“Dear Diary”

Image by CharuTyagi from Pixabay

I first started journaling at the age of twelve, after receiving a cute green notebook as a freebie. Every night before going to bed, I used to spend at least half an hour with my journal; jotting down about my day with friends and teachers. Even a tiff with my best friend got a mention in my earliest journals. Those entries typically started with “Dear Diary” and I signed them off with “Love, Anjali” in my scrawny handwriting. This post is a tribute to those journals that held bits and pieces from my adolescence.

“Hearts & Spades” Entries

The journal entries I made as an adolescent make me cringe with embarrassment now. Multiple pages of that journal were dedicated to ‘butterflies in stomach’ moments that usually happened after talking to school seniors I had a crush on or fantasizing about celebrities and fictional characters. Occasionally, the pages were decorated with tiny hearts in pink and red while reminiscing about my moment of that day. Kill me for sharing this bit with you!

As funny and weird as it might sound, I had a huge crush on Harry Potter too for a really long time as well as on all those male protagonists produced by Mills & Boon. My adult brain now realizes that why my parents had banned Mills & Boon books, and its chivalrous, chauvinist, rich and handsome men inside our house. It also makes me think if chivalry and chauvinism are interrelated. Well, that discussion is for another day.

“What Ifs” Entries

As I grew older, the journal entries were more about anxieties, insecurities, fears, and phobias. “What if I failed this exam?”, “Would I be able to finish this assignment on time?”, “Was I looking like an idiot in class today?”, “Did I forget to put my pants on?”, “Why were they staring at me?”, and so on. There were some days when I used to enter multiple entries depending on how intense my feelings were. Obviously, I could finish more than one journal in a year. Those journals were like close confidantes that kept my secrets safe. Or so I assumed till I found out that once in a while they lured a reader or two into stealthily checking on my entries. After all, it is hard to resist the temptation of not reading an unattended journal.

Anyways, my love for journals lasted a decade before I gave up penning down my thoughts altogether. By then, blogs had come up and my blog became my journal- digitized and open for all to read.

Do you ever look back at the journal entries you made years ago? Do you smile wistfully or get teary eyes looking at the thoughts scribbled down by your younger self? Let me know in the comments section.