dear diary…

I completed a diary today. Third one this year. This always make me a little happy and a little sad. I pour so much of myself into my diaries, and when I’m done with one I feel like I’m losing a friend or a part of myself or something. But then there are new friends to be had/new diaries to pour my soul into, so whatev.

I’m thoroughly convinced that everyone should keep a diary. We humans have such faulty memories, which makes it difficult to reflect on where we’ve come from and who we used to be. I believe it is vital for us to look back on our lives – to see the ways in which we’ve grown, and also to see how some things never do change. I think Socrates would agree with me – “the unexamined life is not worth living.” I bet he kept a diary or twenty.

I’ve been rereading some of my old diaries recently, and I’m continually shocked at some of the things I wrote/some of the ways I felt. These diaries are from just a few years ago, and I’ve always thought I remembered those years clearly. How wrong I was. Some of the times I lived through were much darker than I realized, and some were better than I remember. There were crushes I had forgotten about, insecurities I didn’t know I had, and entries that left me wanting more (July 22, 2006: “Today marks a day when I could not doubt God, no matter how hard I tried. His glory showed through my unbelief. Praise Him!” …what happened, I wonder?) There were even some things I wrote in June (as in three months ago) that surprised me.

I find quite these diary entries interesting:

October 15, 2006 (America): All I want to do is go overseas and become a Mother Teresa wannabe. I’m just so worried that I’ll get over there and hate it.

October 14, 2008 (India): My head is clouded with dreams of home. I thought I would come to life in India – now I believe my spark will return when my plan hits the runway in Chicago. Hell, even when I board the plane. I thought India was for me. You have a piece of my heart, but I can’t stay.

Little did I know that when I wrote that Mother Teresa wannabe entry in 2006 I would be in India exactly two years later. That trips me out (in a good way.) And my fear did came true, ironically enough. I didn’t love it (I wouldn’t exactly say I hated it – I just had a really really really hard time.)

Sometimes my diary entries are entirely dramatic, which often lead to me laughing at myself: “Seriously, right now I would be fine if I didn’t see another human being for six months. I don’t want to talk to anyone, not even the nice humans.”

Other entries take me back to a place in my heart that is now gone (and consequently make me SO HAPPY to be out of that place at the present moment): “There is this certain boy I can’t get off my mind, and he is on the other side of the country, probably forgetting my name.” That last part always makes me sad, even though I know now how the story turns out (he didn’t forget my name.)

One time I wrote about the best bath I had ever taken (“January 26 will always be remembered as the day I experienced the perfect bath.”) – I had forgotten about that bath, but when I read the description the entire memory came flooding back. It really was the best bath ever.

I gave this advice to myself four years ago: “You should consider smoking and swearing less. Don’t have sex before marriage. And try try try not to judge people. They are already going to feel judged even if you aren’t, so prove them wrong and love them.” I like that last part. But did I really smoke and swear enough to have to tell myself not to? I guess so, lol.

There’s the way I was a month before I was saved: “I’m fine until I stop moving around. Then I feel sad and empty.” Such a beautiful contrast to the way I am now.

I wrote this next one the day after Valentine’s Day, 2007, and not much has changed since then:

“High school is slowly evaporating into a distant memory. Not just one memory, but bits and pieces of what I once was. Of who I used to be. College is soon to suffer the same fate. These relationships that I’ve poured time, emotion and energy into will decrease to faded pictures and fragmented recollections. Am I living the way I want to live? Or will I want to come back years from now and do it all different. In less than three months two of my best friends will graduate and be married. No longer do we sit around in our underwear and wonder who our husbands will be – reality has caught up with fantasy. I’m still living in a dream, however, and that’s fine by me. Goodnight, my sweetheart. I know you dream of me too. And yes, I have a face.” Aw, that’s cute. I was writing to my future husband. Oh hey, I still have a face.

I could go on and on and on (I mean, I have like a bajillion diaries.) And I’m starting a new one tomorrow.

But really. If you don’t have a diary, or if you don’t keep up with one regularly, I urge you to do so! I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Seriously…find me at the end of your life, read through all your old diaries, and if you can honestly tell me it wasn’t worth it, I’ll give you $20. I promise. I’ll even write it down in my diary so I won’t forget…



About Hope Naomi

Lover of all things tea and travel.
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7 Responses to dear diary…

  1. marissavilla says:

    This was totally worth waiting for. I loved it when you used to read excerpts out of your diary because you are a good writer even there and it makes me jealous. In a good way. And I have a best shower ever that I always remember! (I don’t do baths.) And I can’t imagine you smoking OR swearing. Weird. I want to keep a real life diary now, too.

  2. caroline says:

    i totally agree with Marissa – i loved all the excerpts. you are one funny woman, hope. love you!!

  3. shanaynegans says:

    I burned my old diary on Sunday night. It was a College/Pre-Christian Diary. The things I wrote in there made me blush so I was dramatic and burned it. I will take your advice though, and I think I’ll start a new one!

  4. chels says:

    aw im sad that shayna burned her diary. i mean, we’ve all been there. it’s still good to look back on those memories and even more beautiful i’d venture to say because you can see how much you’ve changed.

    anyways, hope. you’re the best diary writer i know. and i love the part about smoking and swearing.

  5. Matt says:

    What if our memories are painful? Might it not be better to forget?

    Nietzsche describes the noble or aristocratic person thus: “Being unable to take one’s enemies, one’s misfortunes, even one’s bad deeds seriously for very long—that is the mark of strong, complete natures, in whom there is a surplus of plastic, creative, healing power, as well as the power to forget…”

    Alexander Pope:
    “How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot!
    The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
    Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
    Each pray’r accepted, and each wish resign’d…”

    • Hope Naomi says:

      matt, i’m not sure about nietzsche or alexander pope, but i do believe it is important to recall all memories – whether joyful or painful. if we repress the painful parts of our lives i believe we put up barriers that can prevent healing, forgiveness and redemption. also, when we recall the painful memories of our lives we can come alongside other people who have experienced similar pain, and be there to relate/comfort/etcetera. but, to each his or her own!

      • Matt says:

        But the pain of loneliness is necessarily an individual thing, and if one had people to commiserate with the problem would already be solved.

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