My best friend is having a yard sale this weekend and I would kill-a-man to be there and scoop up some of her goods. Since we live on opposite ends of the country (and I don’t have time to fully prep and carry out a homicide, nor am I sure how killing a man would help me get to California) we’ve chatted from afar about what she should keep, what she should trash, and what she should let strangers buy for cold-hard-cash.
Yesterday, we had this conversation via text and I’m still thinking about it:
(Psst… ignore the typos and the part about the bonnet. Long story.)
She followed this text with an excerpt from her 2005 diary, in which she chronicled a list of things she could do to “show her boyfriend she loved him.” The list included many strange and wondrous ideas (not too wondrous now– we were nice girls, mind you) but the stand-out was “Have juice for him.” Whaaat? That’s weird, you guys. And confusing. And I couldn’t stop laughing. I don’t remember the guy too well but the journal’s message was clear: keep your man knee deep in apple juice and his love for you will grow strong and true– or something like that. My point is, journals contain some really bizarre stuff. And most of it it you’d rather not revisit.
Old journals. Journals of shame. Do we keep them or do we ditch them?
Looking at this piece of my BFF’s past made me curious. So I dug my old journals out of their hiding place and reading them was… interesting? Embarrassing? Kind of terrible and made me want to burn them immediately? Yes, yes, and yes.
There was an entire page dedicated to wondering what color my husband’s hair would be. (?!) There were multiple entries about how beautiful the sun is and similar nonsense. Lots of bad poetry. Also, pages and pages on my fear of being alone, fear of growing up, fear of making decisions, fear of everything. If these writings were used as a primary source by my future biographer (a biographer interested in documenting the life of a bookish mom who watches lots of Netflix), the conclusion would be that I spent most of my late-teens and early-twenties floating around in a haze of love-crazed loneliness and insanity.
Still, there were good things too– like struggling with my faith, and working through my parents’ divorce, and meeting my husband. I just don’t know what to make of it all.
Just like my BFF, I’m thinking about whether I should ditch these old diaries or hang on to them for old time’s sake. I can’t imagine giving them up. They’re part of my history, right? But what would I be hanging on to them for? Nostalgia? Posterity? Because I’m pretty sure I do NOT want my husband, children, or grandchildren reading these after I die (in a freak accident trying to save twelve little orphan girls, in two straight lines, from a burning building– the smallest orphan will be named Madeline…).
So what do you think? Should I keep my old journals? Did you keep yours or did you trash them when you became a real-life grown up? Do you ever read them? Are you filled with shame? Did your college boyfriend like juice?
^^So many questions^^