It probably comes as no surprise that I’ve been an obsessive journaler for most of my life. The tendency crept in in middle school and just stuck around for those tumultuous years following. Truth be told, my first real journal was not a book, it was my computer. I was trying to work some things out and thought it best I write it down, while simultaneously, I thought it was time I learned to type properly. Thus, my first journal was born in a word document (maybe it wasn’t word back then, but I forget to be honest). Subsequently I filled many composition books and spiral notebooks with the mundane details of my life and tons of teenage drama.
Then I found livejournal. Were you on livejournal? I feel like so many of us were. At first the concept of others reading my own personal thoughts didn’t occur to me, it was just like my computer journal, except stored secretly online. Over the years, connections were made and it became a way to vent as well as bond with others. I still had a paper journal, but the online one was something different, more careful and stylized and intentional. When an ex-boyfriend read one of my journals, livejournal became a safe place with its password protected private posts.
I guess now I’ve grown out of journaling. My life no longer has the drama worthy of writing about. Of course, there is this blog, which takes care of some of it. A fancy highlight version of life, with a few oblique references to internal struggles. That’s not to say I don’t sometimes miss journaling, but mostly I miss livejournal itself, the endless melodramatic posts and conversations they sometimes spurred. I do not, on the other hand, miss the times I wrote about, and am thus much happier to be without it.
My livejournal has since been deleted, fearing someone might find it and connect it to me. Before I disposed of it forever, I made a backup and years later, inspired by a friend, I finally decided to have it printed into a book so it would not be entirely lost.
It took a few hours to format everything into a printable version and then cost about $15 to have it printed. Now it can get stored away with the others serving no purpose at all, except that I have it. It’s not recommended reading. The bits I skimmed as I edited were so depressingly embarrassing they made me cringe. Reading things you wrote in college is not a good idea. That being said, I’m glad to have a physical copy even if it is only to be burned before my death or something along those lines.