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Diary or Textbook?: Looking at My Journals Over Time

The other week I learned that September 22nd is Dear Diary Day, so I knew I had to write an article on my diary series. Over the course of the last ten years, I have kept four journals that highlight things I went through: romantically, platonically, mentally and emotionally. Although my anger is in the journals, so is my heart.  


1.     Purple-Flower

I am just going to call the first textbook “purple-flower.” The edition was finished in 2012 and highlights the year of 2010. When I go back to a lot of things from my childhood, it starts here. So, basically, this is where my emotional trauma starts. If you ever read this, you’re reading about what happened to me when I was ten, how I felt moving from a state across the country and about the first boy I was “supposedly” in love with... you know, your first child crush you think you’re in love with LOL.


2.     Greenie

This one doesn’t have much of a special cover either; it’s a blue or green spiral pattern. It matched many pencils I got in middle school. This contained a lot of my middle-school drama, which sounds so far away now. This is actually the worst diary I’ve had. If you ever read it, I warn you: I had a lot of anger these years with no idea why. I think it’s my Aries moon and rising factors in my zodiac… oops. Anyways, you’ll read about a toxic friendship, how I met my two best friends (who are still in my life), and the one boy I wasted so much time on for absolutely no reason. 


3.     Queen Gold

This one was one of my favorites with all the flecks of gold. I wrote so much about my life in this one. It all took place in high school; this journal was EVERYTHING. I highlighted some things in activities I took on: theatre, track and dance team. I wrote a lot about a class I was once in called “block.” In this class, while I did learn many important things in the world such as race and history, it taught me a lot about how students looked at each other in my high school. It was a hard time in my life, but also now that I think back: it was a big road turn in my life. If people ever read this diary of mine, they would understand why I act the way I do. That’s not to mean anything bad, especially in my last two years of high school. I went through a lot of growth.


4.     Rose Pink

I started this diary at the perfect time: college. I’ve written letters to people who hurt me, kept a list of all the boys I liked and wrote some poems on friendships I thought would last. Then of course, I had my many rants on people who weren’t worth any of my time. I wrote about the good times, the bad times and the days I was bored. I wrote about my friends who took my mind off a bad living situation; the summer I went through a car accident and a second back surgery; the boy I fell in love with and quarantine. Today, I still write in this diary, and, frankly, I am putting this article out on the Internet for all to know what my diary looks like…


These diaries aren’t just diaries to me. They are textbooks I’ve written. Texts in these journals are heavy in the sense where it’s back-to-back, as very few entries skip lines. I speak my mind, and I like to look back just to see how far I’ve grown. I am very appreciative of this national day because I think it’s important to keep a diary. 


It’s not childish at all when you look at it from another viewpoint. Keeping a diary has helped me deal with my emotions and anger. While I also dance to help express my emotions, there are some things you cannot tell others or communicate how you feel through dance. With writing and words, however, you can. If I am not writing, at least I am writing in my diary. I don’t write in my diary every day, just the days that I feel it is essential or where I am thankful to be alive.


Natalie Elle Tyler is a senior at Winona State majoring in Creative Digital Media. She is minoring in Dance, Creative Writing, and Journalism. Natalie manages her own photography business. When she isn’t writing, she’s either doing a photoshoot, hanging out with friends, or dancing. Her ultimate dream is to make book covers through her photography while having the time to be a freelance travel photographer or photojournalist.
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