I’ve been journaling since I was 12. I do vaguely recall a gift years prior of a proper ‘diary’ : dark leather, gold embossed, with a lock and tiny accompanying key. When I was gifted it, I was too young: to stay with one thought, to have a worthy secret, to have anything genuinely interesting to say. Is it hormones that first lend to privacy? Probably, yes.
We are the only animals which can stay attached to a memory. But why do we choose to keep them? Some of us hoard every ticket stub and momento, awards, certificates, cards…then there are those that live out of a backpack. We now have the capability to store our DNA, our daily workouts, pictures…essentially our existence to its smallest minutiae on a flash drive. The annoying ones amongst us document it on every social platform, I’m sure.
The truth is, how many go back and read the writings or flip through the photo albums? Very few to none, let’s be honest. But the first thing a person says they’ll save in a fire are pictures! It’s not like we stop existing if it all goes away. We wake up and make new memories. Is this why we are all so hard on ourselves to create something memorable, because the truth is, nothing is tangible. Nothing. Not the mood, the emotion, the memory. The most significant time one sees these pictures are when you attend a funeral and there seems to be a reel going during the wake/memorial. I understand the significance, what it all captures. I understand why I save my journals. We are inundated with so much life and information, we are only capable of recalling and attaching to so much in any moment; having the documentation grounds our lives, it says we’ve been here, we’ve done something, we’ve made relationships; it temporarily absolves fears of forgetting precious or cataclysmic episodes. One of my biggest fears is Alzheimer’s. We have legit reasons for clinging. Who are we without history? Just existing.
Spring is here. It is interesting and necessarily reflective to consider what we hold onto through the years. What we donate, throw away, and give away each time the season changes, verses what we hold onto with a tight grip through all the years and through all the moves.
Some I write in, some I don’t. I will always love beautiful journals and journaling.