Dear Diary…

There’s something strangely attracting me when I see paper and pens, and notebooks. When I was about 8, I wanted to be a writer, and since that moment, I liked writing. With writing I really mean the action of taking a pen and putting it on the paper, causing it to form symbols that mean something. Not only the action pleases me, but I also like the fact you put your thoughts on paper. And ever since my parents gave me my first diary, I’ve been doing that punctually.

We were on a holiday, a skiing holiday, when I was 8, perhaps 7. I was somewhere close to a closet, which my mother opened, and suddenly a notebook fell down. Of course, nosy as I was, I wanted to know what it was. Because this one wasn’t just a dull notebook, no way, it had the picture of a puppy on the cover and a lock. The fact that it had a lock made clear that it was serious bussiness, you know. This was secret stuff. And I liked having secrets.
It was a gift for me, from my parents who probably had no idea how far this hobby would go. Ever since that day I’ve been keeping a diary, and mostly I write at least once a week. In the beginning it was a matter of reporting what had happened, what was important that day for me. But as nothing important really happened, it turned out to be just a numeration of meaningless details. But hey, I liked it. Later on my diary became the place where I could whine about the people around me. Though I had quite some friends, I was a loner at heart, and a diary makes you less alone then. It was my partner in crime.
Years passed by and I began writing on how hard life was for me, how I didn’t fit in, ect etc. The regular teenage stuff to write. It wasn’t so important what happened during the day, what really mattered was how I felt. I wrote about that the entire time, though I wouldn’t recommend that. Don’t overthink feelings. No good.
Luckily I was never the ‘dear diary’ kind of person. I sometimes named it, but never maintained that kind of thing. It’s not a person, but just paper, which is even better. No overly girly stuff for me, with pink pages and stickers – as I grew up, I wanted regular paper with lines, and not a line saying ‘DATE’ at the top. You can’t force these things. If you try to write every day, you will fail and give up. You should write because you want it and the best way to give  yourself as much freedom and neutrality as needed is by not buying a real diary with ‘DATE’ and a lock. (The keys are all the same anyway, so it’s not even safe.)

Not my dairy, but someone else’s.

The good thing about diaries is that you will forget a lot, but you have written it down so it’s not completely lost. It’s also hilarious to read some parts again… I took myself very, very serious, and that’s pretty funny (and embarrassing). But above all it’s an outlet for what you think and feel. It’s really helped me to put an order to things, to understand things, to deal with everything. And by now, I start to miss that little notebook when it’s not around.

Sometimes I wonder what will happen to all these notebooks – I have quite a lot of them already – and then I wonder if someone would ever read them. I would feel incredible vulnerable, but at the same time I don’t want all of that writing to be lost. Diaries can be important and interesting and touching, they can become very famous. Anne Frank is of course the best example. I must say that there are parts and sentences that even surprised me when reading them again, and I would like to spread them somehow. But then again, maybe it’s just me liking them, and I would feel exposed.

As a drama queen and collector of memories, I cherish my diaries and I don’t think I’ll ever stop writing one. It’s become so important I would miss it too hard. However much I change, its role will just change with me. Nothing is as patient as a notebook, lying there, inviting you to create your own place where you can store your thoughts. Oddly enough experience taught me that one notebook, however big or small it is, will be able to cover a year approximately. I’m almost done with the current one, which is so filled with memories that it will feel weird to put it aside.

But then I’ll take another one and fill that one with new memories that will not be forgotten.

Do you have diary? Did you have one? What does it mean to you?

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20 Comments

  1. I don’t have one but can see how it can be cathartic for some people.

    Everyone needs an outlet for the stresses of daily life and a diary is just one type. I find going to the gym a great stress reliever, and writing my own blog and books is great as well.

    I’d imagine that if I had one, I’d be mortified if someone else read it.

    Reply
    • Going to the gym is even healthier I think! Ah yes, books. They probaly containt more of you than we could find.
      I’m mortified as well, and at the same time I always seem to write as if someone will read it…
      Luckily I haven’t written down where I hid the bodies ;).

      Reply
  2. There are things I wish I’d written down. And things I wish I hadn’t!
    I keep one book in my knapsack (complete with pen!) for when something occurs to me that I want to write down.
    It’s rare, but it does happen.

    Reply
  3. I have the same fascination with pen and paper. No explanation. Anytime I go into a store with notebooks and pens, I always stop to look.
    I wish I kept a journal of some sort. I have a notebook, I just don’t write in it as often as I should.I really should try to write in it more because I always enjoy it when I do.

    Reply
    • Believe me, as soon as you make that a habit, it becomes addictive! You could perhaps try to make time for it beofre you go to sleep or something?

      Reply
      • I really should. Maybe now that I’m blogging every day, I can make some time to write for myself everyday too.

  4. thegeekyg4mer

     /  July 18, 2013

    I can empathize with a lot you said. Check out the Paperblanks journals if you get them where you are, they are gorgeous, I want one of each. I have a tiny stationary fetish lol
    I have scraps of paper everywhere with bits of my life on them. I much prefer a blog, easier to keep track of it all, but have been thinking perhaps I need a separate one for all the serious stuff.

    Reply
    • Oh my, those Paperblank notebooks… *drools* I wouldn’t even dare to write in them, they are like the notebook gods or something…
      Blogging is great because you can also include any picture you want, or a video or song. But I would never write the same things here as in my diary. This is more of creative space for me. I definitely need both :).

      Reply
  5. I used to buy the beautiful, fancy leather journals, and write gung ho in them for a couple of weeks. Then I’d eventually move on to something else. Then my mild OCD wouldn’t let me resume in the same journal six months later, I HAD to buy a new one, because this time would be different. I’d write in it weekly! Um, not. I must have 50 journals in my closet with only 10% completions. That doesn’t include the ones I pulled the pages out of and gave away.

    Now I just carry a small wirebound notebook with me to catch all of my random thoughts, including to-do lists and poems and blog thoughts. Much less organized, but much less pressure too. And cheaper!

    Reply
    • Yeah, I think pressure never works for this kind of thing… And leather journals are expensive! I’ve always wanted to buy one, but I ended up buying a cheaper thing. I wish money grew on trees.
      I hope that one day you will still use those books, because it would be a pity if they just lay there…!

      Reply
  6. I had an amazing diary. It was so beautiful & what i wrote there is beautiful. It is my most treasured possession. I documented all of my first feelings towards my boyf in there – and we have been together for almost 9 years now 🙂

    Reply
  7. Oh, yes, I have a diary and I’ve had one ever since I was like 7 years old. I’ve had some more intense moments of writing and some other times when I’ve neglected it quite a lot, but, overall, diaries have always been present in my 30+ years of life, even to this day! I love them and they provide with a space to vent and privacy that no other means of expression allow! *o*

    Reply
    • Then you know exactly what I mean! Sometimes you need it more than other times, but it’s hard to stop doing it. A space to vent and privacy – exactly! The best place to whine or talk about things you can’t stop talking about :).

      Reply

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