I wish I were…

I wish I were…
A diary writer since childhood.
I discovered the joys of writing all the good things that happen to me- both big and small- only in my twenties. It’s amazing how uplifting writing about our small pleasures, tiny feats and good deeds can be. Seriously, try it some time.
Ad of course, nothing like leafing through those memories and smiling foolishly on days when one is feeling blue and glum and lonely.

Unfortunately, I did not start this happy practice till I was grown up and old enough to understand some things about keeping a diary:

    There’s no rule that says I need to chronicle everyday of my life.
    I can choose what to write in my diary.
    Unpleasant events need not find a way into a diary. Though writing the lessons learnt is a good idea.
    Diaries aren’t boring. I can spruce them up as I like. There is no limit to imagination or creativity.
    Hiding in complicated places defeats the purpose of a diary. It should be accessible if I want to note all that I wish to.

The last and most important rules are something that I missed while growing up. All through my teenage years, I always had the fear that people would read my diary if I kept one. And that my privacy and personal thoughts would be intruded upon. It was only after I grew up that realization struck.

    People have better things to do than read random diaries, especially when they already know minute details of my life thanks to me and my big mouth.
    Stop reading diaries of other people. It is sneaky and incites others to do the same!

To get back on topic, I wish I had taken up this good habit earlier. 20+ years of musings and happenings all undocumented except in my head. [ which is not very reliable, unbiased or even kind! 😦 ]
But better late than never. I now have tiny notepads and all scribbled with various milestones of my recent life, snatches of thoughts and detailed accounts of kindnesses done by me and to me.
It will be fun to read it when I’m old and toothless (well, no real teeth, anyway) and wrinkled and chuckle over my naΓ―vetΓ© and mischief.

And just so my children don’t have any such regrets, when I have kids and they are old enough to write, I shall gift them a tiny diary every year, complete with lock and key* and pens and pencils. Meanwhile, it’s off to add yesterday’s cheery thoughts in that little notepad.

*apples don’t fall far from the trees, do they? My kids will need lockable diaries if I am to have any domestic peace. πŸ˜€

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16 thoughts on “I wish I were…

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  1. I had a very difficult childhood (parents had me too young and were into drugs). The way I coped was writing in a diary. Writing made rationalizing my thoughts so much easier. I wanted to be able to remember my pain and later go back and understand it. Unfortunately, my mother got a kick out of not only reading my diary, but sharing it with her friends. Once I found out, I brought years and years worth if writings to school one day and ripped them all up and threw them in a garbage can. I have since learned to forgive my parents for their bad parenting and learned to view it as a lesson on how not to live my life. It’s unfortunate I can no longer look back, but for all I know, those may be memories I didn’t want to keep after all! The only piece of advice I would give is to never write something you wouldn’t want others to read. Mainly, don’t write negative things about people you care about, because you never know who will come across it!!

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    1. Uh-oh! That must have been awful. I sure did not mean to bring up any unpleasant memories for anyone by this post.
      And I always confessed and apologized to my twin sis whenever I read her diary (only a few times and I was 10 or 11) I admit I am easily susceptible to temptation but I never misused it.

      As for the advice, that is something I totally appreciate. I follow what my Mom advised when we were young- never commit to paper what you would not shout in a public place. I keep that in mind for my posts, FB updates, everything involving documenting.

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      1. That is good advice indeed! You didn’t stir anything up lol, and I still write occasionally. Now my writings are more letters that I stash away. For our little one or to my husband, or just important days that I felt like documenting. I keep them in a memory box with other random things like our dogs first collar lol.

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      2. Glad to hear that.
        Who knows, one day you will maybe share it with the li’l one. It actually sounds like a splendid heirloom as well.
        On a more avaricious note, who knows, those letters could even be a best seller novel! I love your writing, so please let me know if you plan to write a book. πŸ™‚

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  2. Thank you for sharing your post, I also love to write in a diary, however, as you said and so many others who have commented. You have to be very careful of who might read your diary, and what you have written. I have been writing for years, and I have worked hard to write a book from my diaries. I have it completed, but I still need it published. I have to go with self publishing because traditional publishers will not touch your writings unless you are famous, and self publishing cost “money”. I would love to get my book published because it was written by material from my long kept dairies. Also, you made a good point about people interfaring by reading your diary when it is not under lock and key. I have had a battle, keeping people out of my business and personal life. I hope you much success, I do not even write in a daily diary anymore because of people intruding in my life. As you stated writing is such a good way to release alot of stress and keep alot of beautiful memories. If people, do not start snooping around and trying to see what you write about them. I have another idea for another book that I would like to write, however, I do not know how to begin because of intruding people. Great post, you have almost encourage me to start again. Thanks for sharing this post.

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  3. Great post Nirupama πŸ™‚ and very true. I have felt the same too since I started diary writing only last year (inspired by the protagonist Mina Harker from ‘The Dracula’). Pouring our happiness and sadness to a piece of paper really is a liberating experience. It is the only place where we can be ourselves. In the early days of my diary writing, I had some apprehensions about what others would think if they read it but not anymore. πŸ™‚

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  4. I have kept a diary on and off for the past 15 years or so, but I’ve noticed that I tend to use it only in times of crisis or depression. I very rarely record the happy times or the good things in life which when I look back is a bit odd. If anyone reads my diaries or my notebooks when I’m dead they’ll think I was a total misery all my life who never achieved anything!! You’ve given me a new inspiration now with your comment about making your entries creative, and about choosing what you put in your diary. Thank you πŸ™‚

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