I almost threw out my journals a few weeks ago. I was in declutter mode, and I wanted the 50 lb trunk of handwritten diaries out of the closet I was trying to clear.
As I usually do when I get near that trunk, I opened it and leafed through a couple of the elegant, bound books, then a green beat up spiral notebook from high school. I closed it, embarrassed by my teenage self. What a disaster.
My dear friend Jessica laughed with me last year after she had found a stash of old lettters I had written her in 9th or 10th grade. I groaned.
“I don’t even want to know,” I said.
She laughed. “They are pretty melodramatic.”
I can only imagine. Those were my Depeche Mode emo days, though it wasn’t called emo then. When I visit my parents this summer, in fact, I’ll be able to bring home some vinyl records I bought during those years of my life: a Depeche Mode, maybe a New Order. I can’t wait to see what’s there.
I put the journals back in the trunk, next to my pile of letters from Jessica — the partners to her stash. I didn’t open them, or read any more from my own pages. When will I ever read this stuff?, I thought. Every time I open one, I am embarrassed for myself. Do I want the kids finding these? No. What a disaster.”
Ultimately, I kept them. Those thoughts may come in handy one day, like when our daugher is the age I was when I wrote them.
A few weeks later, last week in fact, when I was searching for my mission statement, I found the Moleskine from our cross-country drive from Minnesota to Virginia, where I scribbled thoughts on our move, on life, and haiku from the highway. That notebook sat open in the passenger seat the entire 3-day drive.
I sat down and read the Moleskine, smiling at the memories, grateful that I had recorded them. Relieved that I hadn’t thrown the journal out.
That would have been a disaster.
For the month of April, I will publish a 10-minute free write each day. Minimal editing. No story. Just thoughts spilling onto the page. This one is from the Daily Post one-word prompt, Disaster. Trying to get back into the writing habit.