I was just enjoying a late night sit outside. A thought crossed my mind. I thought about burning/deleting all of my journals, written and digital. I'm not sure why I even thought of it, to be honest. Since I was very little and started journaling, my diaries have held a sacred place in my life. I'm a person who likes to hold onto things - people, memories, well-liked possessions.

The written account of my life has followed me through the years. My books have traveled with me through many moves, from various homes in Michigan to multiple apartments in Germany, even farther away to Turkey, and now back in the States, to Virginia. Once a year or so I'll page through some of the books. They are filled with all different kinds of handwriting, colored inks and many were gifts from close friends and family. Some of my journals are filled with boring details of who-what-whens, many entries are about who I was doting on at the time, other writings are painful, dark and downright depressing.

I have written about first loves, first lovemaking, fears, abuse, drugs, crimes, my walk with the Creator, friends and family, travels, poetry, simple happiness, pregnancy, books that have touched me, disappointment, confusion, revelations, deep depression, hopelessness: the good, the bad and the ugly. Unfortunately, the bad and the ugly are dominant themes in too many of my entries. When I do read back, I'm left with the lingering feeling of the past's darkness. And that feeling is sometimes hard to shake.

There are times, like tonight, when I question my motives about holding onto my journals. Although my life has been interesting to me, that doesn't mean I would ever want to expose it to the public by having it published. Most of the time I don't really enjoy reading about my past. Even though I love and trust my husband very much, I would never feel comfortable having him read in explicit description the details of my life prior to our marriage. In a way, it's the only thing or part of myself that I don't share with him. I think it's okay to have something that is just mine in a way, but there's also a part of me that feels like it's something that I passively hide from him. A lot of what I wrote is embarrassing even to me. The writing was often immature and superficial, mundane, and sometimes... sometimes just not really me. Some of the things that I have written about make me want certain individuals in my life again that shouldn't ever be in my life again. Some entries make me remember certain painful experiences and I relive the pain, neglect and hate that I once felt. These are not positive things. And for me, these feelings are especially unhealthy because I have worked so hard to expunge them from my heart and mind.

So again, why am I holding onto them? The only real purpose that my journals have served up until now is to remind me that things are not always as they are remembered and that I've come a long way from being the person I was and have a long way to being the person I will or want to be. Rereading that last sentence is maybe my answer. Maybe I just need a reminder so that I will remember what to never be again.

I don't know, I'm not ready to destroy them yet, but I think there might come a day when I will be ready.

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