Monday, 14 September 2009

Dear blog: you're cool, but I love my dear diaries

Ever since I was 13 I've kept a diary. It's not the kind of diary where I pour out my heart and soul on to the pages, I simply write about what I did each day and keep a note of the funny things that might have happened.

As a teenager I used to write this on a daily basis, religiously. At uni I updated it every two or three days. But now I'm lucky if I update it once a week. It's getting to the stage where I can't actually remember what I did on certain days, and I will geekily admit that I sometimes have to trawl through my Twitter archive to remind me about what I was doing on a particular day so I can record these details in my week-to-view diary.

My diaries - and there are 14 of them so far - are my most treasured possessions in the world; certainly the first thing I would save if my flat was on fire. And here's why:

On this day...

I decided that Hither Green was where I wanted to buy a flat

Living in London, I went out for birthday drinks with a colleague and watched some rugby

I was living and working in Portsmouth and loads of roads were flooded

14/9/2005: I went to a legs, bums and tums class...then had pizza for tea
I was working as a receptionist at a newspaper in Southampton, and was happy to discover that my (now-ex) boyfriend had actually done some cleaning

Watched the Grand Prix and went to a pub in Hamble, Hampshire

I was hungover and applying for graduate job schemes

On summer holiday between my first and second years at uni. Went for an Italian meal with my family in Bristol

Went clubbing with mates in Bristol before we all went our separate ways to various unis

Me and my school friends watched the video I made of our Newquay holiday and I got invited to a party with my college friends (!!!)

I played hangman with Tim during my free period and had an argument with my dad and brother later on

I went to Lauren's rabbit's funeral, then had a big stress about what to wear to the cinema. We watched 'Romy and Michele's High School Reunion'

I went to Chessington World of Adventures, and went on the pirate ship twice and the Vampire ride four times!!! Rovers lost 1-0 (first defeat of the season)

Wow, that was really freaky reading through some of my older ones. My life has changed so much in the last five years or so. All for the better.

I think the reason I wanted to write this particular post was to spur me on to update my diary more often, as it's getting a bit ridiculous. I truly believe that keeping a permanent, hard-copy record of events is so valuable, and helps you to remember who you used to be, and how you got to where you are today.

Writing this blog and updating Twitter is all very well, but being able to flick through the pages of the last 15 or so years of my life is so precious to me, and it would be so sad to lose that. So, from now on, I WILL write my diary on a more regular basis. I promise.

Each year, when I get a new diary in my Christmas stocking (thanks mum!) I write a note or two to myself on random future dates. I saw one of those notes today and it made me smile, and inspired me to write this. Well done, me, you're alright I guess :)


Dan W said...

notes to yourself? nice. you should try this

great post, very interesting to see how things change like that. I still have my work 2008 diary and even a random flick through that brings up things like 'train to nottingham' which reminds me of a visit and an interview I did that I've otherwise all but forgotten.

Dunners said...

Thanks so much for flagging up this site. I absolutely love this sort of thing and will definitely send myself something when I've got a bit of time to compose something vaguely meaningful!

Did you read the letter Stephen Fry wrote to his teenage self in the Guardian recently?

I've thought about doing something similar, but I think writing to your future self would naturally have much more meaning that writing retrospectively.

The benefit of hindsight is such a powerful influence that I think it would be impossible for me to truly put myself back into my teenage shoes (I had a weird penchant for silver trainers...). I might still give it a go, though, Perhaps I might even end up with something I could submit to the next Writing Salon...

Cheers again,