My life, from Kindergarten on, is well-documented a series of several journals. It seems that some of my best thoughts occur outside of my head.
Twenty-five years of scribbling. Naturally, not all of these entries are cheerful. I’d tear through journals every couple months when I was a teenager and let me assure you that I was as angsty and unsettled for most of that time.
So what happens to those journals now? Do I preserve them? I hadn’t given it much thought until I read this post on negative keepsakes on Small Notebook. Tear out journal pages? Interesting in principle but I’m not sure I could rip pages from my journals any more than I could rip pages from any other book I own.
One night, about a week ago, I couldn’t sleep. Actually, insomnia is a near-standard condition for me now, but that’s another story. This particular night is relevant because I grabbed my current journal and read it start to finish.
Oy. Beyond the standard early-twenties dabbles in dating, some entries made me heartsick. I was so hard on myself! Also, irritatingly repetitive. Yes, I was just hard on myself for being hard on myself.
I dog-eared these pages as I thought about perhaps removing them from the journal. Would anything be lost by getting rid of these pages? Would I ever want to return to the situations described in those entries?
burned them put them in the recycle bin because I’m a green-mined pyrophobe.
It’s not that I want to sanitize my legacy or leave a neater historical record (because Lord help us if my journals are the only historical record of these times). I tore these pages out without thinking of anyone else interacting with what I’ve written (as that was never the intent). These journals are for me, so destroying entries is as well.
A journal doesn’t have to be a complete record. I’d rather focus on the pieces that bring me joy.