Thursday, November 11, 2010

a girl of many words.

I made a huge mistake my freshman year of high school. I was done with middle school, I was so over it; all I wanted was a fresh start. So I did the dumbest thing I could have ever done.

I destroyed all my notebooks.

All the notebooks with my woes, excitements, feelings and ponderings from as long as I could write. One day I sat down and just read them. I was sick of reading about the same guy I had pined over for years and didn't want anything to do with me. So for some reason I thought that the best way to get over it and him was to destroy the evidence.

(It didn't even work. I would pine over him for three more years after this.)

But I did it. I remember sitting in my bedroom tearing out some pages, and then ripping the notebooks altogether when going page by page took too long. Years of memories, evidence of my growth as a writer...gone. Then I shoved them in plastic bags and buried them at the bottom of the trash. When the garbage truck took them away later that week, I felt Light. But I didn't realize how silly it was to have ever done it at all.

As long as I can remember, I've been some sort of a writer. In elementary school I was writing short stories for Young Author competitions. In middle school I was filling diaries with my woes of having few friends and too much boy drama to recall. In high school I was writing scripts and poetry for my creative writing class, and articles for my high school paper. This carried over to college, where I now have this blog where I write whatever comes to me. And when I say whatever, I mean whatever.

Almost any thought I deem worth a glance is put on this blog. Some people call that "honest." Some people call it "fluff." But with little free time to write and no other outlet do it in, what we have is this blog.

There are times I wish I still had them all. I miss those notebooks. I know I would love to read them, see how I've progressed not only as a writer but a person. But they're gone. When I'm looking for something to post on my blog, I always want to reach for a notebook on the shelf but I know the pages are blank. With my busy schedule the past few years, it's rare that I can even find the time or inspiration to write like I used to.

I know that in the moment it felt like the best decision, but if I could change anything I've ever done, I know exactly what it would be.


djpr said...

I'm of two minds on this.

First, yeah, it's a shame that the written memoirs of those years are gone, but what went into those pages? What made them poignant? That's also what's made you who you are today. If you think back on it, you won't need those written words to remember, because the memories are already inside you.

It'd be fun to read them again I'm sure, but the parts you don't remember, the parts that don't come to mind when you think back on them, those are the parts that probably would be "fluff".

I've enjoyed reading your blogs, and find the honesty you convey totally refreshing.

What you did that day? It may feel like a mistake in hindsight, but it was also healing for you then. Healing that it sounds like you needed. Start a notebook with just general topics of things you remember writing back then, and whenever you find yourself regretting their destruction, go back and flesh those topics out as you remember them now and you might find out that it wan't a mistake at all, but the start of a new adventure from a different perspective.

Lacy said...

I know how you feel!

I did the exact same thing. Well, not as highschool started, but after I graduated highschool. I wanted a fresh start, so I just threw my life away, really. I still have my junior year and senior year diaries, and a notebook with random ramblings and poems. But everything before that is gone.

Sometimes I wish I could read them, even though they seemed so stressful, those were the simplier days.

aurpera said...

I do that kind of thing even now. I don't really regret it. I feel it improves me as a writer.

Grace said...

I've done this as well. The one journal I really regret throwing away was when I was studying abroad in India. Before my last month there, I threw away my journal that contained the past several months. I guess I wanted a fresh start as well, but I'm really disappointed that I lost these words. I feel like now I'm missing out on the opportunity to go back and read what I was thinking at the time. But I did keep an online blog during that time as well, so I still have that.


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