When I was a child, I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to create novels about love and drama and magic. Everywhere I went I had a book. The doctor, the dentist, car rides. To immerse myself in a book was like being in another universe. One where I connected with the main character so much that I actually was the main character, or I liked the characters so much, they almost became real. Sometimes I could feel myself taking on the personality traits of the protagonist. If I became separated from my book, by class, church, or a family dinner at a restaurant, I’d find myself thinking of how my characters were doing or daydreaming about the plot. I couldn’t wait to return.
Around the age of 12 I wrote my first short story. It was called dancing queen or something like that. The protagonist? A pre-teen pixel perfect robot with mad dance skills, she was the best in the entire world. I had manga style illustrations. Quickly, I figured out that as much time as I spent, reading, daydreaming, and using my extensive imagination, writing a story was hard. What are the characters supposed to say? What’s supposed to happen next? Why is it so boring? Its just like real life. And how the hell, do you even begin to plan out a plot twist? Needless to say the story never got finished and that 8.3″ by 11.7″ notebook got thrown out. (to my dismay because the present day me would have loved to see what an adorable train wreck it was).
But I loved to write. Something about a pencil on paper was so soothing. I needed to write something. So I got a diary. Complete with the tiny lock and tiny keys that never ceased to get lost. And I wrote about me, my four sisters, my authoritarian parents, my dreams, my frustrations, my friends, everything. And I never stopped. Today, my journal count is around 23. It has become a part of my life, a part of me and a part of my healing.
Most of my life, I have been haunted by trauma, abuse, depression, and anxiety. Every time I came up for air, the waves crashed into me once more. My journals kept record, they were there, they were listening. Now that I have broken through the surface of the seas once again, my arms are straining to keep me afloat. But this time, I swear I can see a life raft in the distance.
A question I’ve always asked myself is “What am I going to do with all these diaries?” I know they’re therapeutic but I’m going to be carrying them around with me from place to place as I move, and they’ll keep taking up more and more space. Somewhere in my teenhood I had the idea that I could write a book. An autobiography of sorts. I was on the right track. I had always heard of blogs but was never interested, thinking they were all about recipes and fashion tips, or angry people ranting about things I didn’t care for. But as I lay on my living room couch under the influence of molly with my roommates, venting about the things that still haunt me, Aitch said to me, “You should start a blog.” And my dopamine jacked mind went, ding! “Yes!, I will start a blog!”