I’ve been writing since I was a kid. I’ve always liked to write–I love words. I like the way some of them sound, how they feel in my mouth when I say them. I enjoy the way words have double and hidden meanings. How rearranging them can bring out those meanings. How I can say exactly how I feel and yet hide my true feelings with words. Therefore, I’ve kept a journal most of my life. As a kid, it was the traditional diary, complete with lock and key. As I matured, it evolved into the classic leather bound journal. Sometimes lined, sometimes not. I am also something of an artist, so at times it’s been a cross over of both sketch book and diary. I’ve been given beautiful books with inspirational pictures and quotes for writing over the years.
My mother has always kept a diary. Hers leans towards the outline of her days…if anyone wonders when they had a doctor’s appointment, it is sure to be written down in my mother’s diary. She likes to keep track of what was going on. I’ve leaned towards the how. How things are going. Or not going. Or going off-track. Or going wonderfully. I spill my emotional guts to paper at night, so I can feel unburdened by the weight of it during my days. It’s interesting to me to sometimes go back through and read what I’ve written. Because I use it as a catharsis, there are patterns. The ups and downs of my relationships. The frustrations and thrills of motherhood and careers. It’s all there. By now I’ve used up several journals and keep them in a box under my bed. Whatever one I’m currently using lies on my bedside table, within reach at night. I’m not a daily writer in my journal, but I try to be consistent and get caught up whenever time permits. Only once in my life have I had a long gap of silence. When, in the middle of a painful argument, my (now ex) husband admitted he had been reading it. After promising me it was something he would never do. I felt so betrayed that I couldn’t write in it again for several years. Until after we divorced. But I’ve been fairly faithful ever since.
Last week I brought my journal to work with me so I could get caught up during a break in my day. Over the weekend, I looked for it, but it wasn’t on my nightstand. I figured I must have left it in my office, hoping briefly that if that were the case, no prying eyes had stumbled across it. However when I got to work this morning, it wasn’t there. I had a moment of panic. How could I have misplaced it? Why was I so foolish to bring it to work with me? Of course, it wasn’t as if there were anything incriminating in it. I wouldn’t get arrested or lose my job if someone stumbled across it and linked it to me. It would be embarrassing. After all, I am brutally honest in writing to myself. I don’t care how raw it sounds. Or how frightened or elated I seem describing things that matter only to me. Or maybe one day after I’m gone, if they are interested, to my children. They may want to read it and gain insight on their mother that is not necessary right now.
At any rate, I’m relieved to say that I discovered my journal under a seat in my car when I got home tonight. Now, for the sake of my ego (and a few innocently-mentioned names), it won’t be traveling beyond my nightstand any more.