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Hey, Gorgeous. Where’s Your Journal?

Photo by: LaShauna Bell

Did you ever keep a diary when you were younger? I did. Mine was pink with pink and white striped pages that had little elephants with hearts on ends of their tails. Retrospectively, I can easily look back at that period of my eight-year-old life and realize that I was being way too extra but that’s beside the point. So, the other day, I was rummaging through some old material in my house and found it. I swear it was like unearthing a part of my childhood and I was hit with waves and waves of nostalgia. I opened that bad-boy and thumbed through it, page by page. And as I was reading through the bubbly writing of my youth, I started to notice that younger me was distraught by a whole bunch of nothing’! There were paragraphs among paragraphs about how sad I was that the popular girl in homeroom didn’t invite me to her birthday party. (I was a nerd back then and didn’t embrace it as much as I cling to my intelligence now.) And then on the next page my resolve of anger was to declare that when it was my turn, I wouldn’t invite her to MY party! I wrote about boys who I thought were cute who I didn’t have the courage to talk to. But on one page I was beyond thrilled because one of them told me that the pencil I had been looking for during class was crammed between my ear and the stem of my glasses.  

I wrote about sibling drama, and how being the oldest had its drawbacks since I got in trouble for literally everything. Especially if I didn’t even do what caused me to get into trouble. I wrote about parental disagreements and one within the bindings of that pink diary I even wrote that I wished my mother would just turn into a toad and leave me alone. I wrote heavily back then, on a day to day basis, and actually took pride in my emotional secrets. I also remember the feeling of embarrassment when my sisters found that very diary when I was about eleven and read through it. 

But now, all these years later, I still write in a journal. Technically it’s a diary but it’s leather bound instead of pink and the word journal sounds so much more adult. But the content is what interests me. The things I wrote about when I was child were things that predominately upset me. But in my journal now I write about what I’ve learned in a day. Or, I write down quotes that I found interesting or inspiring. I write down recipes or old wives’ tricks. I write about my daily interactions with the people I care about, or even complete strangers, and I jot down how that interaction affected me; and if I didn’t like it, how I planned on bettering the interaction for next time. What I’m saying is, is that I noticed a lot of growth within my journaling and for a minute I sat there with my old dilapidated diary and laughed. I obviously had to go through the tantrums within my mind to be who I am today. So that being said, if you still have it, you should read through your old diaries and see what was important to you at the time. And if you journal now, you should compare and contrast as I did since it is really, oddly, enlightening. And for those of you don’t journal… you should get on that because to express yourself is freeing. 

I'm a senior at Stephen F. Austin State University, currently majoring in Multidisciplinary Studies with the drive to one day become a novelist and a nurse.
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