May 20, 2008

Before There Were Blogs

Like many writers, I kept a diary from time to time. I was ten years old the first time I started one. Each page began with “Dear Diary” because that’s how Daisy Duck did it in the comics, so I guess you could say she was the first writer I emulated. I primarily wrote about the important events in the day of a ten year old such as “today in gym I got out third in dodge ball” or something equally as exciting. Each page was usually only a paragraph long, but on really good or really bad days, I’d go on to a second paragraph. Below is a sample page from my exhilarating life as a ten-year-old.

Need I mention spelling was not one of my talents at that age?

Thanks to hard work, along with the invention of spell check, I’m happy to report my spelling skills have improved quite sufficiently since I was ten. But back then, spelling along with all those proper English rules didn't matter in my diary, because everything I wrote was for my eyes only, never to be shared with anyone.

By the time I got to high school my diary became a place to spill my guts about everything. I mostly wrote in my diary when I was depressed, which pretty much was during my entire teenage years. I wrote about all the torment and tragedy my adolescent self was suffering. Page after page of epic proportion teenage tragedies were written about in my diary, and all those tragic true-life stories I wrote about had me as the leading lady.

The year I was 15, I burned my diary, afraid that someone might find it and (gasp!) read it. With all the wisdom of a hormonal 15 year old, I lit the diary on fire right in my bedroom, instead of burning it outside like a somewhat-sane 20 year old might do. From the ashtray where my diary burned, tiny pieces of ash and paper began to rise and fly around my room and I had to chase them around so they wouldn’t land and leave burn marks on the carpet or walls. When the flames in the ashtray got bigger than I expected, I panicked and ran to the bathroom to get some water to douse them. After the flames came the smoke, and I got nervous my family would smell it and come to investigate and then I’d have to come up with a rational explanation for what I was doing. I opened the window and tried my best to usher the smoke out, and other than one sister commenting that it smelled like something was burning, no one bothered to come see what the smell was.

When the smoke cleared in my bedroom, I took what was left of the diary, tore the partially-burned pages into itty, bitty, tiny pieces that no one short of a forensic expert could piece back together to read, and then as a final added precaution, I buried that whole pile of burned confetti in our back yard. At that age, having someone read my inner-most thoughts was more terrifying to me than was the possibility of burning down my house.

Now, here I am writing out my thoughts on the internet for the whole world not only to see, but to copy, paste, pass on to their friends, and probably to never let me live down.

Go figure.


Sue said...

I didn't know you were a pyromanic:)

Anonymous said...

funny story! good read.