Food for Thought: Writing Down Your Deepest Secrets in a Journal
That when you die, everyone in your family will know every single, private, and dirty secret you kept your whole life. I keep a personal blog where I do put down a lot of personal information. But there are times when the pangs of paranoia about what could happen with the information you post online or write down on a physical journal. Have you ever thought of what could happen to all of those pieces of information that you put into writing?
Starting with the truth that people can die almost without warning, some people have consoled themselves to be journal-free. The most exciting memories of their lives have been stored in a network of friends who listened at the time they told the stories or in blog entries which are still carefully written – and edited for the public.
A personal journal is different. It’s like a confession of all your deepest vulnerabilities – secret joys and frustrations. It’s like a best friend you have coffee with, and it’s the best listener you can ever vent on. The sense of it being penned down by hand in a more-or-less sturdy notebook is a more of a testament than a jumble of hastily jotted down notes.
But have you ever thought about what will happen to our journal if something happened to you, or if it got lost, or if an enemy stole it from you? It will surely feel like a part of you has been stolen because that’s what a journal is – a reservoir of all your trophies and waterloos, an external hard drive of memories uncut.
Is there anyone in your life you’d want to share your journal with? Anyone, whom you can trust and confide everything – every single feeling you’ve had in the course of your life? If you don’t want to share your journal with anyone, what can stop them from reading your life when you’re not there to stop them?
Perhaps the most practical way of ensuring no one can ever know segments is to not record it at all.
January 22, 2008 Tuesday at 4:39 pm