Sunday, August 19, 2007

Dear Diary, I want to be Forever Young

(Sunday Scribblings)

When I was young, I kept a diary. I think I was roughly at the age of 14, 15 when I started writing in it. I remember very well what my first diary looked like: a little but thick book, of which the outside was covered with Chinese silk, mainly red with a green and black pattern. Unlike most diaries, it had no lock. And that's what, in the end, caused its death.

I used to poor out my heart in that way. Being a teenager, and a girl (which makes a difference generally, as girls at that age can be quite over the top with their emotions), I thought writing about my life would help, expecting a huge change soon to come. Why was that? And what was I expecting to change?

Looking back, I so much more understand why I kept the diary, why I mainly wrote about boys, boys & boys and how disappointed I quite often was. At first it may sound silly. A diary is supposed to be secret, if only a little, right? It's yours and yours only and for no one to be read apart from you. And if the hypothesis is that writing it is going to help you sort your (love-)life out (or at least create a clearer view on it), it is a very good thing to do. But somehow, I wrote my diary with a sort of weird hope that others would read it, and of course would act on it and then, everything was going to be alright....

Childish behaviour, but then, I still was one. Nowadays, I know what I was hoping to achieve wasn't silly, but the way how, I got it all wrong. You write a diary for yourself. And if you are honest and true, you get a pretty good look at yourself. And if parts of that don't make you happy, or pleased, or whatever, you can maybe track back the if's, why's and how's so you learn from your mistakes, miscalculations, misunderstandings...

But you can never expect someone else to be responsible for your downsides, bad habits, weak points or ignorance. Even when you think they caused it, it is still you who is able to stop or change it; and if you can't you'll have to work on your emotional response and act on it, or (depending on the matter) don't act on it.

The last half year or so, I have been more and more convinced that this is the path to follow on your way to happiness. To love and be loved. Maybe it was coincidental that I started to write this blog? Isn't a blog quite often an adult version of a child's diary? Again, this "diary" is written with the hope others read it. But now, I do not have the expectation that someone else will act on it and "clear up the mess I've made". Now, I want to do that myself.

It's just that sometimes I wish I was that child again. And that somebody would have shared this knowledge with me so I would have had a complete different diary. One I would have kept, so I could read it again when I would be older. Then, afterwards I would close it and start a new diary.

The opening words?

Dear Diary, I want to be forever young….



gautami tripathy said...

In your diary, you can always be young.

Rob Kistner said...

In line with what Gautami wrote -- we are still that young person that now lives within us. If we never lose our sense of wonder -- we are... forever young!

Robin said...

You know, now that I've got the perspective with having lived another 25 years since I last kept a diary, I just don't think I'd want to be forever young anymore, though I'd have quoted Dylan, not Alphaville ;-). I would want to hold on to that sense of possibility and wonder, but I learned a lot of hard-fought lessons along the way and I think a lot of the joy is in the journey, not the destination.