Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Dear S,

When we were in 7th grade, you read my diary. I didn't find out until a few days after you read it, when I opened it up and found that you had left little notes in the margins.

I didn't particularly feel like our trust had been violated; as best friends (with half-heart necklaces to prove it), you mostly knew what was in there already. Besides, I had written the worst parts - confessions about embarrassing crushes, angry letters about junior high drama - in code. Names were changed to protect the innocent me.

What did bother me was that you wrote in my diary. Where I had written angry letters to my "fat body" or "disgusting hair" (I had the self-esteem of a typical thirteen-year-old girl), you wrote cheerful little notes encouraging me to see the other side. Those motivational comments were nothing but graffiti on my sanctuary; it was as though the truth - my truth, at least - had been whitewashed over with a few pen strokes. My diary was my place to go, to write, to put words on paper that I was afraid to speak aloud. It was safe, if only because I wrote carefully in pencil, only an angry or fearful eraser away from being wiped out for eternity. It seemed as though your pen had made those words and feelings permanent, indelible. I had lost my escape hatch.

These days I post blog entries online where just about anyone can read them. The names are (mostly) changed to protect the guilty me. My words are preserved for eternity, or at least until robots stop archiving the internet. When someone leaves a comment, I get little happy butterflies in my stomach.

I wonder if I would have ever been able to keep a blog if you hadn't ever read my diary. Would my imaginary walls have ever come down? Would it ever have seemed OK for people to really, really know what I thought?

Maybe so - even I had to grow up at some point. But sometimes I wonder.

Love always,


tal said...

wow! i never thought i would think this, but, i guess those itsy, tiny locks they have on girly diaries do have a purpose! what an odd friend- although anything that got your blogging juices freed is a good thing!

Dan said...

It sucks that someone would invade your privacy like that, especially a good friend. On the other hand, if that provided motivation for you to write here, I'm glad it happened.

SavingDiva said...

My sister would frequently read mine. She didn't know that I knew that she would read it...but if I wrote that I didn't like my hair, she would tease me a lot about my hair. Oh well!