Where I write

Where I write

April 4, 2012

Dear Diary

I recently unearthed my old diary buried in a cardboard box beneath photo albums. It's dated May 3, 1987. If it wasn't written in my own handwriting, there were places where I wouldn't have recognized my own self. Ouch it was painful to read! Such angst. Okay not every page was full of belly button gazing, but enough to make me cringe. I ruminated about my old car, and crappy job (hmmm I still do that) and how I felt abandoned my friends, and oh woe is me and blah blah blah.  Perhaps this is why I keep it buried in a dark closet. Not sure I want my former self to see the light of day. I certainly would never want this read by the public. And yet I can't bring myself to throw it away.

Everything moves so fast these days. I'm not sure if young women today even write in diaries. Do they? Perhaps it is as old fashioned as calling cards, you know the fancy white cards women in the 1800s used to drop off when they visited their girlfriends, or so I heard. I'm not THAT old, contrary to what my coworkers at the resturnat might think.

Still, I wonder, does everything happen so fast, are young women (because dairies really are a girl thing) too busy pushing buttons on their cell phones to stop and write about their daily lives, their loves, their fears, their joys and sorrows? Maybe this record of my younger years is not so bad after all. At least I can see how far I've come, and how far I still need to go. Or maybe just enjoy being alive and able to write.
Here is one of the last entries in my old diary. It has a silly picture on one side and the other side I babble about loving life. That was a happy day. Reading this entry made me glad to see I wasn't always full of self doubt and self pity.

This apparently was a sad day. I've blured it a bit because it's sorta embrassing. I want to say to this young woman, hey you're still young! Smile. Your knees don't hurt you like they will in the future, people you love are still alive (that changes) and you've got more life ahead of you than behind you! You don't even have to worry about needing a face lift  and you are still young enough to go on a diet and lose 5 pounds in a month instead of a year.  Reading this unhappy entry is a reminder that when I get into those glum moods today to consider t how life will be twenty years from now. Better appreciate life today. Besides, I don't even remember why I was so upset!
Here is one of the only notes I have left written to me from my mother. She died in 1975. I realized it's not just the words that are important, but the comfort I find just seeing her handwriting. She feels real again. Sometimes it's hard to remember people when they have been dead a long time. Of course she's alive in my heart, but still.

 Plus she wrote in cursive as did I in my diary. Writing in cursive is becoming a lost art. I'm not sure they even teach it in school anymore. Maybe that is why I like to save old postcards, too, because unlike emails or texts, which disappear with a hit of a button, the written word remains.
Here's a post card written by my former editor at the Coolidge Examiner. I couldn't throw it away, either, though it was written more than 20 years ago. I can toss out a lot of stuff but not people's handwritten postcards to me. I will probably never see Jeff Jackson again, but he played an important part in my life as a writer. He said never to forget us "here in Coolidge." Thanks to this small handwritten note I won't!

Maybe that's why I keep my diary, too, because I want to remember the me I once was because someday I might be so old, and forgotten so much, I'll read my life in my very own words and realize how it all made sense, this wild and bumpy ride called life. If I can remember how to read by then.


Rita A. said...

And you have your blog. I agree there is nothing better than the pen written word but blogs can be helpful too. I sure enjoy yours.

Stella said...

The note from your mom made me misty. You have similar handwriting

C.B. Wentworth said...

You are so brave to share something so personal! Diaries really are a record of who we were and they help us become who we are meant to be. I still have mind from when I was ten-years old. Its full of rambling, heartache, and stupid things kids say. It's embarrassing, but it reminds me of how I got to where I am today.

Just think of the inspiration that hides in our past selves! You've got a great story in those pages!