The Diary Project

The “diary project” is a personal endeavor to transcribe the diaries that I have left to a digital format. Over the years I have lost many diaries — ones that I had written in books, on loose-leaf paper, left in cafes for strangers to find, or were written in now-antiquated technologies (like the floppy disk and hard disk). I even burned one once.

I began writing in journals when I was six years old and wish that I still had those early writings and entries from so many years since. In my mid-30s I was encouraged to stop writing in my diaries because I had used them for so long as tools of action rather than “actually” acting. Nothing could resolve because I seemed to believe that writing out something would substantiate taking care of it. I suppose I never really understood the art of journaling, then. Or maybe that is the function of it, of all writing: to create a stand-in for the parts of life you’re too afraid to actually live.

As I reflect on my life and try to make sense of the world, as I find myself journeying into new territory, I want to compile snapshots of who I was. Perhaps this will aid me in becoming who I want to be. Maybe it will encourage others to share their most personal writings. There’s a chance that it could matter to somebody. There is a chance, too, that the inner world of a now-woman’s life has no relevance except for her. Either way, please join me on my jaunt of rediscovery and a look at who I used to be.

DIARY 1: 1990-1922 (10-12 years old)

27

Middle School presented some of the hardest years for me. My best friend, Erin, moved to Virginia and, as a very quiet girl with a roaring inner life, I found it hard to stand up for myself against bullying. I fell in with a group of girls who were, I know now, really struggling with life — they made me feel like I was part of a group but they used me to beat on and push down. In these years, I was obsessed with cliques and finding my way.