Burning the diaries
As long as I can remember I had the urge to write down my feelings in a diary. I started keeping diaries when I was about thirteen years old. Over the years I collected a lot of them: from beautiful diaries to plain notebooks. Every once in a while, I go up to the attic where I keep my diaries in a box and go through them one by one. Recently, on a rainy Sunday morning, I went up to the attic and sat down to read my diaries. As I read them, feelings of both joy and sadness came over me.
The joyful aspects mainly had to do with spending my summer vacations at my grandparents in their mobile home in a small village near the sea. I spend my days and nights at the beach with my friends whom I saw each summer there. It really was my happy place!
Besides the joyful aspects, I wrote a lot about shallow things like boys, drinking and partying. Of course, you can say it’s just part of your youth. And it is. But I wished I did certain things differently. But hey, you can’t change the past! I also wrote a lot about my relationship with men. As I read through the pages I noticed that I acted as though I depended on them for my life joy. As if the world wouldn’t spin without them. I needed men to feel whole. During breakups, I was devastated and really heartbroken. One time I really hit rock bottom and needed professional therapy to ‘fix’ me. My parents never gave me a good example about how a couple should treat each other. Although they love each other in their own way, they were always arguing and occasionally splitting up during my childhood. I learned, at a very young age, that you cannot feel safe in a relationship. There is always a chance you can be left behind. And left behind meant incomplete. So, I cling on to men.
Sitting on the attic reading my diaries, a feeling creeped over me: what if when I die, someone finds my diaries? It is so damn private! And another more important feeling creeped over me: what if constantly rereading my diaries is keeping me in the past instead of in the here and now?
“What if constantly rereading my diaries is keeping me in the past instead of in the here and now?”
And although I hadn’t plan to, I knew it was time to let go of them. At that time, I was reading the book Moonology by Yasmin Boland and just learned that the best time to let things or feelings go is at full moon. The perfect way to get rid of the diaries was by burning them in my outdoor fireplace.
When the moment was there, I freaked out a little because my memory isn’t very accurate and I was scared that by burning my diaries I wouldn’t be able to remind the events and feelings I wrote in them over the years. And by that, a piece of me would die.
Comforting though is the thought that I can choose in the here and now who I am and who I want to be independent of my past. I reminded myself that I wanted to burn the bridge to the past that was probably keeping me from becoming the person who I want to be. When I was at peace with all these thoughts, I lit a fire and began ripping the pages out of the books and one by one I threw them on the fire. With each page, I said to myself “all is well. It’s time to let go. You can choose who you want to be. You are free from your past”. By burning these pages, I smoked out certain events and people out of my life (and the neighbours too ). It felt really relieving. Today I am whole as I am. I don’t need another person to feel complete. The moment I realized that, my relationship with men, my man, began to change for the good