I am really glad I have been keeping a diary, otherwise it would be hard for me to believe that certain chunks of my life even happened. My diary (my actual private one, not this one) shows me my transformations—I’ve gone from almost nothing to a more fully formed life. It is comforting to have my thoughts written down, to have evidence that I was how I was.
I can’t write
I am sad
I want to write so bad
Why can’t I write
I haven’t felt like I have written a “good thing” for a while. I haven’t felt that comforting tunnel vision that comes from making something that feels good while you’re making it and still seems good when you’re done. I’ve been distracted by adjusting to college.*
Isn’t it wonderful how quickly we can adjust to things? Human beings seem to have an innate ability to acclimate to almost any situation we are put in. No matter what happens, you carry on, you live, you adapt. It could be getting used to doing nothing after a long period of work and revision and exams. It could be having to go to a new building five days a week with lots of new people and new teachers and refamiliarising yourself with the concept of homework, and actually finding that you’re all right. Not just all right—you feel like you’re part of it, instead of on the outside like you were worried you might. You have actual relationships, and those are wonderful too. There are instant connections and connections you can work on and elements of bonding and old friends, too, that you appreciate so much more and people who are so similar to you but who live in a different part of the country or in a different country altogether. To have moments of feeling genuinely cared for—I can’t really ask for more than that.
You may also have a brother and a mother and a father, and though nothing is drastically different between you, maybe now there is more of a mutual understanding—especially between you and your mother, and you and your brother, because you are now getting on with your life like they did with theirs. With your father, there has always been and will always be a deep understanding, or at least an attempt at understanding, and there will always be shared viewings of SpongeBob after school.
But it sometimes scares you how quickly people can think they know you. Because despite all these conversations and an inbox full of text messages, there is a question in the back of your mind: you wonder when will be the right time to reveal to people what has filled your diaries, what has happened to you. Do you even want to tell them? Would you let anyone read your diary?
No. The past is mine to tell. It is wrapped up in pages and pages of my own handwriting. And my future is wrapped up in the blank pages. As I sat tentatively in the front row in one of my first history classes this year, our teacher introduced us to this quote, which is widely attributed to Winston Churchill: “History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.”** I scribbled that quote down straightaway to remember it.
There, I wrote something. ♦
* British for high school.
** The quote our teacher gave us turns out to be not quite right. What Churchill actually said was: “For my part, I consider that it will be found much better by all parties to leave the past to history, especially as I propose to write that history.”