Monday, December 3, 2012

To Whom It May Concern

Latest journal
“What is a diary as a rule? A document useful to the person who keeps it. Dull to the contemporary who reads it and invaluable to the student, centuries afterwards, who treasures it." ~ Sir Walter Scott

I came home after a really long day in a doctor's waiting room. I find that one of the absolute non-joys of the holiday season is having to be diagnosed or treated for some ailment. The flu season is upon us and I saw plenty of sickies.

Tonight I curled up in the living room, with the TV off, the lights off (except for the Christmas lights,) and I decided to watch a movie on Netflix called, "Surrender Dorothy." It was really good.

And it got me thinking-

When I die, who will read my diaries?

Let me explain...

The movie is about a girl around the age of 30 who dies in a tragic automobile accident. Her mother travels to the Hamptons to spend the summer with her daughter's friends; basically trying to go through her healing process. Needless to say, she doesn't know her daughter like she thought she knew her daughter.. and so on and so forth. Little stories pop up here and there that her mother sort of laughs through, things she did not know, but was okay with. Then the big moment came, right near the end of the movie, where she was handed her daughter's diary. The trick is - it's in Japanese. (She was studying Japanese and decided to keep her diary in the language. Very smart...) Her mother finally finds someone to read a little bit of it to her and of course, it throws a few cold blows the mother's way.  As all diaries/journals do... our deepest, darkest feelings we would never utter aloud, and maybe not even to our friends, go onto those pages. Then it hits the mother - she had to close the book and let her daughter keep some secrets.

Like the mother, it hit me - like a ton of bricks - what would I do if I did not outlive my parents and they read my diary? What if my best friend/husband/cousins.. did not matter who.. read my diary? Make that DIARIES.

Would they like what they read? Probably not. Most journals are a place to just "work out your anger" or your sadness or your transitions. It's supposed to be a safe place to record your thoughts, your feelings, your dreams.. but let's be honest here, I don't think there is a single person on this Earth that I have come in contact with that wants to open that journal. It won't be pretty.

There are so many things in those books - Everything from my elementary school crushes to my arguments with best friends in high school. From my college party days to my more painful days dealing with cancerous cells, meningitis, moving to another state, losing my job, my divorce.. and.. well... what's going on now.

There's some good stuff in there too, like the photo you see above. That was written in November of 2007, it was the night after I visited the pyramids for the first time in Egypt. The sentences were not the most descriptive (I was severely jet lagged,) but there it is.. my thoughts.. my feelings... everything.

It sort of broke my heart to read this one journal. There are fewer entries in it, because I started my blog and began writing more on here versus in it. (The book is at the top.) But I do reserve some of my thoughts just for the pages inside that leather journal... the deepest ones. The ones I hope no one will ever read.

But we know one day, someone will. Will it be my niece, when she is older? Will she receive a box from the executor, and will she open the box and sit and read them cover to cover, in chronological order? Will she wonder if she ever really knew me? Will she "get" me?

Or will I die younger, and my best friend get the box? Will she open it up.. read the pages.. and connect the dots?

Or will my husband get them- will he read a few pages and immediately throw them in a fireplace and burn them? Will he curse the day he ever met me, or feel terrible for how he made me feel sometimes? Or will he cherish them for what they are- a brief moment in time? A piece of me, my thoughts....

Journaling is a curious hobby. For me, it's more so a habit I've been doing it since the 2nd grade. Long gone are the "I love so and so.." and now there is the "This is how I feel and why."

My life is chronicled. For better or for worse. I wonder... who it will concern the most?


Savvy WorkingGal said...

I left my diaries home when I went to college. They were way in the back of the top shelf of my closet. My 5 younger siblings found them and read them. Then when I had an apartment with my bestie from college I stuffed my diary under my pillow and went to work. Her sister and boyfriend who were staying with us 'til they got on there feet used my bed while at work and found my diary. Apparently I wrote some things that weren't nice about them. Then when I was in the process of breaking up with my fiance he found them and read them. After that I burnt all of my diaries and didn't start journaling again until this year. I really missed it. Good luck with yours.

SharleneT said...

In the early years of my marriage, I kept a diary -- for venting, etc. Got up early, one morning, to find my husband was reading it with his morning coffee. I felt invaded, betrayed, and so offended, I wasn't sure I wanted to continue marriage with someone who felt they had the right to invade my innermost self. I burned it and let him know how I felt. He said there should be no secrets (meaning he could keep his, but I had to share mine) between us. I said there were no secrets, so far as how it affected our life but he didn't BUY me when we married and I still had a right to my own thoughts. He killed something special about us, in me, that morning and it was never the same.

High Heeled Life said...

Nicole your leather journal is beautiful! I have gone back and forth over the years in keeping a journal... and over time have either shred or burnt them (some times I wish I hadn't).

Love your new header!! you go girl! HHL

Anonymous said...

If my diaries outlive me, I hope that they will be compiled into a volume or volumes of "The Secret/ Unpublished Writings & Rantings of SomerEmpress". Lol! I'm kidding, but seriously, I hope that should someone find them, that they are inspired somehow to live even more authentic lives and to deal with the rawness of their feelings and innermost self. I hope that as a result, they realize the importance of celebrating the things that are really meaningful - the encounters, exchanges, the free stuff.


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