Dear Diary

Christmas 1988 was a unique one. My mom had my brother in late November, and wasn’t really into shopping that year, so my sister and I got pretty much the same things, ordered from Lillian Vernon, Discovery Toys and the like, in different colors where possible. Here’s one example:

Travel Spirograph

Actually, this is the one my sister had. Mine was red with a yellow center (much more attractive, don’t you think?). Anyway, one notably different gift I received was a diary (I think Jenny probably got art supplies instead).


I waited until January first to start writing in it, and then I continued to write in it for a couple of years, always choosing the correct date, and adding the year. Some pages have writings from 1989, then comments and crossings-out from 1990 and 1991. At one point I thought these early “writings” (if we can call them that) would hold the keys to who I am today and why I’m however I am. I was disappointed.

Starting in about fifth grade, I wrote a little more often, and from about 8th grade through high school, nearly every day. I stopped in college — not really sure why. I think e-mail became my medium of choice, and I wrote to friends who went to other schools, my high school boyfriend, etc. And while I’ve kept a journal sporadically and continue to write in one, I now write here more than anywhere…

It’s different, writing on a blog, though. I don’t exactly know who reads this, but I know people do. I am not diary/journal truthful and transparent (assuming diary/journal writing is truthful or transparent, which it isn’t necessarily). Saying too much on the blog about anything personal feels like a big risk, every single time. I can go on and on about things I see and hear and read, but I can’t talk about the people and situations closest to me without feeling really weird about it. Still, I think there’s a balance to be struck between honest, appropriate writing and bear-all writing. The thing is there isn’t really a rulebook for this — sometimes I share too much, I think, sometimes too little.

I’ve thought of starting something more anonymous to hold all of this non-blogable stuff, but then I realized I could just keep using a pen-and-paper journal, and that would make much more sense if I really want privacy. Funny how we forget about what used to be all we knew. Like how you can wash clothing in a tub or sink and let it air dry. Yeah, I know!

Anyway, this post has gone somewhere totally different than where I thought it would go. I was going to write about how I get into these ruts in my journal writing where I just make lists. I make lists of things I Have To Do or Want To Do or Should Really Do. I make lists of people I’ve loved, mistakes I’ve made, books I’ve read, etc., etc., etc. And I came to this blog post ready to make a list. So here it is:

List With No Theme:

  1. I just discovered Shelfari, and was able to import all of my books from LibraryThing into it. I’m not really sure what the difference is, but am happy to use both for some reason. Shelfari is prettier, though LibraryThing seems more flexible.
  2. I haven’t had time to read all of this blog post from We Make Money Not Art about RFID technology used in art, but I love what I have read. I especially like (so far) this part of Doria Fan’s interview in which she is asked if she is optimistic or worried about how RFID technology might be used, and she says, “I’m not any more optimistic or worried about RFID than any other technology out there. Humans are capable of great kindness and cruelty. That is independent of any technology.” Beautifully put. Stop blaming the technology, because it’s absolutely not the root of the problem.
  3. Intro to Cognitive Neuropsychology will not be a walk in the park. I’m already learning, though.
  4. I need new tires. I need new glasses. I think I’ll use my economic stimulus check towards both (instead of my paycheck and/or savings). I love the idea of getting $600 from the government, but I think the idea of the stimulus rebate is really stupid. Why not put that money towards helping the people who need it most (like those who were on the wrong end of a sub-prime mortgage (which, it sounds like, was everyone who was involved in one, lender and all))? Bruce Bartlett sums it up well in his NYT Op-Ed.
  5. Do you believe in jinxing things? I usually think I don’t, but on the other hand I kind of do…
  6. I’m Arizona-bound tomorrow for a wedding, and might not get much of a chance to write.


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3 responses to “Dear Diary

  1. Oh my god.

    I love the nostalgic diary thing. If I can find it–I want to read you some hilariously intense teenage musings from my old diary when I see you. Hahhaa…



  2. I used to lie to my diary. I was not exactly cool/popular in elementary and Jr. high and I would write in my diary that I had loads of friends and I would make up stories about all of the fun we were having. I read it in high school and destroyed the book as I thought it meant that I was insane. I wish I still had it.

  3. I really enjoy your blog. I create custom memoir volumes and journals with thought provoking questions on each page to help those interested in writing a journal or memoir get started. Take a look and be sure to download your free eMemoir Volume to get started! ‘Every person’s life is a contribution to the story of mankind and each person’s story that isn’t recorded is like a missing page from the greatest story ever created.’ Hand Hewn

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