#279: The Diary

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When I was younger, I used to write in a physical journal, and I carried it everywhere with me. (Have I told this story before? Inevitably, I’m going to repeat myself; not like anyone’s keeping track, but still…)

As someone with low self-esteem and a predisposition towards telling people what they want to hear rather than the truth, my whole life has revolved around pleasing others. But writing is one of my few remaining solitary activities. It’s something I can return to and rediscover my true self and feelings, without reservation. I don’t have to worry about whether or not I truly like something or if I’m just saying I like something to please another person; while writing, I am honest to the only person who consistently reads my writing: myself. Self-esteem doesn’t play a role in my treatment. Everyone deserves the opportunity to discover their voice and allow it to be heard, and a lot has been on my mind lately regarding what I want to do with my life. At age 24, it’s hard not to think of all the ways in which I’ve slowly lost control over things I used to have under control. Appointments, daily routines, large-scale ambitions. Inevitably, all of these things fall apart over time, but I never expected it to be so sudden and apparent to myself.

But that’s a topic for another blog post. Today, I want to solely discuss the act of writing, or keeping a daily journal, as it allows me to flesh out my thoughts in ways I wouldn’t be able to otherwise. In my journals, I am forced to stay consistent with my own thinking, and I don’t allow other voices to intrude on what I ought to write about. The only person I owe anything to with these blog posts is, ultimately, myself, and hopefully that doesn’t come off as selfish to others.

2 thoughts on “#279: The Diary

  1. I’ve kept a hand-written journal for nearly 40 years. As you say, I wrote it solely for myself, though I never prohibited my wife from reading it. And my son says he’ll be eager to read it (them — I think I have 24 spiral bound notebooks of journals) after I’m dead. (Why then? Why wouldn’t he want to know me now?)

    As a result, I seem to be censoring my entries, either holding back some things or putting in things I think they’ll want to see/know.

    Still, on balance, I think it’s a worthwhile thing to do.

    • That’s fascinating, and I’m glad you shared it. Why shouldn’t they want to know about you while they have this precious time in the world with you? From my perspective, I don’t have kids, but I guess in the distant future I could see my kids wanting to read what I’ve written, either online or in print. I started migrating to online journaling because my hands cramp from writing with a pen! My grandfather also kept a short hunting journal that I read after he passed away, but I didn’t know it existed while he was alive, either.

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