I got a journal when I was 12 years old. I didn’t write regularly in it, but enough is there to bring me back to that time and attitude. One entry, March 3, 1984, on the second day of having the flu, started out with this:
Today was just as bad a day, except maybe a little worse.
I felt a little better today. Maybe it wasn’t all that bad, but anyway it wasn’t a great day either.
Hurrah for being young and confused. 🙂
That day I also talked about watching Star Trek. I decided a detailed explanation of Star Trek and its characters was in order for posterity. Hurrah for being young and confused, and not knowing the Internet would exist.
But even though the internet does exist, journal writing and personal history writing is important. Those are the things your posterity won’t be able to easily find online (social media not withstanding) and those things are going to be much more useful than Star Trek (as much as I still like it). My personal journal writing has been sporadic. The following entry, started after a challenge at church, went on a pretty good streak for about 10 days. The next entry is over a year later. There are 36 entries over the course of five years in that journal. It’s very far from a perfect effort, but even that little reminded me of who I felt like I was at the time.
July 14, 1985
I haven’t written in over a year!…
…I’ve really grown up in the past year. I’m going into ninth grade…I will tell you what’s happened tomorrow. You’ll probably be able to see it better anyways, as it will be in pen.
July 15, 1985
Is red pen OK? It was all I could find. Where do all our pens and pencils go? Last night I wrote in a number 4 pencil*…
…My testimony of the Church has grown a lot. I started out with a few doubts, you know, wondering if it’s true or not. I’ve prayed a lot through and my testimony has bloomed. I expect it to grow more also in the coming years.
One particular entry though, turned out to be of great importance to me. I had written about an experience that has shaped who I am through my whole life, on the very day it happened. I’ll write about that in a future post.
I am so glad I wrote back then. It inspires me to continue writing. Life has been difficult, but I have been learning so much. I feel it’s important to keep a record of this. The internet has made it easy to find details about culture, current and past. But our posterity won’t care much about that. It’s our story that will touch them. But not just them. It could touch you, in the future, as it has me.
I am so grateful to see the hand of God in my life through those entries.
I can’t let feeling guilt about not writing in my journal stop me from picking it up and starting again. And again, and again as will probably be the case. I have found that even if you have just a handful of entries over many years, it will still give an outline from which to draw out the memories, and lead us to new memories.
*I must have been writing in a number 4 for all those pencil entries. So. Hard. To. See. Will definitely type it all down.