I used to keep a diary.
As an (angry) teenager, it was my own private confessor. I also thought that keeping a diary was a good way to preserve memories for posterity, and perhaps some day I would surely have entertained someone, or myself, with the events, people, and facts I wrote about. I use to write on my diary religiously, regardless of whether something interesting happened or not. I had so much drama in my life that for a reason or another my pages were always filled up and they were never empty. Now that I look back, I think I kinda liked it that way, as it was surely entertaining (not sure whether this was a good thing, but it’s too late to regret it now).
I wrote several diaries all throughout my teenage, my years at university and much after that.When blogging became a trend, before social medias, I create one of my own and I used my blog as my personal therapist (keeping it slightly filtered as I could not publicly insult certain people- even though I very much wished to do so). I kept writing on the same blog after leaving university whilst in other countries like Australia first and then Hong Kong. I am not exactly sure what happened, but I simply stopped keeping a journal. I highly regret that now.
Two weeks ago I went home back to Italy. My room has remained exactly as I left it as my mother utterly refused to change anything in there; it became a sort of shrine for her.
Pictures with my long-haired friends from high school are still hanging all over the walls (those friends are still in the picture. Their long, voluptuous hair are not), together with the posters of Nirvana, the theatre memorabilia that I collected in my acting days (those days still exist but it was different back then) and few of my knick-knacks as a grunge/punk rock/alternative girl.
The drawer that contained pictures, letters and diaries is still there and it’s still full of memories from the past. I look at them from time to time as they have the power to take me back to certain days.
As the days went by in this sunny and expectation-free holiday, I spent my time chilling by the beach and riding my bike as I used to, as well as seeing old friends.
As we started talking and chatting of present and past events we inevitably ended up listing those people we used to hang out with when we were PRs for a local rock club. Believe it or not, Italy is a massive rock nation and our youth was spent listening to music, playing it and hanging out at the local record store. Our conversations evolved about songs, records or forming a band. Sometimes we chatted about boys we fancied and every single one of them was part of a rock band.
Our group of PRs for this club was one big (at times incestuous) family where we all believed what we worked on and we tried to make the place successful. After all, we were paid to be there.
After chatting with my friends for several evenings about how these people evolved in the past decade, I realized I did not have a very clear picture of those long gone days, and that the best thing I could do to picture those years was taking out one of my diaries and clear my mind.
The diary I’m talking about is dated 1999. A while back.
Reading a diary after so long is like being on acid, except that you are high on your own story. It felt like flying back on a DeLorean after being hibernated for years. The things that I, back in those days, have written in that diary, came as faint memories; I felt I was discovering things for the first time with the exception that I wrote all those stuff.
From the music we listened to and made, the friends I spent time with, the things we said and did, to the guy I fancied at that time.
He populated a big part of those pages with what he said or did. Despite the fact he was no Eddie Redmayne I found something special about him, something that very few people could see. I considered myself lucky for being able to see such side of him.
Our “relationship” was rather tumultuous as my behavior, back in the days, was not quite smooth; it was more rock’n’roll to tell people to F off, so I just followed that pattern of behavior. One moment I was kissing him, the other moment I was telling him to get lost. It is fair to say that the guy in question, despite charming, was quite full of himself, but I deep down wished I wasn’t so damn insecure and that I could handle the whole thing better.
My diary made me think a lot about me, how I grew throughout the years and how much I lost touch with myself; I could not remember how insecure I was, how many people took advantage of that insecurity, my inability to recognize genuine friends from the fake ones. I cannot help but wish I could jump on the teenage version of myself and inject the confidence that I have now. I would slap the younger version of myself and tell her to get a f……. grip.
The discovery of my diary was the highlight of my Italian holiday. I felt like shifting between two worlds.
In the event of memory loss, I would have a backup all written down. The experience was highly entertaining for my friends too, as I have shared my memories with those people who were involved with me in 1999. It was a blast from the past for them too and I felt like we shared a great moment together that brought us close again. Do yourself a favour and keep a diary, a real one. And no, your diary on FB won’t do.