Today I sat and fed each page patiently to the flames, and watched as days and weeks, months and years were transformed into ashes. Yes I burnt them all.
You see I woke up yesterday morning with a rather disturbing thought, and on my way to work I mulled it over and over in my mind. I had this unshakeable feeling that I was going to meet an abrupt and unexpected end. That I was going to die suddenly whilst going about my daily business. While that thought was terrible, death itself was not was terrified me.
Of course I didn’t want to die, but there were three things that bothered me the most about it; one was that I would die without having lived up to my full potential, another was that I would miss my family and loved ones, the third was that while going through my things, they would find my diaries.
I kept diaries from when was in high school till I finished my first degree in the university. Now everyone knows those are the crazy years, the years where you don’t really know yourself, and then you find yourself, only to lose yourself again. The drama-filled years; falling in and out of love, hating and loving passionately, suffering from all sorts of insecurities and doubts, not knowing what to do with your new found freedom, and consequently abusing it. Yes those were crazy years.
And through all this I wrote. I’ve always been a very private person; I never had a ‘best friend’ that I could share my thoughts and feelings or doubts and fears with. And so I wrote them down. Every night when I retired to bed, I would pull out my trustie old diary and write. The good times and bad times, emotional and academic trials and, how I felt about my budding breasts, how I felt my thighs were too fat. I wrote it all down.
And Now, so many years later, a mature confident woman(at least that’s what I like to tell myself) with a couple of degrees under her belt, and many lessons learnt from life’s school of hard knocks, I come across one of these diaries once in a while, and that confused, emotional young girl makes me smile. Sometimes she makes me cry or laugh because I can recognize so much of her still in me.
Wounds that were fresh on that girl have become emotional battle scars that this woman wears with pride. I understand everything she went through because she was me. I celebrate her victories, and understand her failures. But I can’t help but wonder what others will think of her.
Will they understand her? Why she was filled with so much self doubt, why she chose to study performing arts instead of law which her parents wanted? Will they understand why the fear of being alone kept her in a loveless relationship so long after the love was gone? Will they condemn her for that one time she had too much to drink at that house party and was violated? Will they understand that girl like I do, or will they turn up their noses and judge her?
But what will it matter if I’m dead? you ask. It shouldn’t, should it? But somehow I know it will. My spirit will feel violated, exposed. People might confuse the memory of this self assured woman with that emotional wreck of a girl, I doubt if they will try to understand her.
So I will not take the chance that they might meet her, into the flames the pages go. Now she only exists somewhere far from prying eyes and judging minds. She might even re-surface once in a while.
I wonder what else I wouldn’t want anyone to find when I’m gone. My mum probably won’t be too happy to find the secret stash of weed in my room, but what the heck, my ghost will probably have a few good laughs at her expense.