Letters To/From a Journal
Maybe it’s because I’m 6 hours into my last year of childhood,
Or because of the incessantly pounding of the thoughts against my skull,
Or perhaps the necessity of the feeling of grasping my memories as they escape my hands,
But today, Journal, I write to you, for the first time ever.
I hate to address you this way;
You can’t even hear me.
But, nonetheless, here I am, composing my thoughts for you:
Goals for a new year in my life, thoughts about school and friends and life and God,
And I’m hating every minute of it.
By addressing you, Journal, by making you animate,
I’m making you into someone that I need to impress.
How can I possibly tell the whole and honest truth when, most of the time,
The truth isn’t something that I want someone else reading?
Although I write in the same book, the paper is no longer the audience but the medium of preservation;
I am no longer writing for something that I cannot define, but for the sake of my own history.
Today, on a different kind of new year, I am honest.
I am writing to myself, to keep myself whole.
I can’t always trust my mind to even be honest with itself, even about its own history.
The memory is finite, fragile even, and dangerously malleable.
If who I am exists only in my mind, do I really exist at all?
I have turned the cathartic act of journaling into something existential.
Really, I am hoping that it can be both.
I think it may be the only way for me to rationalize writing letters to myself, but more than that,
This is the only way I can think to preserve myself.
So this isn’t a letter to a journal anymore, maybe it’s not even a letter to myself right now.
Maybe it’s just a record:
What I ate, how I slept, what I did, how I felt, who I loved, and who loved me.
Maybe I hate journaling because I am selfish;
If these moments are mine, who am I to address them away to a journal?
Who am I to sign my name “with love” to a piece of paper?
So Grace, this record is for you, just in case you care someday who you were on January 1st, 2018
I won’t bother to sign off; you already know who I am.