Alegria Alano discovers her old diaries in the furthest corner of her garage and gets a rare insight into herself as a pimply-faced teenager, and just how far she’s come since then…
Recently, a rare trip to the back of my garage led to me to an amazing discovery. In amongst boxes filled with books and bric-a-brac was a time machine….
Guys yes, time machines are real, and they’re here. You might already even have one.
Okay, my discovery wasn’t an actual physical time machine. It was a box filled with my diaries and that’s (almost) even better.
I’ve had a diary in one form or another ever since I got my super-high-tech digital diary in year six. I’ve been taking notes on life since then, and the rewards are endless.
The wave of nostalgia that I’ve been riding since I found this treasure has been amazing. I’ve really been enjoying the company of my past self despite many cringe-worthy entries.
Reading about what dreams, trials and tribulations I had as a pimply, asthmatic teen with braces is hilarious; but it also opened my eyes to wins that past-me would be proud of, and present me forgets.
A highly nerdy thing I did in my diaries was to have regular ‘profile pages’ that would ask the same standard questions. This was so I could see how my interests changed over time. Very scientific.
It’s clear that high school me had an unwavering love of summer, ‘Never Been Kissed’ and Saturdays; but also aspired to go to University, travel and live at the beach. Despite the overwhelming amount of doubt I had when I was younger, I managed to make all that happen. Nailed it!
It’s easy to forget about all the goals we kick in life when our phones are filled with everyone else’s. Thank goodness for my dear diaries and their lovely little reminder of all I should be air-punching about.
I love Instagram as a source of inspiration, and a creative way to keep memories. But let’s face it, feeds are highlight reels. While I love a little bit of positive Instagram playback, I think what we can learn from our miss-steps is so much more important. Mistakes and heartbreak teach us so much, and there’s nothing like putting pen to paper to get those lessons started.
Everyone knows that feelings (especially bad ones) are no good bottled up inside. Writing is cathartic, and your diary is a safe place where you can let it all out. I never cross things out, edit, or check myself because it’s just for me. It’s a much better therapist than Instagram will ever be.
Writing in a diary also helps to clear your thoughts. After I write in my diary (now journal because I’m an adult), I often feel a weight lifted off my shoulders and have a new perspective on whatever I was dealing with.
With a diary, it’s just you and that piece of paper. You can say anything and everything, 100% unfiltered. Of course, there’s the risk that someone will find it – mine was safe behind my bed’s headboard (I fished it out with a ruler) – but running this risk is so much better than keeping everything inside and pretending to be perfect.
Plus, years later you can go on a literal ride of your life when you read your entries armed with the wisdom and coolth of age.
I regret repeatedly using the term ‘411’, calling my younger sister a brat, and thinking school was the be-all and end-all; but I won’t ever regret writing in my diary about it.
You won’t regret it either. So go on, grab a pen, a cute little notebook and tell it everything.