I have been writing and journaling since I was about 10 years old.
I remember my first real diary. It was light blue, small and had a real lock on it, which I thought was pretty much the most awesome thing ever. I was 10. My world was small.
The fact that these exist and that they are all stored in one place excites, terrifies and overwhelms me, all at the same time.
First of all, how exciting! Really. I have been documenting my life for the past 33 years. Writing down every thought, feeling, want, need, dream, daily trivial dribble…over the years is kind of cool.
And also terrifying. Because I have been documenting my life for the past 33 years!
While I wasn’t brave enough to start opening these journals and reading through them just yet, I know some of what is in there. Silly stuff. Stupid stuff. Probably some selfish stuff. The things that I didn’t dare say out loud because what would people think and the things that I’d hate for people to think I even thought back then. Make sense?
I also know for certain that there are several years of some really, really bad attempts at poetry mixed in there. I know this, because I had a penchant for four line stanzas and was serious about it because I was armed with a rhyming dictionary, people. There was a time that I was sure The Bangles or The GoGos would sing one of my poems-turned-song one day. Ah. What dreams are made of. sigh.
And I also find this box of journals (and all of the ones that are stored on different bookshelves in my house) completely and totally overwhelming. Because. It is all there. All of it. The happy. The sad. The excited. The depressed. The fears. The dreams. It is all there. There is 33 years of everything written between those pages.
(Except for that one year. There would be a year missing because I did burn one of these in a box of stuff. That happened. Too bad, there were probably some good Nashville number one hits in there. Alas. It is done. Probably for the best.Who can compete with Chris Stapleton now anyway!)
But the rest of it. All of those words. Forever. Written in pencil or preferred cheap papermate blue pen. All of those words. About my doings and thinkings. And oh, heavens, the feelings. All of those words.
Truth is. I’m glad there is a record. I’m glad that I captured it all, as it was, in the moment. Some of it is just flat out awkwardly awesome, but I know it isn’t all pretty. I’m sure there is so much ugly hidden on those lined pages, people would be shocked. Or not. Because we all have our ugly. Some show it. Others write it down in journals and tuck it into tubs in the basement. It is just how we are wired.
Still, I’d love to play the role of editor someday if it were to be made public. I’m a stickler for not wanting to hurt feelings, ever.
Because life is complicated enough. And when we sit down and write down our feelings at the moment, people should have to understand, there should be some kind of disclaimer that explains that those same feelings that were so real and true in that moment, may completely change and feel differently, three moments later.
Sometimes what seems big and monumental one day, just seems like nothing the next. Which is why I loved that little blue diary with the lock from 1982. I found it in that tub of journals. There it was…my year at a glance. A One Year Diary.
Flipping through, there were core memories from that year–some things about our St. Bernard named Brandy, who had a liter of puppies. The spelling bee and a poetry contest. There are things about the sleepover and how much fun I had with Krista and Cindy and Amy and Christine and others. And then there was the time my brother’s ear drum burst and I felt bad for him, but then also revealed a few pages later that I was jealous of the attention he was getting for this. See, the ugly.
But what I love most about this journal is this.
Most days. Most days, my journal entries consisted of these words, written in my perfectly practiced fourth grade cursive handwriting:
Today was a regular day.
Because. Some days are like that. And still deserve a page in the journal.
Engage each day in action words to make good things happen.
Let’s all, Go. Do that.