this post was written in response to a prompt for a writing 200 class at George Fox University.
I don’t know how old I was when I acquired it, but I was youngish. It was purple, with feathery fluff on the front, and I was never much a fan of how it looked but still adored it for one reason: it had a lock. I’ve forgotten what words I stored within it and don’t have a clue as to where it ended up, but I do know that I regarded the thoughts within those pages as sacred. I could write any truth in The Diary, then lock it up tightly and put it somewhere safe. And it became a problem.
Here’s what The Diary taught me: my words don’t need to be shared. In fact, I’m better off if I don’t share my words. And it seems silly that some purple-covered journal would haunt me into my high school years, but that’s exactly what it did.
I wrote constantly, little scribblings in the backs of math notebooks, abandoned plot-lines and half-hashed poems. Stray pages ended up stuffed in notebooks on dusty bookshelves; sticky notes covered in characterization and plot development found their home in dark drawers. It wasn’t shame that made me hide my words. No, I was afraid of them, those honest little etchings. The power they held to reveal tender parts of my heart—I wasn’t sure that I could survive criticism or judgement.
I broke the curse of The Diary when I launched my blog (not this one, but the one I’ve been running for a while now). I made a pact with myself that the foundations of life of grace would be vulnerability, authenticity, and unapology (I know that’s not a word, and I’m not sorry about it). This was my rebirth into writing, if you will, a fresh start. I launched my words into the world and—amazingly—the world didn’t end.
So onward on this trail I go, and each new sentence that I write is a step out of the woods. Perhaps one day, I’ll leave that little purple diary (and all the fears it represents) lost behind me.
onward and upward,