The topic of diaries came up today. A friend who I have known since university days started a discussion on Facebook. I was surprised and almost flattered, but nonetheless pleased when she said that I was mentioned in these diaries. It reminded me of my own diaries I kept as a teenager, through difficult times. The world saw one version of me, the real me only ventured out in my own private writing. It was genuinely a tough time, my father died when I was 15 and I subsequently had a lot of responsibilities. I carried on with the diaries until I was at university, perhaps until I had got closer to being the real me in public, actually telling people how I felt, not pretending things were alright if they were not.
The diaries were always the same size, school exercise book size but with a hard cover. Before the advent of pound shops most towns had a ‘bargain shop’ which sold cheap stuff. One of my diaries was Chinese, bound with a red fabric spine and a yellow patterned cover. I spilled some essential oil on it which made some of my writing all blurry. Reading them is somewhat painful, but at the same time I see a strong young woman struggling but somehow coping. I have passed the point now where reading them puts me back in the frame of mind I had when I wrote them.
I don’t keep a diary now, not in the same way, but there are diaries of a sort out there, my Twitter feed, my Facebook. An old blog that hangs around waiting to be loved again. I’ve kept my old diaries used for appointments every year out of habit, I have several little piles of them in the house. Records of how my life has changed and how much I have accomplished.
I thought about looking at my old diaries today but something made me hesitate. Soon I will read them. And I will write some entries from it on here. I think the teenage me would have loved the internet.


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