Last weekend, Jon and I tackled our apartment full force with de-cluttering and cleaning. In two and a half days we managed to create more room, add curtains to our living room and get rid of all kinds of stuff that was taking up space. Yay for productivity.
One of the boxes we went through contained all my old journals. I haven’t handwritten anything in a journal in a few years, not since right after I moved to Oklahoma. Online journaling and blogging have sort of filled that space. But I’ve kept my old ones out of a deep sense of sentimentality and the thought that someday I may want to go back and revisit my younger years.
I started keeping a journal in 3rd grade. My first journal says “Diary” on the front, has a puffy plastic cover and a lock for which I’ve long since lost the key. I’m not sure if everyone else does this, but I make a distinction between a diary and a journal. Diaries always seem to put limits on your writing: Here are five lines…tell me about your day. A journal, on the other hand, gives you lots of free pages to write. I always had to use a journal…I was too long winded and angsty throughout junior high and high school to limit myself.
We cracked open my 3rd grade journal for the heck of it, and I laughed so hard I cried. Jon laughed, my mom…when I finally shared it with her…and my friends laughed. Because the writings of 3rd grade Amanda were hilarious. They contained important things, like nicknames my classmates had for each other and the fact that my team (I was “red”) lost a basketball game. My favorite was probably the rant I did about my sister, which I intro’d with “I could probably write a whole page of bad stuff about my sister” (if you’re reading this, Sister, sorry! I was only 8!) I then laid it out in business plan format.
“I could just give in and play with my sister. Complication: She would want me to keep playing with her even when if I didn’t want to.”
I’m proud of my younger self’s grasp of punctuation.
This was the only journal I opened. Maybe some time in the future I’ll look at some of my later ones, but I remember a lot of the bad stuff and I don’t know if, even knocking on the door of 32, I’m ready to relive some of it. I know there’s good stuff in there too…stuff that will give me warm fuzzies and take me back to an easier time.
I think I’ll leave them packed away for now and read them the next time we clean the apartment.