My arm, wrist and hand hurt a little. I am not used to writing in hand anymore. It’s a shame, really. I used to write everything in hand. Now everything is produced on the computer, saved and kept on the computer. E-mails, lists, even my diary.
Up until I started university, my diary was handwritten. I kept the books hidden and prayed no one found them. I think my brother found one of them around the time I was 13. All of a sudden he knew things about a singer I fancied, something I had kept a secret because I had already been a fan and mocked for it.
I remember the struggle of what to write on a diary’s first page. I knew that I would look at that page a hundred times, so it was of vital importance it was something good. And I remember the urge to start a new diary half way through the old one, because the old one was starting to feel like a shirt that doesn’t fit anymore – the guy I fancied on the first pages wasn’t the same anymore, and back then we matured with the speed of lightning, so thoughts about growing up, sexuality, friends and so on quickly seemed childish and ages away, even though they were seldom more than a month or two old.
My 15 year old self threw a diary in the garbage just after I started high school. Back then all the thoughts about starting a new school and going to the first parties seemed too complicated to cope with. These days I often remind myself that I will never be able to recall my exact thoughts, because I found them too embarrassing 15 years ago and threw my diary away.
It’s been years since I reread my diaries from my boarder days, but I remember that I wasn’t ready last time I looked them through. It all came back – the missing my parents, the being in a new country and speaking another language, the complications with one other girl at school in particular – and I wasn’t ready. I don’t know if I am now despite having more than doubled my age since I wrote down those thoughts.
I love rereading my diary from around the time I met J. It’s on the computer and the happy ending I know life had in store for us makes it easier to read about not knowing if we were destined for just friends or more, about leaving parties disappointed and about worrying he was about to go to Switzerland for 10 months.
My diaries are no longer handwritten – and they are no longer just secret documents. J becomes a kind of diary when I let him in on my secrets – as does this blog. Lots have changed since I wrote my very first diary entry. It was an almost exact copy of an entry from the neighbour’s daughter’s diary; an entry she had read out loud to me. The diary was light green, didn’t have a lock and my handwriting was stumbling and huge, but it was the beginning of something that’s become a constant in my life – even if it’s now in different forms than I thought possible back then.