A Facebook friend and I had an online discussion about our old diaries a couple of months ago; we agreed that we'd be better off getting rid of the diaries. It wasn't so much that I was ashamed of the contents of the books, it's just that I'm not that person any more, and reading some of the trite things I had put in those various-sized journals embarrassed me. I decided I would burn my diaries on the next full moon, and I swore to myself I wouldn't save anything.
I burned until I was sick of sitting in the smoke coughing and then burned some more, but as the sun was coming up, I still had four diaries left. I resolved to save them for the next full moon, which was last Tuesday. This time I allowed myself to go through the pages and pull out a few pictures, but the remaining diaries were burned. The deed is done, and I don't really feel a great loss.
My daughter wishes I hadn't done this, but as I told her, none of those writings represented who I am now. Many of the lines I wrote seemed trite and self-centered. Sometimes I ventured into criticizing individuals for one thing or another, and who wants that left behind them? Also, many of my core beliefs and ideals have changed.
It might not have been so easy to burn all those memories except for the fact that I've been journaling online since 2004. Because this has been done in the public eye, I censored myself a lot; at this point in life, I feel that's a good thing. I kept a lot of my personal feelings and beliefs unspoken, but I told many, many stories of my childhood, and even included my mom's "biography" in installments, at one point. I certainly shared hundreds of pictures and stories of day-to-day activities in my online diary, things I had never bothered to write about in my old hand-written journals. My two online blogs, as far as I'm concerned, will be here for my children and grandchildren long after I'm gone. I like to surf through these entries and relive our motorcycle period, my horse-riding times, our antique-tractor-show travels, and all the other adventurous chapters of my life. I have told many stories of my childhood in this blog. I believe this is a much better sort of keepsake than those trite little jottings in the now-burned-to-ashes diaries.
So there you have it.