their plans and helped me receive the accolades of all the fashion industry. I was swept up in the cold, callous world of Manehattan, thinking that was all that mattered. But when my friends weren't there to share in my success, I realized that this success was the last thing that mattered. Realizing I'd treated them so horribly—it just wasn't worth it. I never want to be that kind of pony!
Why, it may be "everypony for herself" in the big city, but this small-town filly is just fine being the generous pony she's always been—though a little bit wiser and more cautious than she was before.
Families are super. Super complicated, that is! Just take my sister. She can be a bit of a bossy pony, but that's only 'cause she wants what's best for everypony. And Big Mac is the best brother, but the fella's gotta speak up now and again! And I love me some Granny Smith, except when she makes me wear some silly old bonnet. But, honestly, family is awesome 'cause you can be goin' on some borin' old road trip, and as soon as you "accidentally" lose the map, that's when the real adventure begins!
Four core and seven seeds ago, the Apples came to this here land ready to kick up some dirt and make our gardens grow. And the Apple family grew as strong as the roots of any apple tree, diggin' deep into the soil and feeding off the nutrients of the earth. But just as different apples have different flavors, different Apple ponies have different personalities. And even though we're family, even Apples can work your last nerve and make you fit to be tied! That's when this old pony remembers that we're Apples to the core and at the center of that core is love. And a whole lot of butter.
I know that the Apple family is the best family ever. But I thought that bein' the best family meant bein' perfect. And everypony knows that while we love our family, the last thing families are is perfect! What truly makes a family the best is bein' able to get through them rough patches together. The best families are able to forgive each other's mistakes, 'cause goodness knows we all make plenty of them! Through thick and thin, you've got your kin! I feel mighty lucky, 'cause some of my best friends are my family. But what makes me a might luckier than that is that I've got such good friends, they feel like family, too.
I love this family!!! Being an Apple is the most awesome thing ever!
Training with Spitfire and Fleetfoot for the Equestria Games was totally awesome. I mean, they're Wonderbolts and really know their stuff when it comes to flying. And when they asked me to fly with them as part of Team Cloudsdale, I gotta say, I was totally tempted. But there's Fluttershy and Bulk Biceps from Team Ponyville. They may not be the strongest flyers—well, let's face it, they're not the strongest flyers—but they sure get an A for effort! And they represent the home team of Ponyville. And as Pinkie says, "Pee for Ponyville."
Still, I can't deny it. I LOVE to win...really, really love it! But if I ever gotta choose between winning and being loyal to my friends...I'm always gonna choose my friends. 'Cause as much as I love winning, I love them waaay more!
All I wanted out of today was a nice relaxing day with Cadance. After all, the two times we were together, things hardly went smoothly. Her wedding to my brother? She'd been trapped at the bottom of the castle and was being impersonated by the changeling queen. My visit to the Crystal Empire? King Sombra attacked! Just once I'd like to have a day with Cadance when the fate of Equestria wasn't hanging in the balance.
And I had such a great day planned! The Star Swirl the Bearded Traveling Museum was in Ponyville for one day only! What could be better than spending the day with my best friend/sister-in-law combo while looking at Star Swirl the Bearded artifacts, reading his old manuscripts, and seeing which of the bells from his cloak was on display? Totally the best day ever!
That is, until Discord showed up with his "Blue Flu," mucking up all my plans to try and have a nice mellow day with Cadance. And it wasn't bad enough that we had to play nursemaid to his fake illness. He sent us on a wild-goose chase to the ends of Equestria for a remedy and had us battling Tatzlwurm. On the one day when the fate of Equestria wasn't in our hooves!
I think it's pretty clear that my visit with Cadance didn't go quite the way I expected. But in the end, I realized that when you're with a good friend, even the most chaotic day can wind up being a great experience that brings you closer.
It's good to be proud of what you do. Like, I'm really proud of making everypony smile and laugh and planning the best parties ever! But when my pride got in the way of hearing Rainbow Dash laugh at her own birth-aversary, I knew it was time to retire the old party cannon. 'Cause if it was a choice between forfeiting a competition to be the bestest party planner ever or getting to hear my friend laugh again, I choose hearing my friend laugh again, hooves down! Fortunately, I didn't have to choose! Together, Cheese Sandwich and I threw a totally epic party for Rainbow's tenth birth-aversary! And I've never been more proud!
I was ever so excited to execute my vision for the Ponyville Days Celebration. Small-Town Chic was going be the greatest theme and such an expression of who I am. I put so much time, effort, and thought into the planning of it all. And I desperately wanted Trenderhoof to be impressed, but not just with the party. With me.
So when I saw that he was more interested in a simple farm pony like Applejack, not only did I change the theme of the Ponyville Days Celebration, I also went about changing myself. And I did it all to impress this pony and try to get him to like me, which is terribly silly and never a wise choice.
Organizing the Ponyville Days Celebration was one of the hardest thing I've ever done, but I learned an important lesson. Real friends will like you for who you are, and changing yourself to impress them is no way to make new ones. And when you are as fabulous as I am...it's practically a crime.
I don't know if you know this, but I'm terribly shy. It's true. I don't like to speak up. Or say things. Or be noticed. Or have everypony's eyes on me. Or draw attention to myself. Or contradict somepony. Or cause a ruckus. Or be a bother. Or be the standout in a crowd.
But I do love to sing. Oh goodness, it makes me so very happy. But it's not something I would ever, ever, ever want to do in front of everypony. That would be the most frightful of frightful things. Even worse than staring down a dragon! So I've only sung for my animals in the privacy of my own home, where I feel very, very safe.
Then I accidentally discovered something I never, ever expected. Not only do I love to sing. I love singing in front of everypony. I love hearing their applause and their praise. I actually love to...perform! But I was too scared to do this in my true voice in front of everypony, so I had to use a false one while hiding. And that's so very silly.
Sometimes being afraid can stop you from doing something that you love. But hiding behind these fears means you're only hiding from your true self. It's much better to face those fears so you can shine and be the best pony you can possibly be!
Well, I guess Twilight must not be so super upset anymore 'cause she's letting us do a diary entry like our sisters do. Boy, did we get our priorities so mixed up. We started acting special because we were friends with someone special. We almost forgot the real reason she's special: because she's our friend. But she forgave us, and like magic, things are good as new. That's the kind of magic I really wanna get good at...now that I'm getting so good at the other kind. We're just glad Twilight Time is back to normal.
The Breezies were adorable, and I really didn't mean to throw them off their path! It was ONE leaf!! Just because they're tiny and super adorable doesn't mean that they're immune to accidents like the leaf that I never should have crossed with!
My instinct is always to nurture those in need. I feel the urge to help others when they are in a bad situation, especially the creatures. Telling somepony no seems so mean, goes against my nature, and feels like it's the opposite of my Element of Kindness.
My experiences with the Breezies have helped me to see that kindness can take many forms. Sometimes being too kind can actually keep a friend from doing what they need to do. Pushing them away may seem cruel, but it is sometimes the kindest thing you can do.
I cannot remember a day when I wasn't Apple Bloom's big sister. Why, it's been my job to protect that little filly and keep her safe since the day she was born. That's a job that never gets scratched off my checklist because it's not a chore; it's an honor.
So it's mighty hard for me to pony up to the face that this little filly will have her cutie mark before I know it and soon be lookin' me square in the eye when we're buckin' apples. But after what I've seen today, I realize that perhaps I've gotten a bit overprotective and been babyin' her a bit much. In fact, I think it's high time for me to loosen the reins on Apple Bloom. Still, she will always be my baby sister.
Sometimes, one of your best friends wants you to bond with another one of their best friends. But when you meet that friend, you realize you have nothing in common with that pony besides that mutual friend.
The girls and I couldn't have had less in common with Pinkie Pie's sister Maud. No matter how we tried, there was just no connection, and sadly, she felt the same way. The worst part was, by not being friends, we were all breaking our best friend's heart. Talk about being between a rock and a hard place!
But when we finally realized that Pinkie's happiness meant as much to us as it did to Maud, that was all we needed in common to bring us together as friends. For the love of Pinkie.
Well, I guess I have another entry to write, don't I? Having a big sister who steals your spotlight can get really frustrating. Especially if that sister is so amazingly talented that she seems to outshine everything you try to do to make yourself stand out and be special.
I thought I had it bad with my sister Rarity, but nopony understands this better than Princess Luna, and she taught me an important lesson. She showed me that my jealousy over Rarity's talents could destroy her future. I'm just lucky that I have a sister who's also my friend and that friends forgive each other. As Princess Celestia so perfectly said to Princess Luna, "It's wonderful when sisters can work out their differences, is it not?"
Seeing Granny Smith makin' a splash and kickin' up her hooves woulda made me pleased as punch. The only hitch in the giddyup was that Granny had it in her head that she was healed of all her aches and pains thanks to Flim Flam's Miracle Curative.
The bigger hitch was that I played along, not tellin' her the truth. And the longer I didn't tell her, the bigger the lie became. Soon Flim and Flam had roped me into a heap of lies, and I just don't cotton to that. Once you've told the lie, how do you pony up and tell the truth?
Being honest sure gets hard when it seems like the truth might hurt somepony you care about, but I think believing a lie can end up hurting even more. Maybe someponies don't care about that, but I sure ain't one of them.
Rainbow Dash finally learned the history of the Wonderbolts, but she's not the only pony who needed a lesson. I needed to learn something just as important. The fact is, different ponies learn differently. Some learn through song, others through visuals...and while I am a "sit and learn" pony, I had to put aside my hard-and-fast rules of learning to discover that Rainbow is a "fly and learn" pony.
One way of learning isn't better than another. Having a different technique certainly doesn't make you dumb. After all, everypony is unique and individual!
I was so frustrated having to learn all those dates and old pony names and historical places for the test on the history of the Wonderbolts. I mean, sure, it was kind of interesting to know that General Firefly assembled the awesome flying team called the Wonderbolts. But the costumes? Why did I need to know about goofy, silly costumes? Did I need to know that General Firefly's was itchy and unattractive?
Ooh! I still remember that! Awesome!
Still, at first I didn't see why I need to know any of that stuff to become a Wonderbolt. Isn't it enough that I'm the most amazing flyer ever?
Then I realized that Twilight's kind of right. It's a really big deal to be chosen as a Wonderbolt. An honor and a privilege. So knowing that history is actually a really big deal, and I'm glad I finally know it. Now if I'm chosen, I can represent all those who came before me, flying proud as a Wonderbolt.
Gosh, I really did want that book. A lot. It was worth more to me than a pin, or a chalice, or an antique chicken, or an Orthros. And I even said I wanted that book more than anything in all of Equestria. And I meant it. But there's nothing in all of Equestria that's worth as much to me as a friend. I mighta forgotten that for a little bit, but it's true. Which is why there was no way that trade could be fair.
I'm just glad I finally realized that before it was too late. Before I lost one of my very best friends. And I'm glad that Daring Do collector called off the trade, because sure, I woulda been the only pony with a complete set of all the Daring Do first editions. But I also woulda been a pony with an incomplete set of friends. And my friends aren't just first editions. They're one of a kind.
There were hundreds of ponies trading everything from diamonds to dog collars. But no matter what any other pony traded for, nopony walked out of there with anything more valuable than us, 'cause we left with our friends.
The Equestria Games were so amazing. I guess. I was too busy being hard on myself to really enjoy them. As soon as I showed at the Crystal Empire, everypony was treating me like I was this big hero because I saved them from King Sombra when I carried that Crystal Heart. And since they felt I was a hero, I felt like I had to live up to it.
They asked me to light the torch for the Opening Ceremony. Which shoulda been a cinch, right? I mean, I'm a fire-breathing dragon after all. But when the time came, I totally choked. Literally. I couldn't even muster up a spark! And what was even worse, Twilight had to light it for me with magic! After that, I got it so stuck in my head that I had to prove myself to everypony that I just kept messing things up more and more.
Thank goodness, when everypony was actually in danger, I stepped up without even thinking about it. I breathed fire and actually saved the day. But that wasn't good enough for me. I mean, that's exactly what anypony or anydragon else would have done if they could have, right? If their magic wasn't being blocked or if they could breathe fire like me. Everypony kept trying to convince me that I was great.
You know, it's weird...no matter how many times others tell you that you're great, all the praise in the world means nothing if you don't feel it inside. And when you care about doing things well, you can become your own toughest critic.
Sometimes, to feel good about yourself, you've got to let go of the past. That way, when the time comes to let your greatness fly...you'll be able to light up the whole sky.
I would do absolutely anything for Rarity. I mean, she called me her favorite dragon! And when she said that I was one of her dearest and most supportive friends, I just had to find a way to help her when that puppeteer Claude was such a...a...clod! I had to help her get her creative spirit back. That Inspiration Manifestation Spell sure did the trick, but it didn't really help Rarity, and I was too afraid of hurting our friendship to tell her.
But today I learned how important it is to be honest with your friends when they're doing something that you don't think is right. A true friend knows that you're speaking up because you care about them.
Once again, the Magic of Friendship and the Elements of Harmony have proven to be the solution to the most challenging and horrible threats against Equestria. And while I've been scouring for hints in every book and scroll on where to find the keys to open the chest, it turns out that the clues were right here in the Journal of Friendship!
I didn't discover this on my own. Discord read our Journal of Friendship and highlighted specific entries. In each of them, my friends faced a difficult choice, but they remained true to themselves and embraced their Element. In turn, this helped another pony make the right choice in her life. Because of this act, each of my friends was then given an object, or key, from the pony whose life they helped change.
That meant five keys. We needed six to open the chest, but I hadn't yet been faced with my difficult choice where I had to embrace my Element. That is, until Tirek threatened Equestria and Discord betrayed us all by joining forces with him. Because of that betrayal, Tirek was going to destroy all of Equestria and all my friends.
When I had the choice of giving up the combined Alicorn magic of Celestia, Luna, Cadance, and myself or freeing my friends, I chose my friends—including Discord, the one who caused all this with his betrayal of his friendship to us. By being a friend to Discord at a time when it wasn't easy, I embraced my Element, the Magic of Friendship. Seeing this act of Friendship, Discord then gave me a medallion as a sign of his true friendship.
With that final key, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, and I were finally able to open the chest and unleash the Magic of Friendship! Together we defeated Tirek and restored Equestria and all its ponies!
The other issue I've been struggling with, Journal, is who I am and what I'm supposed to do now that I'm Princess Twilight Sparkle. I mean, am I just supposed to smile and wave at everypony? Isn't there supposed to be more? Well, I'm happy to say that the answer is YES! When my friends and I unlocked the chest, a beautiful, sparkly, and colorful castle was revealed. (Seriously, Rarity is beside herself.)
Through this experience, I proved that the Magic of Friendship is always with me, and I have the power to spread that magic across Equestria. That is the role I am meant to have in our world. It is the role I choose to have as the princess of Friendship!
What's wonderful is that I don't have to take on that task alone. I will have my friends by my side. Our new role in Equestria may change a few things, but it won't change the most important thing: the magic of our friendship!
Princess Twilight Sparkle, the Princess of Friendship