A few days ago, I started cleaning out my bedroom, and that involved shifting a large number of paperbacks and notebooks around. I found a small stack of old diaries and school journals and couldn’t resist flipping through them after I was done playing Furniture Tetris.
It was remarkable how the years fell away. How the joys and pains of the past — how powerful those pains — echoed within me. I think I’d underestimated, despite my efforts to understand how childhood events can have an impact on adults, the true measure of past incidents on the present.
I read about being lonely after moving to a new school, and having to cope with having few friends.
I read about the births of cousins, and gifts received from relatives who have since passed away.
I read my accounting of a conflict that developed during a babysitting gig, the response of one of the parents involved, and felt the anger, resentment, and confusion rising in my chest, not as clearly as though it had just happened, but very familiarly.
It’s intriguing, seeing the development of my handwriting over a period of months — the transition from measured to concise, and then in the following years, to sloppy. (Oh, my poor grade-school and high-school teachers!)
And, of course, the sentiments of the school diaries are much different than those of my private journals. Both are honest, both are detailed, but the ones I wrote for my teacher are surface thoughts. The few pages I completed in the books that were for my eyes only — those are my heart.
I am deeply tempted to go through and transcribe them, in chronological order. After all, my grandmother always told me never to lose any of my writing; what better way to preserve it than in a virtual cloud? Or scan it, save the original imagery as well?
I think, for now, the journals will stay as they are, but I might transcribe an entry, here and there, just for something to contemplate. For laughs. For inspiration.
After all, this life of mine is an ongoing story.