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my diary, my journal, my blog

Posted by Allison on November 2, 2009

diary |ˈdīərē|
noun ( pl. -ries)
a book in which one keeps a daily record of events and experiences

journal |ˈjərnl|
noun
a daily record of news and events of a personal nature; a diary.

blog |bläg|
noun
a Web site on which an individual or group of users produces an ongoing narrative

When I was younger I kept a diary. Well not really I TRIED to keep a diary. I very much wanted to keep a diary and would start a new one ever so often. I would write in it religiously for days or even weeks then I would stop. Months later I would pick it up again and start the process over again. I wasn’t a committed diarist but I enjoyed the outlet. Then when I was a teenager, my mother read my diary. Now before you go all ‘get over it, loser’ on me. I completely understand where she was coming from, really I do. My mom is 41 years older than me and from a completely different time. She grew up and there were no fridges, I grew up smokin’ dope in the eastview bushes. I get that she was behind the eight-ball with me. I would have done the same thing in her situation. I mean I basically do the same thing everytime I check the kids computer history, right? It’s an invasion of perceived privacy which a child, preteen or teenager just doesn’t understand. What I will never understand is that she then used the information that she read about against me. I’m still pissed to this day about that. I’ll never understand that part of it. So you go into my private stuff (or what my little 14 year head thought was private) read it and then use that information against me. By the way, do not ever bring up this incident with my mother. She gets super pissed if you talk about it at all. To her she can’t understand what she did wrong in the least because in her mind, children do not have the right to privacy. I lived in her house and therefore she had every right to do whatever she wanted. So 26 years later she still thinks that fact that she ‘found something’ in the diary is justification that she read it. And I still think that if she would have shut her damn mouth she would have found out some WAY juicier stuff just a short year later. See what she failed to realize is that she had a direct line into what I was thinking and what I was doing. She should have read the diary, put it back and then found another way to find out the same information. Hence keeping her ‘source’ open for more info later. After she read the diary I never wrote in it again.

As an adult I had a journal. I was no longer some ‘child’ who wrote in a diary with a flimsy metal key hanging from it. I had a beautifully bound book from Chapters to drop my pearls of wisdom into. No longer would there be rating systems on which boy I was madly in love with for the week. Now there would be thought provoking prose on the ability of some twat to phone me back after a night at Goose Loonies dance club. I started many journals but never got back to the free style writing of my youth. I lived in my own home but never was I able to let go and just vent as I had when I was younger. It no longer felt like a ‘safe’ medium but I still journalled. I tried very hard to pick it back up. Oprah said journalling was important then dammit I was going to journal. Really it was just another way for me to beat myself up about not being good at something. That was a pretty prevalent thought process during my teens and twenties, so the lack of journal writing wasn’t anomalous it just reaffirmed it on a more daily basis. Kind of like a nice little piece of judgment all leather bond and floral covered sitting on my nightstand. Then it happened again. My privacy was blown out of the water and I lost my ability journal for years.

Then I started this blog. There is no perceived privacy when you write your thoughts down for the world (or 75-ish people day depending on traffic and if I’ve used any buzz words that bring in the searches). In the beginning I never really thought about it, I just wrote what was on my mind, but almost mindlessly. There was a lot of knitting talk and stuff about the kids. Then I found Bikram and the talk moved to yoga and moving overseas. But every so often something would be gnawing at me and I’d want to post it and I would. It never dawned on me to be worried about who was reading it or what they might think of me. I really do write this blog for me and the reality is that the longer I write it the more of ‘me’ that I put in it. It’s almost as if the writing of the blog in a public forum let me get back to how I used to write in my diary when I was fourteen. And now I NEED that diary back. I really need that place where I put down all my thoughts and feelings because I am so far away from everything and everyone I know. There is no safety net here. When you fight with your spouse there is no Bikram to go to so you can “leave it on the mat”. My stress coping skills are pretty simple. Bikram (none here), smoking (shut up), whining (8 hour time difference) knitting (thank god) and this blog. I had no idea how much I had come to rely on those other coping skills until they were all gone except the knitting and this blog. My spouse is NOT a talker. I am a talker. He has little or no interest in the things I want to talk about. He is not good at hiding that fact. If I start talking about subjects he has no interest in he will just interrupt and talk about something else. Really. I wish I was joking. And I’m not saying I’m talking about how to knit the perfect gusset, I could be talking about the train schedule. If he isn’t interested he doesn’t hear me. Period. He has many good qualities listening isn’t one of them. Either is talking. This blog is where I get to talk, I can talk about what I want to talk about and whether it is perception or reality I think that because it’s in a public way I feel heard at the same time. Wow. Big thoughts for someone who just wanted to write a post and work out some stuff in her head….better go fill up the coffee…

5 Responses to “my diary, my journal, my blog”

  1. anji said

    I totally get it. I have options on my blog for ‘private’ entries… so most of my entries are open but when I talk about something that needs semi or total privacy, up goes a password protected post.

    Best of both worlds.

  2. Shelly said

    I have some mixed feelings when my family (parents and brothers and sister, I mean) says, “Oh, I’ll have to remember to read your blog one of these days”. It’s not that I spend any time on their complaining about them or about anything related to them, but it’s the stuff that you talk about to your diary BECAUSE you don’t have people in your life that you can talk to about this stuff (or if you do, then you use it to flesh out the concepts or work stuff out in your head, as you say).

    My mother just got on Facebook, and, my blog feeds into my Facebook page. Of course, now I’m thinking too much about what to write, because I know that information would come up in some conversation–my mom would be like your mom…and I’m 43. She’d look at what I’m up to and make some judgement call and I’d be pissed, just like I would have been pissed if she read my diary and used THAT information.

    It’s tough, but, I have decided, and hope you do, too, to just remain true–let it be what it is. Likely, because she is from a different generation, my mom won’t “get” a lot of it, and it won’t be entertaining, and she’ll lose interest before long. That’s what I’m hoping, anyway. We’ll see.

    You know, as much as our mom’s played the biggest role in who we would become, we are not them, and, we should not feel guilty about that–we have our own paths to walk. Blogging is so weird, what with it being quite personal, yet obviously very public. And we write about things our parents would never have dreamed of discussing to anyone who wasn’t sitting at the dinner table….but it is a way to find new “family”–those like-minded people who make us feel good about our little journey’s…

  3. Allison said

    OKay I had NO idea about the password protect thing. I have to wrap my head around it. Part of me thinks that I would lose the two way conversation aspect of what this blog means to me. For some reason I think that when I throw it “out there” somehow, somewhere someone is understanding what I am going through. THAT’S what I missed in the diary/journal part of my life. I think it’s the ‘feeling heard’ part of the blog that keeps me writing. In fact these two comments reaffirmed exactly that point. There are people out there reading my blog and understanding. Thanks you two….

  4. anji said

    You could be select with whom reads your blog… like, give the password to one or two friends… you still have the two way, you still have a chance to keep it mostly private.

    I don’t do it all the time, just when I need to get something off my chest that I don’t want open to the entire world, just a few friends who have the password… and you can change the password for each post… then just notify those who you want to read it, to read it.

  5. Becks said

    I love that you put it out there. It makes it so interesting. I want to be that way in my blog and sometimes I am, but there are certain people I know (like my mom) that read my blog and I feel ike I have to censor some things to that audience. I almost feel like I need a few blogs for different thoughts/audiences. But that seems so annoying and too much hassle. I’m actually kind of private when it comes to some thoughts. There are just some things I dont want people who know me to know about. Then there is the paranoid side of me who thinks there are stalkers online and then that stalker knows my life story and could easily find me. Hence why I try not mention Lexi’s name in my blog. Just by having my myspace profile public my dad knew my entire life and that just pissses me off. So that’s why I’m kind of hesitant to just let it out. But your situation is different and I love reading your blog and its how I found you!

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