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?