Do You Keep a Diary?
Reading old diaries. It’s a become a ritual, especially on the occasions I’m infrequently home, or late nights filled with an emptiness, where nothing else seems to matter. So, I turn to the past. Retrospective and reminiscing, the silliness of an old version of myself, many old versions in colorful sizes and formats. There’s the pink Juicy Couture journal, with its thick gold embossed pages holding all the secrets of my first real romance. There’s the interchangeable slew of cute Asian notebooks with broken English and adorable designs. There are the trusty moleskins, with cramped writing crawling up the pages with endless aspirations, fears and stories and stories.
Stacks and stacks of notebooks (my love of stationery probably doesn’t help this quick turnover rate of angsty journals) with days, months and years of life fitted inside. Each revisit of these old stories is quite a different feeling. There is relief, of course, that I’m no longer the trapped, fearful, naive girl I once was. That I’m no longer undergoing the hell that was high school, San Diego. There is a sense of bitter-sweet nostalgia. Those stories of the past meant so much at the time, after all. And then there is this inescapable fluttering sense of loss.
Like the joy that used to come with every little experience, every night spent away from home, every day in some familiar but far off destination. Or the simple happiness that rushed in after finishing a horrible school assignment, the butterflies from a glance of a crush. It was so painfully complex, but now complicated is the expected, simplicity is impossible.
Perhaps this is how it’s meant to be, this evolution, this habituation, so that the little things that used to inspire blissful exhilaration now, at most, inspires a small smile, or some resigned acceptance. And always, striving for something greater, bigger, some adventure and excitement that exceeds the past, some explosive surreal dream that turns my life into another fantasy.
Someday this pile of notebooks and journals will turn into a massive box of them, pages and pages of daily life, endless pages in scrawling handwriting telling stories that I can’t tell, feelings I no longer remember, faces I’ve long lost. For now they remind me of the incredible changes that occur in just a year, six months, a summer. And I wonder how much more can possibly happen in just a week, a month, a year.
The blank pages ahead voice their excitement.
Do you keep a journal? Read diaries of years past?