About maintaining a diary

I started writing in my diary about seven years ago, even before I had found any respite in it. I had a very good reason for maintaining a diary: I wanted it to record the most important events of my life so that, when one day I became famous, I wouldn’t have to scavenge through the many memories in my mind in order to write an autobiography. It was Anne Frank who gave me the idea about writing a diary. I must have been keen on getting an insurance for my thoughts and feelings, for, I had accepted that death can come anytime and one has to be ready for it. My biographer would find it very convenient to write about me once he got hold of my diary. That was the idea then. I was planning to be famous since such a long while that I can’t be blamed now for my ambitions.

I have to admit though that my relationship with my diary hasn’t been to smooth. My intentions of becoming famous weren’t proper incentives for me to record that which happened in my life. I would abandon it for month at a time, having found a real shoulder to cry on. By the time I had understood the importance of my diary, my life had become too pleasant to be described. I had made friends in my new school, I enjoyed a few subjects, I was drawing and had begun writing, and the only problems I encountered were the annoying natures of those who were to be my close friends in the future. So I would write repeatedly about my personal history, and about the people I liked and disliked. I would fill the pages with meaningless banter and rants about my would-be friends’ attitudes. I would describe my teachers, my school and would even list down the marks I scored in tests.

But never did it become as personal and dear to me as it is now. I have written at length about the questions that bother me, the societal structure, the norms we follow and the beliefs that have been imposed on me. I have written about feeling lonely and about the excess of socialisation in my life. I wrote about a friend who left me, praised her and listed all our happy memories, and then in desperation, I also wrote about all her flaws which I had overlooked in my attachment to her. I wrote about the feelings that accompany being a female, about how I found boys to be much luckier, and later about how I came to terms with the form in which I exist to such an extent that I felt myself to be the luckier one of the two sexes. I have written about God, religion and my confusion about the whole business which is one of the most sensitive issues to be broached and about which I dare not ask anyone.

The change which I have noticed in my entries over the years is very gradual. My diary has evolved from a mere record of my daily activities to almost a bosom friend in whom I can confide anything. My experiences and feelings have begun existing out of the boundaries of my mind and are available for examination. I don’t let anyone read it because I have never opened up fully in front of anyone but my diary and exposing it to anyone would be an intimate experience.

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10 thoughts on “About maintaining a diary”

  1. I kept diaries when I was a teenager. Like you I was inspired by Anne Frank. I wrote a lot of terrible poetry, drew pictures, and discussed many of the issues you describe. I think diary writing can be very freeing and allow us to deal with things that we can voice to anyone else. Invariably I burned every one of my teenage diaries – I was terrified of anyone reading them and often embarrassed by what I had written (‘Oh Rowan, why don’t you love me like I love you?’ and things like that). Strangely, the destroying of them was as cathartic as the writing of them.

    I keep a diary now. Very sporadically. It’s a way of dealing with any issues that arise in my life – any doubts or fears or annoyances. I would hate for my husband to read it because sometimes he gets a very bad rap in it. Reading back on it, I often laugh at myself. Nothing like time to put things in perspective. I wonder, will I one day burn it too?

    Good luck with your diaries. Enjoy them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I admit I haven’t burnt my diaries but have torn off a few pages and shredded them because I was so embarrassed by a few of my thoughts. When I come to think of it, I feel ashamed of myself for ever having been ashamed of my own thoughts because they are a part of who I am. The reason for destroying them was the same as yours and that makes me feel pretty bad about myself.

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      1. You shouldn’t feel bad about yourself. It’s understandable. It’s not your thoughts that are the problem, it’s the fear of someone other than you reading them and that’s perfectly reasonable.

        I’m always shocked when I hear of parents who read their children’s diary. It’s such a private space.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Some of my posts have been picked up from what I wrote in my diary. But the one you asked for doesn’t constitute a single entry but is spread over my entries from quite a few days. It’s only in passing that I have mentioned it in the diary and that too was in reference to my experiences which my readers might not relate to or be interested in. However, it was nice of you to mention what you would like to read. I will try to compile it and make it somewhat meaning, and should I succeed, I will post it.
      Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

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