|Me, age 17 on a day pass from the hospital in Anchorage where I was 'recovering' from anorexia. My dad came down from Fairbanks to visit me during Christmas.|
When Bridget Jones' Diary hit the shelves my journaling took on a new life. I would be sure to write in it daily lest it miss me too much. It was a friend and confidant. It was a place I knew, in the back of my mind...even while the shit was hitting the fan...where I would go to write down all of the awful things that were happening to me at that instant. Somehow that made it all tolerable, although I would find myself weeping onto the pages as I relived my days...the pain of horrible breakups, empty promises, loneliness, disappointment, financial struggles, etc., etc., etc...
Don't get me wrong, my journaling led to quite a bit of insight, especially when I would reread what I wrote. Often I would barely recognize the words as my own. Sometimes even the handwriting was different...me but not. Or maybe me just telling me in a different 'voice' how to get out of whatever situation I was in. I had no family around me, opting to live in Northern California, 3000+ miles from my parents, even when I was in my mid-20's. There would have been no shame in 'going home' at that age after a divorce and having only a $13 an hour job for income.
|The best wine for my limited income.|
There are lost moments, realizations, and insights to be sure. But I won't be dwelling on them. Instead, I have my not-so-good memory and those of my closest and oldest friends and sister. It's not that I want to relive my past or dwell there for some sentimental reason. I'm happy right here in the present, while occasionally venturing out to plan some amazing adventures in the near future. Perhaps destroying those journals was the right thing to do...I will never know because there is no other option. Perhaps, for me, that act of writing down my feelings and battling them out on paper was all I needed.
But now, with computers and internet and 'free' blogging sites I find myself enjoying the process even though I know it can be a more permanent record...perhaps not so easily destroyed as those old composition books. As I grow older (and hopefully wiser) I understand that all of those moments...even my weakest ones, are what helped to form who am I right now. And for that, there is no shame or embarassment.