I Should Have Kept a Diary As a Child

I started to think about all of the wonderful autobiographies that are written and a great deal of them stem from diaries that the authors kept when they were younger.  I feel like the childhood I had could fill at least two books of teachable moments that could somehow help some other person out there who dealt with some of the same things I did.  The only problem when I try and sit down and capture all of those teachable moments on paper is that I have spent so long trying to forget a good majority of my childhood that now it is hard to piece together every possible moment that would be important to remember.

I never kept a diary when I was younger because I honestly didn’t feel that I had anything good to capture on a page.  Most of my writing that I did was poetry which was how I expressed my emotions but a lot of it wasn’t literal, it was more metaphorical.  The other half of the time I spent writing it was creating stories that were far away from my reality, stories that were much better than my reality.

More and more as I get older and as I realize that a lot of what I went through as a child could really help someone else who might be going through the same thing now.  Now I am really wishing that I had kept a diary when I was younger.  If I am being honest with myself (and I try to be) I sometimes wish that I had kept a diary during childhood because the only memories I seem to be able to access were painful and hurtful ones, and I would like to think that there had to be some good memories in there somewhere.

I know that it couldn’t have been entirely bad but all that seems to stick with me is the abuse that I went through at home and the bullying that I endured, both at school and at home.  Then there were the people in my childhood who I should remember and yet I have no recollection of.  One person in particular who is important to me and I have no memory of them.

I almost admire those who keep a diary or a journal because they will be able to hold onto those memories every single day of their lives.  Even when they are older and can’t remember every detail they want to remember, they can just open up an old diary and there those memories will be.  I sometimes feel like my memories are lost.

I think that it would be a good idea to encourage my daughter to keep a diary so that she can capture all of the things that she wants to remember and express any emotions she needs to get out that she might feel she can’t talk to me about.  I think a diary could be a good outlet for children to express themselves so that they don’t turn to the wrong things or the wrong people.  If you are one of those lucky people who has documented every single detail of your childhood and your adolescence right into your adulthood, then make sure you celebrate those memories and perhaps even share them with others.  You never know what part of what you have experienced on your journey could end up helping someone else.


Jimmetta Carpenter


The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”





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