the why

November 3. 1999

A few nights ago, whilst on one of my many surfs on the world wide web, I came across a great site called Metajournals, which is a sort of homebase for all sorts of journaling, but in particular the phenomena of web journaling. I began reading this highly informative and interesting site (if you're at all considering starting a web journal, or have one already, I would definitely recommend taking a gander at this site). I had not realized up until now how widespread and common webjournals were. The idea of revealing your thoughts and daily life to the world wide web intrigued me, because it's unlike anything else in the world. You don't really know who you're writing to, or the people who you will effect by your writing.

For a long time, I vacillated on whether or not I should have a web journal. I finally decided sometime in late August to go for it, and thus this site came to be. I had originally planned for it to be a hybrid of a news page and an online journal, updated maybe once a week, but as you can see, it's become a lot more than that.

However, getting back to my point. As I read the Metajournals site, it made me start wondering just exactly why I keep a journal with such a ferocity. I've always loved to write, and even before I could actually write, I had my mother write down stories as I dictated them to her. Believe it or not, she still has many of them (I think I get my pack rat tendencies from her), mostly with the theme of unicorns, dragons, cats, dogs and horses. Another turning point was during one Easter vacation when I was 9, I received a blank book from my Aunt Marcia, with the instructions inscribed on the inside cover to "write down all the poems you're always reciting to me". And so I did. Mostly then, they were cheesy four line couplets, but then, I was only nine. One couldn't really expect more. That was the beginning of my obsession with writing.

I can't remember exactly when I got my first journal. Third grade, I believe, for Christmas. One of those little ones with a page for each day and little lock and key on the side of it. I didn't write much in it, as I recall. The only thing that would really prompt me to write were fights with my father (some things never change *wink*), and the hatred of my teacher, Miss Neiffer. I think I still have that little diary somewhere in the dusty reaches of my scrapboxes.

I think I began journaling in earnest on January 1, 1991. I was 10. There are few entries from 1991, but you can tell that I wasn't really too into it. Still, what I wrote is pretty fascinating for me to read now. There's an entry from 1992, a couple from 1993, and then, on November 22, 1994, prompted by my crush on an 8th grade neanderthal, I confessed my love for him to my journal, and how I knew he would never love me back. So the journey began....

I divide my journals into volumes. Volume 1 was mostly 8th and 9th grades. This one is almost painful for me to read because I really can't believe I was once that stupid. The themes of the entries consisted of several things, in various combinations: a) boys I was in love with, b) girls I hated, or c) I loved acting and wanted to be an actress on broadway. Volume 2, which was mostly 10th and 11th grades, found me maturing in my writing style somewhat, but I was still obsessed with boys, acting and how much I hated myself. The theme of "I Hate Myself" is something that continued for a long long time, into Volumes 3 and 4. Volume 3 began at Governor's School in the summer of 1998, and Volume 4 was begun in May of this year, and finished in a scant four months over the summer. Mostly Volume 4 was me changing, grappling with emotions I'd never experienced before, and starting to perceive myself in a different way. Like I've said before, this summer was just really frickin weird, in many ways.

So now I am on Volume 5, plus the introduction of this web journal, which acts as a kind of auxiliary to my real journal. There's obviously stuff I don't write here, and some stuff I can't, considering the audience. I save that for my regular journal. I also save all the tortured melodramatic poetry for my regular journal. You can thank me later.

I really can't put my finger on why I keep a journal. Sometimes it isn't a voluntary thing, and I have to force myself to write down my observations and thoughts, telling myself "you'll thank me later." I think the main reason I do it, which is the reason I do many many things, is to try to preserve the moment. I want my whole life documented by me, so when I die, it's all there, so maybe I won't be forgotten. I know trying to freeze a moment in time is a losing battle, but I can at least try.

music: Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon
food: an Apple
read: 300 pages of my Art History textbook...damn procrastinating
sight: the lab, AGAIN
random: So I'm giving Floyd another try....
Song Lyric:
All your eyes have ever seen / All you've ever heard / Is etched upon my memory / Is spoken through my words
- Through my Words, Dream Theater