I used to write in diaries throughout my high school years. I actually found them last year, I read them, laughed, and then burnt them.
Sounds melodramatic, I know. But after my surgery I wanted to signify a fresh beginning, a new phase in my life and I’ve been holding onto my teenage diaries for years without really being sure why.
My teenage self was a girl coming to terms with her parent’s split and exploring her identity from the clothes she wore, to the friends she had, to the boys she fancied. I wrote in the diaries back then simply to write, and frankly a lot of it was nonsense.
Quite simply put, I am no longer that girl.
By burning them I was able to let go of all the hang ups that used to plague me as an insecure teenager, empty the home of all the bottled up feelings I used to have and, more practically, open up some room on my bookshelves.
There was a lot to love about 14/15 year old Rachel, with her black hair, heavy black eyeliner and tartan skirts. At heart I am a nostalgic person, and I didn’t want to forget what my teenage self went through. But she’s gone, and here I am standing in her place. Besides, the important stuff, the really important stuff, you tend to remember anyway.
Then a funny thing happened, after years of not writing in diaries, I decided to start it up again. With my old diaries turned to ash, and at a time where my life felt particularly chaotic, I started writing about my feelings, the general on-goings in my life. Then at the end of each entry I would write a list of Things I am Grateful For.
I found it therapeutic. As if by listing my problems on the page I was temporarily emptying them from my mind, and the Grateful list was a fun way of reminding me that life ain’t all bad. Even if what I was grateful for was, in fact, supremely silly.
There’s many reasons why writing in a diary is beneficial. It’s a great way to work through your feelings and get to know yourself better. It’s cathartic. And, if you’re a budding writer, a good way to get some words on the page without the stress of worrying if they’re any good.
For me writing in a diary is all of the above. I love my new diaries, and I make a point of writing in them at least once or twice a week. Just fifteen minutes where I can put my life on the page and put my mind at ease.
But who knows, in ten/fifteen years or so, I might burn these as well.
Things I’m Grateful For:
- Colourful post-it notes
- Funky art
- Audrey Hepburn movies
- Photo Albums
- Pink skies
- English Rain
- Cuddles on the sofa
- Good Books
- Love ❤