It was purple, fuzzy, and had an embroidered unicorn on the cover. I would store the matching fuzzy pen in the spiral binding on the side, and even though it didn’t have a lock, that journal (or diary as I called it then) was my pride and joy. I couldn’t have been more than seven. I barely knew how to put words together, but I knew that I wanted to. From the very beginning I had loved stringing words together to make my own sentences, and my parents had finally been gracious enough to gift me with the fuzzy, purple diary I’d pointed out in a Claire’s a few weeks ago.
I believe I threw those 100 or so pages away about a year ago, and as I look at the row of journals I’ve accumulated throughout the years, I have to admit that I regret it. More than half the words were spelled wrong, and the handwriting was large, sloppy, and unsure. There were tons of scribbles and complete paragraphs that were illegible. I suppose I didn’t think there was anything worth keeping, and maybe there wasn’t, at least not from a world perspective. But when it comes to journals, who cares what the world thinks?
I don’t write in my journal in the hope that someday they will be discovered and turned into a bestselling classic. If anything, I prefer hiding them away from any eyes, prying or not .The words I write, pictures I (attempt to) draw, and all the things that go into my journal are exclusively for ME and only ME. I once had someone ask that if I would be comfortable letting my kids read the journals of my youth someday, and I hadn’t thought of it before. I’m sure that my posterity will eventually read my writing, but it wouldn’t be very wise to censor anything in my eyes. I’m not going to make my life appear less difficult or prettier than it really is because that just isn’t real. If my words are seen by others someday, I’d much rather be presented as myself. I can’t be the only one going through these struggles, and maybe the way I handle or don’t handle something could serve useful someday. Perhaps seeing that way I change and grow will help others to do the same.
Since the unicorn journal I’ve filled countless other pages with my babbling. About once a year I’ll pull them all out and read a few entries from years past. I laugh at myself and think about how naive I was, but I like being able to see the path that’s led to who I am now. I hope that years from now I’ll look back at how silly I was and that I can see the steps that led to the woman I become. I hope that I can see traces of who I am all the way back to the oldest entry I still have, and that I can be proud of whoever that is.
Nobody can tell where time will take us or where we’ll be ten years from now. It’s nice to speculate and to make plans, but life rarely follows plans. Even now I can see how my plans and dreams have changed, how they still change. I once talked about how I was beginning to believe that everything was connected in some master plan, and I can now say that I fully believe that. In my mind, everything is connected though we may not be able to see why for a long time. Steps build upon steps, and soon we’ve reached the top of the tower without ever really knowing how we got there. To me, journals are a way of recording that journey and I look forward to the day that I can trace it all back to the beginning. They are a way to see God’s hand in my life and to see how He has helped to shape me into something far greater than I could ever hope to be by myself.
I hope that someday I can look back and see how I’ve become the person I’m meant to be – not just the person I want to be.