Back in November I typed up one of my old diary entries for you all to read and it was horrendously embarrassing. It’s been … 8 or 9 years since I ever had a diary but this year I got one of Kikki K’s 365 journals and resolved to be writing in it every day for the year, and after that I guess we’ll just see if I continue.
I didn’t want to box myself in by making it just a journal for ‘feelings’ or ‘story ideas’ or ‘bible reading’ or ‘quotes’ or even just ‘daily events’ – instead, I made it an ‘everything journal’. Each page has a bible passage and a sentence or so with my thoughts or knowledge on the verse (this is one of my challenges for the year, to read my bible every single day) but that is the only constant thing about each page. The rest of the page is taken up by all the aforementioned things and random scribbles.
I’ve only been doing this for 5 days but sometimes when I think things or feel a certain way about something, I hesitate to write it down, because I’m too worried that someone will read it and get offended by what I say. This fear probably comes from the second book in the ‘Tomorrow’ series, after the rest of the group read Ellie’s writing and are hurt by what she wrote.
At the beginning of ‘The Dead of the Night’ Ellie says,
“Before, everyone was so keen for me to write. It was going to be our record, our history. We were so excited about getting it all down. Now I don’t think they care if I do it or not. That’s partly because they didn’t like some of what I wrote last time. I told them I was going to be honest and I was, and they said that was fine, but they weren’t too pleased when they read it.”
That’s the passage that this fear of causing offence came from. I can understand how I reached that conclusion, but also, re-reading it, I can see one glaringly obvious reason why I shouldn’t be scared.
“It was going to be our record, our history.”
That’s what this little project is for me – recording this year; my feelings and my thoughts, my friendships and my growth in Christ. It doesn’t matter if I’m brutally honest and it doesn’t matter if occasionally I write something down and maybe it’s not something I would ever say out loud or write in a blog post. I want to be able to read this journal back in 5, 10, 20 years’ time and be able to understand what (nearly) 20 year old me was feeling and thinking and I want to laugh and I want to cry when I re-read it. If I’m not honest, if I read it over again in the future, it’ll be like reading a lie and that would be worse than maybe offending one nosey person who might invade my privacy by picking this journal up and reading it.
One paragraph before the passage above, Ellie says those words that incited fear in me, she says this;
“So I’ve started writing again. It passes the time. No, I’ll be honest, it does more than that. It gets stuff out of my head and heart and puts it on paper. That doesn’t mean it’s no longer in my head and heart. It’s still there. But once I’ve written about it, seems like there’s more room inside me again.”
And that is why I shouldn’t be scared.