"I always say, keep a diary and someday it'll keep you." - Mae West
I think everybody (with predilection to the ladies), have been through the phase of owning a legit diary that has a lock and key. People who went through that stage must have probably started each entry with the cliche, "Dear Diary.." or was it just me? Anyway, I was trying to fix my drawer today when I chanced upon a diary I owned circa 2009. It is not much. It is definitely not something that would amount to Anne Frank's, nor be as funny as that of the Wimpy Kid's. It was a gift from someone who used to be special to me. This diary held all of my teenage angst, rants, dreams, romances and heartbreaks. My hormonal pettiness will be forever immortalized through its pages.
I fumbled through the cover, through the sides and found that it was locked. Only a special key would be able to open the lock. I could find the key and open the diary in an instant if I wanted to..but I initially lacked the courage for a few minutes. I was scared to read whatever was written inside, because I knew it will take me back to the most beautiful as well as the ugliest times that I had. I began thinking twice and thrice, then I suddenly found myself reaching for the key, at the verge of unraveling the thoughts that I inked through the pages. I inserted the little key, turned it clockwise and I heard a click. The lock gave way and I was finally able to open it. The first entry was dated January 21, 2009. I stared at what I still consider as my cursive writing, heaved a sigh and started to read.
Flipping through the pages and taking in all the entries made me smile, frown and cringe in between. It was as if my life as a 16-year old high school flashed before my eyes. I was able to imagine myself in my school jumper, writing away as if my life depended on it. I can't hardly believe that I was able to say and dream of such things at that age, furthermore the audacity to cuss and rant at the simplest of things. I was surprised at the amount of fantasies I had, moreover the love I had at that time. I allowed myself to be immersed in every entry, which started with a girl's high school romance then slowly made its transition to heartbreaks and regrets. The later entries brought tiny tears to the corner of my eyes and I can't help but scold myself for being so naive back then. The last entry was dated February 14, 2011.
I closed the diary, returned its lock and placed it back to the spot where I found it. Come to think of it, the point of reading my diary was not all about remorse nor the qualm. It was actually about making me realize how much everything has changed. My emotions, beliefs and dreams back then helped me as I grew to the person I am today. There are people you still remember, but the feelings are not there anymore. It's like you take the past with you and you leave it at the same time. I was able to pick up the good things, then I left the bad ones behind. The process of selecting what to take and what to leave behind was not easy. I had to go back and forth, relapses in between, until I learned what was best for me. In the past, I was like a sinking ship, drowning in my ruefulness, the emotional baggage pushing me further underneath. It took me long to find that light, the saving grace that buoyed me up to the surface so I can breathe. The air that I was able to seep in allowed me to grow. I admit that I was once a spiteful and bitter person, and I terribly feel embarrassed whenever I remember it. Human nature, once in a while, allows us to feel negativism. The negative feelings that I had actually allowed me to appreciate the simple joys that I am experiencing at the present.
At my age, I still occasionally go back to my petty side, but I am now able to pull myself together in the pursuit of becoming the bigger person. Just because I stopped writing then, that does not mean I shall cease forever. Perhaps the next time I jot down my thoughts in ink, it will all be about my fresh hopes, new love and fulfilled dreams. Like all locks in diaries, the struggles we encounter serve the purpose of keeping us grounded and in place. However, it will always give us the freedom that we need.