Posted 08 January 2013 - 15:53
I wrote in another thread about writing in my journal, and I think I will paste here some of the post.
I think that it is important to keep your journals,,,at least part of them. Writing the bad stuff is necessary, I do it too, it gets it out of me and on a page. Pages are easier to deal with, then confused feelings.
I started keeping a diary when I was 10. Back then it was simple stuff - what I ate, who I played with, what books I read. (I'm addicted to reading.)
When I was 14-15, the content of my journals drastically changed. I can say that now, because 2 years ago I dug up all diaries from the depth of my desk and started reading them. I fell in love with this 15 year old girl I have been - sparkling with new ideas, with questions, with fluid handwriting and longworded sentences. She is someone I wish I could have remained all my life.
Later, age 16, the tone had changed. I had found a new group of friends, I had started to imitate the way they spoke. I had started to swear, carefully at first, and generously later. I was dismissive, impatient, arrogant, and self-centered. I have been a horrible teenager, I think.
Later, after befriending people from my high school - (I was in a French lycee in Bulgaria) the tone changed yet again. It is fascinating to observe how the friends you keep influence your way of thinking, from the words you use to the questions you ask. The expletives disappeared, and music lyrics started filling the pages. I tracked the development of my music tastes - the first lyrics deemed worthy of writing down were from Beatles, then Queen, then Nirvana, then Metallica, then Blind Guardian,then Jimmy Hendrix, then Pink Floyd, ...I could also see how the level of my English was getting better - by the lyrics I was finding meaningful.
Some pages were filled with rage. There were huge angry letters, screaming I HATE YOU! and newly appeared expletives as well, this time coded in English, a vain attempt to sound better. I hated using swear words in my language, they tasted bad. Using them in English at that time removed the coarseness somehow. Some of them were directed at my parents. Years later, when I was rereading my diaries with delight, I tore off those pages and threw them away, hoping that my parents have not seen them. It would have hurt my mom so bad, coming suddenly from nowhere, because now my father is not here anymore, and my mom and I have a great relationship. Actually we've always had, just that I seem to have been a very angry teenager.
Later the first loves came, some with relationships, some one-sided and silently pleading from the breathlessly written pages.
The diaries were the place where I wrote my poems too, after several drafts on flying paper, I transferred the sculptured verses on the pages and dedicated each and everyone to someone from my life.
Then I went to university, and the diaries recorded new friendships, lots of parties, lots of entries written in the middle of the night, when I had come back from a dance club, and needed to write a bit, so I can record the excitement I felt, and to allow the room to stop spinning. I was never much good with alcohol.
Then I came to China, and the diaries captured the novelty of everything, the new smells, tastes and cultures, the names of my colleagues at the university here, names that I needed help remembering and spelling. The journals kept inside their pages the loneliness I was afraid of spilling out, the feeling of displacement that enveloped me every evening while I was pulling the curtains to keep the night out.
Then I stopped writing. There were entries, one per year? Not very happy, not very meaningful...there were just dated words on a page that confirmed that I existed. I guess that this is all I did- existed. Alongside people, jobs, and passing friends. Years went by. I was still not writing. I was updating my facebook statuses, yes, but how much can you really write there? I tried keeping a blog or two, but lacking the tactile feeling of a paper notebook, the screen could never hold me for long.
Then I met my boyfriend. Something happened. Something that washed the smudged windows between me and the world outside. I can't explain it better. I just woke up. I was able to see clear, to feel better, to love. Not just to exist, but to live. It was such a novel and exhilarating experience, that I started keeping a journal again. I had to, HAD to write this down, so I could sit one day, reread it and feel it again.
So this is what I write in my journals - good and bad, whatever catches in my throat and needs to be written down. Sometimes I tear off pages, sometimes I cherish them.
All of them are from the road I have walked to stand here today.
I am still worried that my mom may find the diaries, now that I am not home, but the notebooks are. Or that my boyfriend may one day read some dar thoughts from the past and change his opinion about me. I worry about a lot of other things too. I keep my old diaries here in carton boxes under books, out of the day, and the new diary...well, the new diary is happy.