While I currently do not keep a journal or diary, I used to as a child. I would write in it fairly irregularly, usually more about boys than anything else :) As I grew older and the years slipped by, I guess the diary kept getting pushed under my bed or neglected until one day, my mom must have found it and tucked it in my “keepsake” box for my eyes at a later time.
The other day, I was rifling through that box when I came across that diary. I opened it up and read the first few entry’s. As I mentioned, most of the entry’s were about the cute boys who I thought must have a crush on me or about my crushing on one of them.
All of a sudden, I came across an entry where I wrote something to the effect of, “I think I like this boy…” Now, this would not be an out of the ordinary entry, except for the guy who I was writing about happens to be the very same guy that I am currently dating, and have been dating for over four years. I could’t believe what I was reading. I do not remember writing this in my diary, let alone crushing on him as en elementary school kid. We weren’t even friends till senior year of high school!
Now, I’m not sure what this means. It might be a coincidence that I wrote about the guy that I am now dating how many years later. It might be fate. This “coincidence,” if you will, possess some mysterious quality. Some undeterminable magic. It’s spiritual to me, really. I feel that there is a reason that that diary was kept, as if I was meant to read that entry at a later point in my life. I’m not sure what that reason is yet, but had the diary been burned or thrown away, I would never have been able to consider the significance of why I came to read that entry so many years later.
This leads me to discarding journals/diaries. I feel that burning diaries or journals is a personal thing. It might be something that people feel that they have to do, like with Brown in Burning Your Diaries. Perhaps it gives them a sense of relief, knowing that no one will ever read their thoughts, feelings, their deepest darkest secrets, like with Brown. It is a chance to start over, chance to let go of the past. If the author wants to discard it, then I think they are entitled to do that.
Part 2: Me, a diary?
The closest thing that I have to a diary or journal is my blog that I made for this class. While I have not gone into great depth in my posts, I have revealed that I have been going through a tough time, a mixture of anxiety and depression tossed together with excitement and happiness. This past week and a half or so, I have put myself through hell and back. I never want to relive what I have recently emotionally experienced, so I highly doubt that I will go back and read those blog posts. Maybe that is, in a sense, the same thing as burning a diary/journal. I don’t think that it’s right or wrong to burn them. I think that people are entitled to do away with their personal lives (what they write in their specific platform) as they see fit.
However, regardless, I think that the point is, is that the things that you wrote about in your diary or journal are the things that make you who you are today. They are the situations that you learned from. They are the past loves that made you realize the things you want or don’t want in a relationship. They are the experiences that you never hope to encounter again, but that you learned something from. The author doesn’t need the text to remind them of their experiences, because people are more or less living diaries. They are made up of the things that they write about, and the people that we encounter are kind of viewing the “diary” or person without scribbled words. So it doesn’t necessarily matter if the diary or journal is discarded, when people are living, breathing versions of the diary that they did away with.