When I was 14-years old, I started a diary. It coincided with the beginning of high school. I was a fresh-faced “minor niner” and suddenly, my world became a lot more interesting. There were new friends, new crushes and of course, a new set of important tasks that almost overshadowed my education (where does one buy the perfect grunge-inspired plaid shirt to go with Revlon’s Blackberry lipstick?). And when I was happy, troubled or somewhere in the middle, I wrote.
I wrote about my insecurities and my fears. I jotted down unsolicited opinions on everything from the length of a mean girl’s kilt to the blueness of my crush’s eyes. I wrote about my first boyfriend and my first heartbreak. And most of all, I wrote about my hopes for the future. I wrote about having a job I loved, exactly two sons (it was always my preference), and of course, meeting my prince in shining Burberry sunglasses. Funny how things work out, huh?
I wrote in a first, second, third…. seventh diary throughout my high school years and even into my first year of university. I can’t describe the sense of relief I felt as I unloaded my feelings. My diary didn’t judge me, offer unsolicited advice or spill my secrets. It was a form of much needed therapy through a period of angst and personal discovery.
I abandoned diary keeping in my twenties. Years later, when I started my blog, I rekindled the joy of putting thoughts on paper (or in this case, a computer screen) but truly, it didn’t offer the same release; I don’t have to tell you there’s a vast difference between publicly sharing experiences and privately sharing my innermost feelings.
Recently, however, I started a brand new diary. It was inevitable and necessary. Because I was betrayed by a friend and needed a place to sort out my feelings. My parental responsibilities were driving me to drink and writing is infinitely better than hitting the bottle. And I needed to balance the happy face I put on for my brand versus the intense anxiety I was feeling about all the things I had taken on for 2016. I needed somewhere to be me, uncensored, unapologetic.
So, at 37-and-a-half years old, I’ve found myself writing Dear Diary again.
I don’t know how long I’ll keep it up. But for now, it’s the cheapest form of therapy possible (only $8.49 for a cute new notebook!) and I’m hoping it will provide that release I’ve been searching for.