I don’t exactly have an impressive track record when it comes to keeping journals, whether it’s a pen-and-paper or an online one. Entries would come in erratically, sometimes coming in several times a week, then nothing for months on end. In this fashion my notebooks sometimes took years to fill up.
But fill up they eventually would, because no matter how distracted or busy or lazy i become, at some time point I would feel the need to rant, reflect, recount. And I would write. It can be some silly thing, or some indignant tirade I just had to get off my chest, or a Bridget Jones knock off. Whatever. I would write. There’s always that.
I put this in the cover page of my first online journal, and every word still rings true:
“Come my unseen, my unknown, let us talk together,”
-Katherine Mansfield says upon beginning a journal.
My officemates like to look over at me gleefully whenever they hear me talking (read: shrieking, singing, scolding, otherwise mumbling crazily) to myself. I really can’t understand why people who talk to themselves are regarded as sort of off (athough in my case that might have some merit). I think it’s perfectly healthy, if I don’t do it I will explode.
Diary-keepers, I think, will fully understand this. We keep our journals as our outlets, as extensions of ourselves, as best friends. We pour upon it all the best and worst versions of ourselves. More than a record of things that happen to us, it’s a moving map of our minds, of our “unseen,” our “unknown.” We must write, or we will explode.
Or we want a place where we can be just plain silly.
That diary, an anonymous one that allowed me to pour in all my embarrassing, blackmail-worthy scribblings for a couple of years, unfortunately met with disaster when some foul up at the site deleted all my entries. Thankfully, there exists a printout of what entries I managed to download at some point, but that’s strictly for private consumption now. In fact, the only reason that I’m now admitting to authoring the diary was because I know people won’t be able to read what I wrote there anymore. I think I’ll miss the anonymity that diary offered, but well, I also think that I’m too old not to take full responsibility for what I write, no matter how silly.
Yes, let me be silly, let me be insane. I can’t help being any other way anyway.