I’m curious about where the phrase “Dear Diary” comes from. I think it’s funny to address a diary by name, even though when we write in journals, we’re writing only to ourselves. Or are we? Do we think of a journal’s pages as living? As listening?
What’s your reason for journaling? I have a journal, but I haven’t kept up with it much over the past year or so. Last night, I decided to pick it up and write something, and as I wrote, I really wanted to get back into a regular practice of it. I wrote wanting to learn something, and learn I did.
What I learned last night: my journaling style hasn’t changed much since I was thirteen years old. I still have lots of feelings, just a few more words to describe them. Also, heartbreak sucks. Also, when I write just to myself, it still feels a little like I’m writing to someone else.
Of course, I already knew all of this. It’s funny to write seeking to learn, when all I can really write in a journal is what I already know. I think that offers some insight on who this “Diary” character is.
Dear Diary, I think you’re a gray-haired, steady-voiced therapist. When I ask you to tell me something, all you can say is, “What do you think?” and sometimes it pisses me off.
Dear Diary, or maybe you’re a dreadlocked stoner who believes in my energy. “Trust your path, man. You got this,” you say to me. And sometimes I think you might be right.
Dear Diary, you might be a child. Wide-eyed and ready to accept the world as I present it to you. You ask me questions about why things are as they are, and as I search for the answers, I see wonder and magic where I never noticed it before.
Dear Diary, you could just be an older version of me. From my perspective, you have all the answers I seek, but you’re looking back, surprised to see that the answers were there all along.
Dear Diary, or maybe you’re just a book with blank pages. You have breath, but I won’t feel it until I sigh into you. You have voice, but that voice is my own. You’re listening to me, and reminding me of all I can learn by listening to myself, too.
Who is your Diary? What do learn from its voice? From your voice?