Dear Secret Diary

You listened so well, dear diary

Dear, dearest diary,

I am sorry I have not written in your lined paper pages for such a long time.  I am so sorry to have deserted you for this new-fangled writing instrument called a “blog”.  (I know you are raising your papered eyebrows.  The word “diary”  is so much more flowery and expressive than that harsh syllable “blog”.)

Just wanted to tell you, dear, dear, secret diary that a blog is really something different for me.  It’s not a place to tell all.  OK, it’s a place to tell some.  It has a ready-made audience unlike your secret and hidden pages.  I pretend that a blog is column, an essay, something to inspire or entertain.  It doesn’t contain all the whining and tears I once poured out in ink, the eternal fretting, “Who am I?  What is wrong with me?  How to fix this being named Kathy so she can fit into this unfittable world?”

Ahhh, yes, that theme peppered through your pages for way too many years, the endless self-searching, the endless angst.  Trying to understand how a life that seemed so good on the exterior actually felt like something-is-missing on the interior.

And then the endless pages of joy and elation, the thrill of being alive, the new experiences, the amazement of life and creativity and delight!

My diary, my heart...

Remember our first relationship, dear diary?

I was in third or fourth grade.  You were white, decorated with a pink poodle-skirted teenage goddess.

I wrote big awkward loopy sentences like, “Watched Lost in Space last night.  We ate supper.”   (We ate supper?  What motivated this sentence?)

The diary recorded events.  No feelings.  Only black-and-white solid eight year old happenings.  It was abandoned after three months.

For the next ten years I wrote almost daily in my bedroom, sitting at a blond desk, listening to 45 records spinning on a red record player crooning out “Crimson and Clover” and “I’m so Dizzy” while typing poems and stories and novels on a red manual typewriter.

The poems started, innocently enough, about robins in the backyard.  Within five years they were all about despair, pain, and suffering.  How did a child with two loving parents, ideal siblings, a lovely house, travels across the United States in the back seat of a station wagon, feel so much inner unrest?  You can understand children abused, beaten, sick or hungry experiencing such emotional turmoil, but why a little girl growing up with everything her heart ought to have embraced in utter gratitude?

Instead, I was haunted by Nazi nightmares, running, running, always escaping, diving beneath hay bales, just trying to get away, escape, escape, oh no he’s got a gun, he’s in my bedroom, they’re going to kill us all.  Add a painfully shy personality to the mix–scared of saying peep louder than a robin–and you’ve got me as a child, always tripping over shadows and devastated when a 4th grader called me “Clodhopper”.  It took ten years to get over it…and if you call me “Clodhopper” today the internal little girl will shrink, humiliated, even though her feet are a respectable size 8 (OK, make that 9).

Sometimes life--and trees--can be loopy and do unexpected things.

Dearest Secret Diary, we made friends again at age 18, didn’t we, when I traveled to Switzerland during the summer as an exchange student?  Faithful recordings:  So tired.  So jet-lagged.  All I want to do is sleep.  Paris is beautiful.  

And:  I love my Swiss family.  It feels just like home.  Suzanne showed me how to wear jeans.  You buy the tightest jeans you can find and lay on the bed to zip yourself into them.

Then a college journal (diaries became a little-girl word at this age.  Now they are journals.  Much more mature, don’t we think?)  I met this cute boy named Barry and he invited me to a party at his dorm.  I think he invited me.  I don’t know if it was for a date or just to go to a party…

Later, journal after journal recording life with husband and children in our Little House in the Big Woods.  Seeking, always seeking, to find out what  my life was about…

Ever-expanding circles of life

Then the years of Spiritual Journals in the late 1980’s.  Notebook upon notebook penning dreams:

I dreamed of walking down by the Silver River.  It is winter.  Thick ice covers the river.  I walk out on the ice and it cracks and breaks and I fall in–down, down, down under the ice.  Am trapped, can’t get out, and I die but now my skeleton, my bones, lie by the river and I sing myself back into human form, into something new.

OK, I told you the most dramatic dream I can remember.  Most of the dreams were more like this:  I cracked eggs to bake a cake.  One egg was bloody.  Or:  I am working at home in Yale in the drugstore.  A customer puts twenty items on the counter.  I try to add them up, but can’t add them, and the dream continues on forever as I try to endlessly add them up to charge the customer.

Or another regular:  I am in college.  Six weeks have passed and I suddenly remember I was supposed to go to a biology class.  Oh no!  Horrors!  Now, endlessly trying to find that biology class, to somehow figure out how to make it up, the horror of it…

The collage of our existence: Chasing Down the Moon

After the years of dream-journals come the years of spiritual journals.  After the years of spiritual journals come the years of …more spiritual journals.  And, finally, seven years ago, the years of “Morning Pages” from the Artist’s Way where you write three pages of random thoughts, helter-skelter, stream of consciousness, from garbage to significant, letting dozens of meaningless and meaningful words splay across the pages along with drips of smudged coffee, perhaps some tears, perhaps cuddling under blankets on the couch.

Then in 2008, I discovered the word “blog” and suddenly who cared about crying or laughing into your secret pages?  Forget secret!  There’s an audience out there, an audience, mind you, where you can write to your heart’s content and sometimes they like it (and if they don’t like it, they usually don’t comment, and if they do say something nasty you can sweet-talk ’em past their own lack of self-worth, since you remember your own lack of self-worth, and gosh darn, they probably didn’t have a diary to help heal ’em.)

So, dearest secret loving wonderful terrible beautiful diary, we parted company and nary a sentence hath looped across your black-lined journal pages in at least four years, except perhaps long-abandoned lists or the most secret of all ramblings soon abandoned for the utter joy of near-daily blogging which contains very little angst, suffering or pain, thank all the stars in the Universe, because perhaps your pages truly helped heal something because the Nazis ceased breaking into my dreams with their guns and bayonets.  Although I do still dream about trying to pack the suitcase for a Big Trip and it’s impossible to pack, impossible to include all the underwear and sweaters and jackets and socks and the plane is leaving in five minutes…

Don't worry so much, sweetheart. Life is like a pearled raindrop at the center of a baby lupine. Just be with it. That's all you need to do.

Thank you, dear secret secret diary, for the years you listened faithfully and loved unconditionally.  I am pondering burning all the journals in a big bonfire, a magnificent bonfire, a Bonfire of Diaries!, releasing all the angst and memories and joy and suffering to the crackling fire!  And yet, the other part says, no, perhaps a grandchild will want to read about the Nazis and the broken egg and the robin and and Lost in Space and how Grandma obsessed about becoming the best person she could be for way too many sentences and  years.

Or perhaps I shall become a famous wise blogger and researchers shall want to dive into those musty boxes in the basement, looking for clues of how she became wise, how she overcame internal adversity to offer spiritual tidbits to– nah.  You’re going a bit too far now, you dreamer.  Ain’t gonna happen.

What do you think, dear Diary?  Flames or grandchildren?


P.S.  You readers know what question is coming, don’t you?  Did you keep a secret diary or journal?  Did it help you figure things out?  How did it change over the years?

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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62 Responses to Dear Secret Diary

  1. I am still writing Morning Pages, hoping that through the ramblings I will catch a glimpse of reality and purpose. I write them daily, even when my ability to write anything else seems to have wandered off in fear. I won’t say that I am Blocked, because that is not the reality. The reality is that I wallow in fear. I sometimes even have to force myself to write the Morning Pages, but I do it anyway. Sometimes it is a page of nothing but how much I hate writing those pages when I am not willing to face whatever truth is hiding just beyond my grasp, or feel like all my dreams are dandelion fluff that blow away planting seeds in someone else’s yard.

  2. Elaine Rae says:

    Thank you for sharing … Blessed be.

  3. Not only do I still have the five year diary that carried me through my teen years (with codes for anything truly unmentionable in case it fell into the wrong hands!), I have forty years worth of adult journals. Many are clearly from my “morning pages” phase, which I still fall back into now and then; others are reflective of varying self-help books: clearly trying to work through spiritual, emotional or physical issues. Some record dreams and meditative visions; others record my weight, measurements, and everything I put in my mouth! Many are filled with angst. I have also thought of a big bonfire…

    • Kathy says:

      Smiling at the “codes for unmentionables”! I feared my diary would fall into my brother’s hands…although, truly, I suspect they could have cared less what was going through my mind. Forty years worth of journals! Good luck in deciding what to do with them. Not an easy decision, is it, Cindy?

  4. Susan D. says:

    Thank you for this blog … another one which deeply resonates. Thank you for sharing snippets of your diary entries through the years … they, too, somehow “feel” familiar.

    Not long ago, I did let go of years of angst-ridden diaries, thinking that any potential reading by progeny would only validate the conclusion that “yep, she was a whack job.”
    Realizing the false pride behind that thought, I collected pieces of what might be of interest to kids and grandkids … as if I’m in charge of that! Sigh …

    I also let go of all of my Morning Pages, some really bad poetry, and several attempts at short stories, yellowed with age and nondescript stains.

    Whether or not my pared-down collection of thoughts through the years will interest anyone is a curiosity to me. I know that I have cherished the letters of mother, grandparents and sibs … and I visit them now and then … to remember, and to feel close to those who’ve passed on … I like the “history” of family, or something … so, I’ve left a bit of mine for whomever, and will create a bit more before I’m through 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Well, Ms D., you are the last thing from a “whack job”!! (I wonder the same thing. Although maybe my kids know how crazy I am now…) The Morning Pages probably can be released. Although…gosh…who are we to say? Some of those Morning Page ruminations are probably beautiful. And the poetry you think is bad is probably of Pulitzer quality! Ha ha…

  5. Reggie says:

    You have once again made me marvel in speechless amazement at how well you write, how eloquently you express your thoughts, and how we share similar experiences and thoughts despite the geographical distance that separates us.

    Dear Kathy, I am stunned into silence.

    This doesn’t happen all that often, you know. But it happens often when I read your blog.

    • Kathy says:

      Reggie, isn’t it so interesting when we’re stunned into silence? I kinda love it when that happens~~when the mind doesn’t know where to go next. You see? Growing up in S. Africa and Michigan maybe ISN’T half a world away!

  6. lisaspiral says:

    I struggled with diaries, with journaling, with morning pages. I get bored with myself, my angst, my lists of what I did today. The blog brings structure to what is clearly a cluttered and unstructured life. The diaries, journals and other outlets I save in spite of myself. Who knows what people will be interested in the future? A grocery receipt from the 1920s is fascinating today. The geneology craze has people looking back on what life was like in times no one alive really remembers. Save the journals, if not for your grandchildren, maybe for theirs.

    • Kathy says:

      It is a good sign, I think, when we get bored with our angst and our self-obsession. Yet there is a time in life when we need it. Who knows what we should keep and what we should release? Did you see my daughter’s answer down below? She’s opting for the grandkids option.

  7. Gosh, Kathy, my childhood and adolescent diaries sound so much like yours! And I, too, did the dream journals–still do at times.

    And Reggie above is so right. Your writing is stunning, my friend! This is a lovely post!


  8. I’m captivated by the first three photos in this post — the log face, the stone hear, and the loopy tree. Amazing!

    • Kathy says:

      Want to know a wee secret, Laurie? All these photos came from 2009, the outdoor blog, with the wee Sony Cybershot camera. Shhhh, don’t tell! Especially don’t tell that birchbark face. It looks kind of Klan-like, as Barry pointed out.

  9. bonnie says:

    Once again Kathy, you’ve touched my heart and reminded me of my attempts to journal, from childhood to adulthood. I’ve disposed of many of my pages, as I really didn’t want anyone to read them. When I was a pre-teen, an uncle called me the Crisco Kid….fat in the can….you know, that is still with me.

    • Kathy says:

      Oh how awful, Bonnie! Shame on him! I want to growl at him, bad uncle. To a pre-teen, nonetheless! I would have poured my heart out about that for six years, maybe sixty. Wonder if there’s any way you could find a positive value in that label? Hmmm, would have to work on that one. Hugs!

  10. Heather says:

    I was never much of a journal-er; I always felt like I was writing dishonest things in order to impress a non-reader. I tend to have inner conversations instead. Or with my husband who is a good listener. But I kind of felt like if I had already worked out the honesty in my head, it didn’t do me much good to put it down on paper. And I certainly didn’t like writing things out if I didn’t believe them. I still feel that way, and apply the same mentality toward photo-editing.
    I STILL have the dream about taking a class in college, and then realizing only during finals that I haven’t actually shown up even once! I also have dreams about classrooms full of unruly and ill-behaved teenagers, even though I never had a group of kids who wouldn’t listen. I think there’s some honesty there about my fears 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      I am fascinated by your thought process, Heather. Wondering why you would feel like it was writing dishonestly? I always felt like I was writing so honestly blood was pouring in the pages. Good that you have a good listener in your life, and that your inner conversations work as well as journals or diaries. Glad you never had that group of unruly and ill-behaved teenagers. I would be afraid of that, too!

      • Heather says:

        I think I’ve always felt like I could understand and name my emotions if I could take the time, and think things through. So writing about my confusion to help clarify my situation seemed more like writing for a checklist and not actually about figuring things out. I completely understand why others do it, but I guess I don’t think on paper that way, so for me it’s more about writing to avoid thinking. Maybe that makes sense?

        • Kathy says:

          I am fascinated by this, Heather. Wow…I always used writing as a way to think, to figure things out, to give feelings context, to be a little sleuth. Almost the opposite of the way you approach it. I LOVE that we’re all so different and that different ways work for each of us. I have never ever thought that writing could be a way of avoiding thinking.

          • Heather says:

            I’m sure for many (even most?) people it’s not. I know that it’s cathartic and exploratory, etc. But journaling for that purpose never worked for me. I love that we’re all so different, too! It makes this world SO much more interesting!

  11. Val says:

    Lovely post, Kathy. Really resonates with me – though it has come at a time when I empathise more with the diary-writing self than the blogging self. And I’ll let you into a little secret: this past week I have been (and still am) painting the covers of a new diary that I shall start as soon as it’s ready.

    • Kathy says:

      Interesting that you are moving back toward diary-writing after your outward movement of blogging. How lovely that you’re painting the covers! I’ll bet they will be beautiful, like so much of your art.

  12. Your post does bring back some memories of fears gone by – I don’t know how many years it took me to get over my fear that Charles Manson, or someone like him, would break into our house and slaughter us all. Or when we learned about tsunamis in earth science – a friend and I spent hours discussing how it might feel if we were to be washed away and killed by one.

    I did keep diaries and journals, and the older I got the more writing stuff out helped. If I could find them I would burn a few of them to protect some people’s feelings…

    I read one of my mom’s diaries after she died. One day she was terribly embarrassed that her mom went out to sweep the porch in her bathrobe. She appealed to her dad to intervene and prevent such a thing from happening again. Her dad told her it wasn’t as bad as she imagined and that she should try not to think about it. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Wow, how many of us had these crazy fears? But maybe not so crazy, considering the volatile world we live in… I am smiling thinking about your mom being concerned about sweeping her porch in her bathrobe. How times have changed!

  13. Brenda Hardie says:

    Kathy…we could have been sisters when we were little….I was very much like you. The diaries, the dreams, the fears and worries (even right down the the Nazi terrors). I read…and read…and read…and read some more and I think often the stories I read about came alive in my dreaming and then my dreaming became diary entries with questions galore. The diaries graduated to journals filled with the same despair, pain and suffering (although my situation was somewhat different from yours…long dreadful story, not for here) and that was the tone for many years. The journals hit an all time high during years in necessary therapy and then gradually, as I healed and became whole again, the journals came to an end. And yes…I have gone through (actually at various times) read my diaries/journals, took a hard look at them and made the decision to send them up to heaven in the flames of prayer. So, I would have a ritual of burning and cleansing. It felt right and good. And there have been no regrets. The things I have kept, pictures of course…cards and letters from family and dear friends…letters that I had written as a child to my grandparents (which were kept by them and then returned to me when my grandparents died) Those items are all that is left of my inner child. Oh and funny you should mention “loopy” twice in this post…that was my nickname…given to me by my Dad when I was a little girl. It might not be the most glowing nickname but it was better than my sister’s nickname which was “birdbrain” lol. I hadn’t thought about those nicknames until now…made me smile at the innocence of childhood. One more thing..last year while stumbling along on line for vintage fabrics…I came across a picture of a chenille bedspread….I was stunned…there it was….my bedspread from my childhood…a white chenille bedspread with a pink chenille poodle with a turquoise leash 😀 Yep…my childhood bedspread is vintage! lol

    • Kathy says:

      It is interesting to read that you chose the flames, and that you have no regrets. It’s also interesting that the word “loopy” kept coming in reference to handwriting. I am utterly sure it was probably your dad whispering in my ear. Thanks for emailing that picture! Sure looked familiar…

  14. Lori DiNardi says:

    OH my Lord, I can’t get over how you tend to touch on just what’s been going on in my head very recently. First, the rain, then the toilet … just over the past few days I was thinking about picking up my hand-written diary again. Do you still have all of your diaries Kathy? I have all of mine from the age of eleven! They are one of the 3 or 4 things I still have left from those ancient times. Great blog. And, btw, those photos still blow me away. Where do you find those unique items? Are they right in your back yard? How cool.

    • Kathy says:

      I DO have ALL of my diaries, Lori. It is funny…sometimes I feel like I am not writing solely for me, but also for all of you who read and comment. All of these unique items were taken in the woods around our house, back in 2009 with a simple point-and-shoot camera. They were in my year-long outdoor commitment blog. Just dug them back up!

  15. Kiah says:


  16. whatevertheyaint says:

    They started as diaries around 12. Then, by 14, Mom got nosy and the diaries had to go. I started back up in ’91 and continued until 2010, ‘cept this time they were “journals.” Somewhere around 2009–after reading an Oprah magazine on self-discovery and healing…or something like that–I moseyed on over to livejournal. Then blogging. Like you, my poor journal (the real one) has taken a backseat. I’m sure it’s jealous. I still go to it, though, for the deep stuff and weird dreams that I wouldn’t dare share with strangers! Don’t burn ’em. You might get a kick out of going back through them one day; better yet, the grandchildren will get a kick out of it.

    • Kathy says:

      My first blogging was live journal, too! I forgot about it, altogether! Wow…thank you. Don’t know if you saw my daughter, Kiah’s, comment up above. She’s voting for the grandchildren, too. Please send my regards to your journal. Tell it not to be jealous, it’s just switched technologies!

  17. Barb says:

    I kept a diary from the time I was about 9, but then stopped abruptly when I started “going steady” with my now-husband (some secrets you don’t even share with a diary). When we finally (after 7 years) got married, I started “journaling” and kept at it for the next 20 years. I have a BIG box of notebooks (the lined school kind) into which I wrote with only felt tipped black pens. They are “stored” in my spare room closet and a few years ago I started reading them. What drivel! I couldn’t believe I’d written that slop. Indeed, I DO have grandchildren and there is no way I want them ever to read the journals. Yet – yet – I haven’t been able to shred them. If you destroy yours, Kathy, perhaps I’ll be brave enough to destroy mine. (I’ve gone so far as to tell my best friend to come get them and destroy them if I die.) No fire though – they’d go up like they were gasoline! Love the pics!

    • Kathy says:

      I had to read your comment three times, because I kept imagining that you were going steady with your now-husband when you were 9. Ha ha ha…we probably have a similar BIG box of notebooks! I am laughing at the people who say “save them” and then the people who say “get rid of them!” What a conundrum. Let’s keep in touch about our bravery or lack thereof. 🙂

  18. Joanne says:

    You have so many long comments here to answer Kathy, so try I’ll keep mine short, but not as short as Kiah’s…I love it! Now she’ll have to write in her diary to get over the scars her mother has inflicted on her, about Grandchildren! 😉

    I too spent many teenaged years, locked away in my bedroom, listening to “Crimson and Clover” and “Seasons in the Sun” playing on my portable record player, whilst typing poetry on my manual typewriter….but I threw everything I’d every written out with the garbage one day, in a moment of liberation! I regretted that move, as I never did write anything when my children were growing up, and I wish I had.

    So, my advice – DON’T burn your diaries! 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Ha ha ha, Joanne! THINK of all the scars we mamas inflict upon our children!! Gosh, it sounds like we had similar childhoods. Seasons in the sun. I can still cry, thinking about that song. so you regretted throwing it out? Oh gosh, the conflicting advice! Must consult again with the heart. Which says: don’t do anything today… Thank you.

      • Joanne says:

        Another song ( and very appropriate, considering the title of this post) I thought of was Diary, by David Gates and Bread. These songs all give me goosebumps, even when I hear then now! You do give yourself the best advice too…follow your own heart. 🙂

        By the way, are you keeping track of your visitors to the woods? Have you noticed you are about to reach a huge milestone of 200,000 visitors? Wow, that’s a lot of cups of tea you’ve served!

        • Kathy says:

          Yes, indeed, Joanne…I am eagerly watching the visitors approach 200,000. Who would have thunk? I can remember when 12,000 seemed like an out-of-this-world number. My heart is wide open in gratitude to have met so many wonderful people… Thank you for noticing and commenting about it.

  19. irenelefort says:

    i did in my early teens until my younger sister found it and made fun of me. You know how mean kids can be. I was angry and tore it up and since then I cannot bring myself to keep a diary lest someone uses my secrets against me. It is paranoid but I can’t overcome it.

    • Kathy says:

      How DARE your younger sister, Irene? No, no, no! I understand your paranoia, of course you would feel this way after your sister teased you like this. I am glad you have found your way to blogging. You might want to try a journal now that you’re older, slowly, slowly, perhaps ever so slowly, revealing your secret heart to yourself. And when and if someone ever does read it, you’ll be so confident in yourself and your secret heart that no teasing can even touch its blooming any more!

      • irenelefort says:

        Maybe! 🙂 But I enjoyed peeking into yours.

        • Kathy says:

          **grin** You’ll never believe that I was the shyest most traumatized person on the planet, will you, Irene? So being able to share mine–and not worry too much what others think–is a miracle beyond miracles!

          • irenelefort says:

            Actually I can believe it because I used to be like that too. My aunt talked about me, in my presence I might add, “You can never trust the quiet ones.” 🙂 I guess people can change and yes miracles do happen. 🙂

  20. Sara says:

    Ah, diaries. And blogs. And anything else we choose to use to turn our thoughts into real words. Some say it’s perfectly natural to express ourselves through the written word. For some, words on a page sort out the jumbled mess of thoughts in our heads. For others writing is a cry to be heard, even if those writings are kept under lock and key or are protected by password.

    What a coincidence you wrote about diaries and journals and blogs. I’ve been toying with that subject matter for my own blog, along with exploring the reasons why people write. I have to wonder, if people who keep journals and diaries and blogs didn’t, would they be completely different people? How does writing shape who we are?

    OK, I’ll save the rest for my own post. I’ll also wait a while before I post it so I don’t look like a copycat. 😉

    • Kathy says:

      Hi, Sara! So many reasons and whys and why-fores that people write! You have listed them so well, and made us think–how would we be different today if we didn’t journal and blog? I hope to stop by your own blog and read! Why don’t you put a link here, so that perhaps others will stop by to read your thoughts? And don’t worry about being a copycat. The blogging world is like a game of telephone where we all add our own bits…

  21. Elisa's Spot says:


    uhm maybe i just like fire!

  22. susanblake says:

    Hi Kathy! How wonderful – another Journaling Junkie! I KNEW there were others out there! 🙂 The photos are pretty incredible as well – but loved how you shared this Dear Diary! I just cannot imagine starting a day without my morning time, coffee, journal and a bit of meditation – and the days that I sometimes have to hit the ground running in the morning – well, they seem “off” somehow no matter how I tell myself it doesn’t matter, that I can still function for heaven’s sake – well, no actually (haha) not so much!

    • Kathy says:

      A journaling Junkie! **grin** There are lots of us out there, it looks like. I am glad you liked the photos–they were old bebes from 2009, from the baby Sony Cybershot, didn’t she do a good job? I like the way your morning times seem. I like how the gift of writing can energize and inspire a day!

  23. rehill56 says:

    Yes…you got me teary too…we all have stories to tell…

    So…I think you should keep your words for your grandchildren, what precious thoughts and revealing insights. I love to read and think about those who have come before. I love to read through old cards and remember family history. To me those are the precious momentos.

    You have a gift and we are the richer for your sharing it and I had to smile that your creative blog was able to be read in the sentinel. 😉

    I also wrote in a diary when young and it was not too deep! But I have still saved it and laugh when I read of that little girl and her big concerns. I have sporadically written over the years but nothing approaching your volumes. I wish I had. I think its still hard for me to expose those thoughts on paper and yet I think it is so cathartic and helpful.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Kathy says:

      Wondering why it is hard to expose your thoughts on paper–fear that someone will see them and use them against you? I wonder why people hesitate. I suppose for all different reasons. Hey, Ruth, we should have tea or coffee one of these days! What do you think about that?

  24. My grandmother kept a daily diary all her life. They are stored somewhere in someone’s house. We were told that she burned them, however, this turned out not to be true. Who has them? A mystery but I, for one, have not read them…I think it would speak volumes about her life in the early 1900’s. She died at 97.

    My vote: Your call :).

    • Kathy says:

      Oh I would love to read my grandmother’s diaries! How wonderful that you know they exist, Linda. Now you just need to find out where–happy sleuthing! (You may have just helped me consolidate my opinion. I would love to read EVERYTHING about Grandma, even any wild & crazy parts.) More to think about… Thank you.

  25. Dana says:

    I’ve kept diaries and journals (and now a blog) since I was 8 years old, too. Like you, they morphed from pretty benign observations about the world to pages upon pages of PAIN and SUFFERING! (I still don’t understand this– my upbringing was very happy and filled with love.)

    I know many people will disagree with me on this, but I suggest a blazing bonfire! Perhaps not for ALL of your old journals, but maybe for the ones that no longer serve you. I burned my angsty journals and felt such a sense of calm and peace. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t believe that everything needs to be kept forever. Especially rage-filled diatribes! 😉

    • Kathy says:

      These are such fascinating viewpoints! Isn’t it interesting that we “normal childhood children” would experience such pain and suffering, too? I have shared this with my “horrible childhood friends” and they think this can’t be so–that their suffering HAS to be because they had horrible childhoods. (And in some cases this is probably so.) But in other cases, I think it’s just that we sensitive souls suffer perhaps a tad bit easier than the less sensitive souls. Maybe? I dunno. Just one possible explanation…

Thank you for reading. May you be blessed in your life...may you find joy in the simple things...

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