When Mom came to visit a couple of weekends ago, she brought with her the final two boxes of my stuff still living at her and Gary’s apartment, including all my journals and diaries from age 7 through early college. I had been thinking this evening that it would be fun to quote from one of them, on today’s date however many years ago—but I apparently never wrote on September 9th before. *shrug*
Looking through them again reminds me that I wasn’t terribly good at recording the most important things in life. For instance: When I was 14 years old, my stepdad Tom (above left, circa 1989) threw a giant yelling fit and kicked us out of the house. It was the beginnings of Mom and Tom’s divorce, as the only time we returned to the house after that night was to pack up our stuff and move out. Scary, traumatic time for everyone. Did I write about it in my journal? Nope. There are some entries in July 1990 where Mom and I were visiting Grandpa and Grandma Cook in Centerville, with no mention of Tom; then there are some entries in August where I talk about church Girls’ Camp and various dreams I had; then, finally, on September 7, my entry starts with, “I never mentioned—Mom & Tom separated. I go to Buckeye H. S. now.”
WTF? I didn’t feel the need to mention the surreal scene in the kitchen with Tom banging his palm on the table, his nose inches from Mom’s face, insisting that we leave even though Mom’s welfare check had paid the rent for that month? Nothing about my messy bedroom being the straw that broke the camel’s back? No hysterical frightened tears, nothing about staying with the Thomases from church for the weekend while we found somewhere to live? That was all really kind of important at the time, and is something I hope I never forget. But not a word about it in the journal.
What made me think about all this in the first place—journaling, I mean, and the importance of it—was my thoughts today at work about where I want my blog to go and what I want it to be. I mean, it started out as a means to communicate with all my out-of-town friends, all at once. But now that it looks moderately more impressive, do I want it to be something else? Do I need to write well-thought-out essays on Life and Philosophy and Web Design and things like that?
I seriously considered it.
But, no. I know my audience, and I’m not expecting a bigger one anytime soon. I’m kind of playing a Sour Grapes kind of game with myself by convincing myself that wanting a larger audience would make me somewhat of an exhibitionist. Nope—y’all are my audience, and y’all get a cool new design, just for being you. And I’m going to continue to write about the important (and not-so-important) things in my daily life, as if I were writing to any one of you. (In fact, I’ve been known to take e-mails I’ve sent to Aaron or Amy and repost them as blog entries, in case you hadn’t noticed.)
So, the interface looks kind of cooler, and the content-management is kind of sweeter, but the content itself stays basically the same: normal, everyday Diana-type stuff.
And I’m OK with that.