When All is Said and Done
Corinne Pratz © 2001
So what do you do with your journaling book when it's full? What do you do when you get a stack of them? For me, this has always been somewhat of a dilemma.
I have kept a journal for years - since I was Eleven years old. I have poured out my hopes, dreams, thoughts and problems onto pages and pages. My secrets are all tucked within those books too. And I don't fancy the idea of someone finding them one day and reading everything, especially my kids! As close as I am with my husband, I wouldn't want him reading everything anymore than I would invite him to read my mind. There are just some things that should remain private between me, myself and my journal.
About 13 years or so ago, when I was a single mom and was dating someone I was seriously considering marriage with, I had a real problem with this issue. Panic hit when I discovered he had gone through some of my memorabilia without asking me first. My journals were in a different box but I was terribly frightened that he would go through them next. And I did not want that to happen! The journals held years of childhood experiences that were very private to me at that time.
One evening, when he was not there, I pulled the box out. I looked at each book and read many pages. I don't recall how large the collection was but there were many books to behold. I had always believed that one day I would use my journals to some end, although I had no idea how. That's why I had kept them all those years.
I didn't weep until the last one went up in flames. I was filled with the fear that I had done something that I would regret deeply. But the fear of being exposed and vulnerable, as I saw it then, was greater. I made sure that no one would ever read my words.
I parted ways with that person within a year or so. My remorse and sense of loss lives with me to this day.
I now have more boxes. And I still believe I will use them in a positive way one day. While I am uncertain as to how even now, I have them. And hell would freeze over before I would destroy them.
I am married to a wonderful man. He is truly the greatest friend I have ever known. And we have an arrangement for the journals in the event that something ever happened to me. I trust him and know he will handle things as I have requested.
Our journals are glimpses into our minds, hearts and souls. What a tragedy to destroy them! If it weren't for the words written by others generations before us, we would not know the history we do. Here are some ideas for you to consider if you find yourself feeling as I have and do to hold onto those cherished books:
- Ask someone who is a trusted friend to take care of them if you cannot one day
- Store them in a safety deposit box
- Put them into storage at a facility somewhere
- Indicate directly in your Will what is to be done with them
- If space is a concern, transcribe them onto disk or CD
- Write your memoirs and then consider whether you want to keep them or not
Just knowing that you have done all you can to protect your privacy can help you to write more freely now. And it can give you a far greater peace of mind!