I am absolutely obsessed with journaling. I write almost every day, even when I haven’t done any other writing. I write in my journals first. ( They are plural because I keep one on my computer, one that is handwritten and sometimes I write in journals that have specific themes, like my writing journal.) I’ve been trying to transfer this obsession over to blogging, but I still think that what I write in my blogs should have a point, which my journals rarely do.

A sample from May 20th:

That’s weird. I was just watching House Hunters and the woman’s name was Joanna and then I switched to What Not to Wear and the woman’s name there was also Joanna. Guenther thinks I watch WNTW too much and it’s making me paranoid about my looks. I disagree. I’ve always been paranoid about my looks! It’s just that now the issues are different (somewhat); they’re more about my aging than my weight. I’m not exactly happy about my weight, but I realize (partly because of WNTW) that I can still look good. And I love my hair now, the color and the style. I also know how to use makeup more skillfully—I even think that it makes me look younger and fresher. But I am sorely in need of plastic surgery, which I will never get. If I had the money, would I? If I had plenty of money I might, but I’d be scared, too. It’s just my jawline—damn, damn, damn. Guenther keeps saying that I look great. He’s nuts. I may look good for 56 but I want to look 40! Don’t want too much, do I??

I include this sample because it’s about one of my other obsessions: my concern about my looks, which I write about ad nauseum in my journals. I can’t imagine how boring my journals would be to another person. Which brings up another point: What the hell am I going to do with all these journals? I’ve kept all of them since I was 20 (and I’m sorry I threw away the ones from high school). But I rarely even look at them. Why do I even write them? Somehow I feel as if my life is more real if I write about it. But instead of writing essays or articles based on my experiences, I write primarily in my journals.

I intend to hold onto my journals until I die and I’ve told my husband that I want him to keep them for my kids. That makes for uncomfortable writing sometimes; it’s hard to be completely honest when you know there’s a chance that someone else may be reading them later on. I try to be as honest as I can, but I know that I often hold back on my anger or my dislikes, because I don’t want to hurt anyone. And I don’t reveal everything about myself because I’m afraid I’d be embarrassed. But if no one reads them until I’m dead, what do I care?I guess I’m afraid that my kids will find out things about me that put me in an unflattering light. Maybe that’s one reason I don’t re-read my journals. I don’t want to give in to the urge to edit them or throw them away.

Will anyone else ever read them? Maybe someone in the future will find them mildly interesting. I don’t know. It’s odd to think that you’d leave behind something about yourself that is so revealing, because you won’t have the opportunity to explain anything. People will just think what they’re going to think. Again, I’ll be dead, so what will I care? I think the main reason I write in my journals–and intend to leave them behind–is so that I will have left a mark on the world. Maybe no one will be interested, maybe only a few will be. But at least my journals will be out there. I think that’s better than just an epitaph on a gravestone.