Diaries Filled With the Bad and the Ugly

After having given birth and with bags under my eyes, I’m taking up writing again. I want to thank everyone who left lovely comments at the bottom of my last post. Some people recommended that I keep a diary with all the magic moments I’ll experience with my son. Oh, how I wish I was a diary-keeping person, but I know from experience that I am not.

In a drawer somewhere I have a pile of notebooks that started off as diaries. Most of them are filled with about 15 entries, the number at which I usually stop. Looking back, I notice that I only seem to write when I’m sad, angry or irritated. In other words, the diaries are filled with the bad and the ugly of my life. Anyone reading them would think I had a miserable life. Then again, it might also show how fortunate I am, as each notebook contains only a few entries. I guess on all the other days I was happy or at least content.

I think the main reason I can’t keep a diary is that I don’t have the discipline for it. I can’t make myself sit down every night before I go to bed to write a page or two. I always think, ‘oh, I’ll write an extra bit tomorrow’. And before I know it, a week or perhaps even a month passes until I would add a new entry.

This blog also requires some kind of discipline. But here I have my fellow Cecile’s Writers who expect an entry from me, which makes me write. That’s also how the only two full diaries I have in my drawer got filled. In high school I shared these diaries with two friends. I’d write an entry and pass it on to my friend, she’d read the entry and then add her own. (Of course, we had code names for all the people in our class, in case it fell into ‘the wrong hands’.)

Knowing that someone else would read it, I was probably not completely open in those diaries. But still, I’m glad that I’ve got this little souvenir containing the voice of my teenage self. A rare thing.

Maybe I should try keeping a diary again. Let me see if there’s an empty notebook in that drawer…

Vanessa

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3 Comments to “Diaries Filled With the Bad and the Ugly”

  1. I have kept one for the most part and am glad that I have. Some of the best entries are the ones that were made on sleepless nights, reminding myself I loved my baby boy, even if I would groan when cried again. :)

  2. It’s so hard to maintain a diary. But for the periods in my life that I did, I’m really grateful that I can look back and reread those moments. For the 1st year of my 1st relationship I kept extensive journals. It’s so funny to reread them now. :-)

  3. Yes, yes, yes, but don’t think of it as a diary. Think of it as a gift to your children. Have at least the one book that you are keeping for them, that you know they will be reading and rereading to their kids one day. Then you might feel the same kind of accountability that you feel toward Cecile’s Writers. Also, just jotting down stuff for the kids, you don’t have to think about it, or do it on a daily basis–just when your kids do something you never want to forget. And there isn’t the same kind of pressure to be brilliant or perfect for such a small and loving audience. The great thing about keeping any kind of written record is that you can always go back to retrieve important details or stories. I’m referring to my journals of Italy for the novel I am working on.

    I have thought about you and hoped you and the wee one are both well!

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