Don’t Throw Out the Story of Your Life – They’re Your Notebook

Today, I was told something horrifying.

A couple of years ago, my aunt threw out a bunch of her diaries.

My aunt keeps a diaries, but she turfed the old ones, thinking who’d she pass them down to. Who’d be interested in her diaries?

diaries - aDiaries hold secrets of who we were as children and through adolescents. And into adulthood. They tell your story.

Every crush. Every hope. Every dream. Wait, those last two are from “The Notebook.” But that’s what they are. They’re your notebook. It’s your life on a page. Your inner most private thoughts.

My collection of diaries continues to grow. It started when I was a 10-year-old in a five year diary. Then I graduated to the puffy diaries. The entries were more mature – but still PG13. As I progressed into college, my diaries became a source of therapy. How did I feel? How was I dealing? How did this affect me?
diaries - b
I used to journal every day, but at times, I’ve fallen out of the habit. I have gaps from my last year in high school – which I noted in short form in my agenda. I also didn’t document around my wedding. The moment I started to write again, I remembered that therapeutic feeling. Spilling emotions from a pen to page. For my eyes only. For now.

One day, when I’m older, I’ll pass my diaries down to my niece. Because she journalizes, too. And she’ll learn about the real Auntie Tammy. How I had crushes and my heart broken. How a man once killed me. And how I once killed a man. How marriage is work, and how hard her uncle and I fought to stay together. About rejection. And about acceptance. How I held her when she was two hours old and cried. And my risks.

And hopefully she’ll think, “Man, Auntie Tammy was cool.”

Tomorrow I will call my aunt and tell her, “Stop! What do you think you’re doing? That’s no way to treat your amazing, important life,” ala Jim Steinman’s “Wasted Youth.” She’ll get the reference since she’s also a Meatloaf fan.

Because my aunt is cool. And I want to know just how cool.