Found my diary nestled in the bottom drawer of my dresser yesterday. I nervously cracked it open and found I hadn't written in over two months. Nothing in there about Boards Night, graduation, the concert--nothing. Being the OCD person that I am when it comes to recording events in my life (chalk it up to my disgust for the fragile human memory and its tendency to warp), I have to write in a few of my infamous catch-up entries that I hate doing. But, I do them anyway, so I can remember. I just hate how the brain distorts memories over time, and one ends up swearing that the new memory 100% happened. I'd rather read exactly what occurred. I guess that's why I've filled up nine diaries over the past eleven years.
It's true--I got my first diary in July of 1994. I about to enter the second grade; I still remember purchasing the thick turquoise Lion King diary from the Disney Store in Raleigh. I loved everything about it--the colorful edgings on the paper, the shiny lock on the side, and the pair of tiny gold keys that opened it. The diary came complete with a sunflower-colored bookmark and blue ballpoint pen. I wrote each entry with care, making sure to fill up only one page per entry. Here's a sample of my amazing penmanship at the time, straight from the page in all its unedited glory:
Date: July 25th 1994.
Grandmother Gave us lunch. She let us buy Diarys. Now we are writing in owr Diarys. I am haveing fun. We tuck a nap. I wached T.V. We are playing an ather Lion King story. We wer pretinding to be in a cage. We wer playing with Kristen's Simba. We had Chickin for dinner and a besket and greenbeans. Lauren, Kristen and me are going to wetch TV aftr we finish writeing in owr Diary.
Ah, the eloquence. I still disregard spelling at times in my entries today, although I can say my spelling and sentence structure has improved a bit over the past few years. But man, I loved that diary. It's pretty obvious nowadays, too; Most of the pages are falling out, the lock is tarnished and useless, and the keys have been long since missing. I can't believe I haven't lost any of the pages yet. Now I practially have to handle it with tweezers, it's so fragile. Inside, it's pure gold; ah, the happy memories of childhood.
Some diaries, like the Lion King one, are a lot of fun to read because they have such great memories in them. My second diary (March '00--May '00) is full of memories of trips to Atlanta with the Miles family. I had so much to write about, I filled up the entire book in three months. My third one (May '00--June '00) was great too; it was when I really got to know Peter for the first time. But, of course, there are some diaries that I probably won't open for a few years. My seventh diary (December '02--August '03) falls right where the shit hit the fan in 2003. Michael's death, Mom and Dad--it all happened in one diary. The diary's covers are plain black, so it practically named itself "The Black Book." While these and other diaries are very memorable, there are some that I just can't remember what happened in them, such as the eighth one (August '03--December '03), or, the aftermath of the Black Book. I probably don't remember it because that time was basically the healing period after the early months of 2003.
I'm sitting here typing on Lauren's bed with my diaries piled around me, and it's hard to believe all the history in them. It's very interesting to see how much I've changed over the years, in both my views and my personality. I used to be very conservative (ex: After I had met Peter for the first time at my Confirmation, I actually wrote "He's nice, even though he's gay."), and I used to be extremely religious. Plus, I use to say b-ball. I was a weird kid in middle school. I used to write pages and pages about my day and my opinions, but now all I ever do is scribble down catchup entries that merely recall events, and not how I felt about them. My tenth diary is only half full, and I've been writing in it for nearly a year. Now is one of the most important times of my life--I'm about to leave for college, for God's sake! College is going to completely change me as I know it, just like high school did. I need to make the time and effort to really sit down and write about me, not paint-by-the-numbers events that happen and end it with a "That was fun" that I notice I've been writing a lot lately. Why was it fun? What made it that way? I need to stop procrastinating.
Well, what I might start doing is posting different entries from my diaries onto my blog, so you can get a taste of how I was back then. I'll try to keep it uncensored, but if there is something absolutely private in it, I'll indicate if I took something out. Now that it's nearly five in the morning, I think I'll retire to bed. I've got a lot of things to do later today.