Anyone who knows me, knows that I write. Writing papers for my english classes was literally always a breeze for me. I have written for as long as I can remember. Songs about my adolescent heartbreak (just call me, Taylor Swift), poems about abuse, deep thoughts on how to make this world a brighter place, prayers to bring order to my chaotic life, and about a trillion other trivial things. Up until these last couple of months, I wrote purely for myself. Now, I write to you!…and you, and you.
Growing up, most of us get a ‘diary’ at some point or another. My grandma bought me one for every occasion, holiday, and sometimes, for no reason at all. With so many pretty designs on the covers, who can resist buying 3 more before you even fill one half-way up! I was the coolest girl on my country block when I received my journal with the voice recognition passcode lock when I was 10. I had it for all of two days before I realized that it wasn’t all that high tech. My youngest sister had been able to hack into it by overhearing my password, and apparently her voice sounded so much like mine, (or it was just so cheaply made) that she was able to read my diary.
I have always been drawn to the office supply section of all department stores. Pens, paper, binders, folders, organizers, planners, trapper-keepers, and journals galore! I could hang out in that section for literally hours. Something about untouched, brand new, beautiful stationary just gets me goin’.
I began to regularly write in my journals at the age of 12. I started each entry with ‘dear diary,’ and then went on to apologize to it that it had been 3 whole days since I last wrote to it (I was just a busy gal). My entries evolved from childish, green, undeveloped thoughts, to deep philosophical ones. The older I got, the more life I experienced, the more pain I went through, the deeper my writing became.
By the time I was 17, I had more than 10 full journals filled out. For reasons I won’t go into detail about, that year I felt compelled to burn every single one in a bonfire we were having in our backyard. One by one I tossed them into the fire, and as the corners started to peel back and melt, with my poking stick I quickly pulled page by page into the flames, catching glances of the paragraphs I had written as I went. It was like catching fleeting glimpses into very detailed moments of the past 5 years of my life, and then poof, I only had my memories to hold onto.
After that, it became my ritual to burn my journals after I filled them out. It became my sort of therapy. It wasn’t until I became pregnant that I began to hold onto my memories again. Knowing I had a life growing inside of me, I felt if there was ever a time to start really holding onto every memory, it was then.
When I am able to get my thoughts out of my brain and onto something tangible, I feel connected to myself. I am able to get out of my own way, and focus. I feel less lonely. I feel I have more direction in my decisions. My journals have heard many secrets. Some secrets that not even the closest people to me have heard. Writing gets my creative juices flowing. It allows me to organize my thoughts, and compartmentalize my feelings. My journal is my safe place. My journal was my only voice for a long time.
What I want everyone to know is, we all have a voice. We all deserve to feel connected to ourselves. We are all important. And it is important to find out how we will use our voices. I, for one, still have high hopes to make the world a brighter place. To reach out to those who feel alone in whatever they are going through. To offer them a piece of hope, and a sense of direction. To empower, encourage, motivate, and inspire others to find their voice, and their purpose. To know that they are not alone in whatever they are going through. To start a movement.