A diary is typically something a girl is given at a very young age to write down her most intense, intimate, and emotional thoughts (which meant “OMG Shirley is really making me mad. She knew Johnny liked me cause he pulled my pigtails, I hope she gives him cooties.”-although, if we were being honest, we’ve all thought this as adults too) As we grow older, we either stop keeping them in place of expressing our thoughts on a public forum and keeping them to ourselves or we continue to write, often about far different subjects (“what am I doing with my life?” “I love them” “why am I alone?”). I was someone who adapted to keeping my thoughts to myself. Now and then I attempted to keep a diary but always stopped for whatever reason, usually laziness.
Then one day I came across a leather-bound, gold-leafed diary that I fell in love with. My friend tried to convince me not to waste the money on it because I would never use it. She was right. I didn’t… for a very long time. A few years ago, when I finally started to make a way for myself in the world- I attempted to keep one, but I would go months without making an entry or it seemed so fake and like I was trying to impress someone. These were my private thoughts, there was no reason to be filtered and act like everything had a positive outcome eventually. Then I realized… that’s it. Unfiltered, honest, hurt, happy, pissed off. That was what I needed to write about. My experiences, my real feelings during those experiences; but, not for myself. For her. My future daughter. For the sake of our future relationship. Why? Quite a few reasons actually.
- Life happens. Life will continue to happen. Even though something may feel like the end of the world, it isn’t. The times where I felt that same way are recorded, yet there’s entries after showing that my life has moved forward. If mine did, so will hers.
- We have no control over certain events in our lives, but we do have control over how we handle them. The times where I was hurt by someone I loved- that wasn’t in my control. Their actions were of no fault of mine, just like it won’t be her fault if she’s ever betrayed. However, she will have the power to pick herself back up. To piece herself back together. Perhaps, only to fall again at a later date as I have done before… but to know that each time that happens, gluing yourself back together becomes easier.
- Mistakes happen. The same mistake will happen over and over…and over… and over again. But it’s okay. Each time you learn a new lesson. Each time you remember that you’ve gotta get your act together. Life is nothing but a series of mistakes and lessons- especially throughout your twenties.
- Sometimes she’ll need guidance through those mistakes. Sometimes she’ll feel a little lost. Everyone does. There are ways to work through that, and there will be times she may feel like she won’t be able to approach me because I will judge her or get angry or upset. I want her to know that even when she thinks I’m not, that I am there to guide her. Through my life experiences, through my mistakes, through my lessons learned.
- To know that even when she thinks I won’t understand- that I do. Often a large gap in communication between a child and parent happens because “they just don’t understand.” But guess what? I was young once too (currently still am) and had many similar experiences, pressures, breakdowns, and exciting moments that she will have. I understand the need to try new things, to spread your wings a bit. I understand feeling misunderstood, even if she may think I don’t.
- Finally, but most importantly, is so she will never feel alone. When all those previous factors mentioned begin to accumulate, that feeling of loneliness, of being left out in the wind, of hitting the bottom…. it can cause an extreme emotional breakdown. I’ve had my share, and probably will again. Each of those breakdowns is recorded in this diary. Each moment I’ve felt is worth recording for her sake is included in this diary. Just like each of us draws a connection to a character in a book or movie, I want her to draw this connection to me. Maybe not the mother that she will see and deal with, but a young girl just trying to figure life out. Even if she feels like she has no one, she will know that she has this young woman struggling just like she is. Any connection can be a connection that saves someone from suffering. And I never want her to feel the type of loneliness I have felt, I never want her to suffer. Will she? Undoubtedly, but I will do everything in my power to help her out. Now and in the future.
The future is a fickle thing. I don’t know what mine holds. Maybe I’ll never have a daughter or granddaughter… then I’ll give it to my son. That way he could have an understanding of women on a whole new plane and know that they deserve the best treatment. Maybe I won’t have children at all, then I’ll give it to a cousin’s child or some girl that looks like she needs a boost. Maybe I’ll never even reach the age of being able to hand it off to someone else (I really, really hope this isn’t the case… cause I kinda like being alive), then my family and friends will have a piece of me that is truly me, and perhaps end up with a closer connection to me than they did before. Whatever the outcome, I think it’s a good one. Here’s to a life worth recording for an unknown future.