Friday, November 13, 2009

Dear Diary

"What is it about people and them keeping diaries?" quizzed my friend to a table full of guys who were generally disinterested in the question as they cook up a few non-committal speculations. After everyone chipped in their two cents worth of the subject, their heads turned towards me as they expect me to contribute to the discussion before we can proceed to another topic. Instead, I lowered my head and concentrated on my food; knowing full well that I'm the only one out of the group of four who actually does keep a diary of sorts and throwing in my chips will result in a further interrogation of why I jot down my thoughts.

But it is a good question: why do we need to collect our innermost thoughts? Do we ever write bearing in mind that it will get read by someone other than oneself? While I am not in a position to say for the others who do keep a diary or jot their thoughts down, I have no doubt that there are quite a few out there who will share the same reasons as me.

For one, the impetus to jot down my thoughts definitely stems from the innate need to express oneself in the most uninhibited way. While I value individualism as well as personal space, I do believe that we are not created to be in total isolation. That perfectly explains why since time immemorial, Man has a universal tradition of handing down stories and values to the next generation through cave paintings and the aural tradition. While indulging in this rather private affair does not share the same vein as cave painting, I guess it is an interaction with my future self.

In this interaction with my future self, I guess this self-expression is also cathartic as I spell out my feelings in some form of a rational capacity. It does preserve my sanity and calms me down at times. The process of documenting my thoughts imposes everything around me to slow down and time does not exist as I take whatever I need to write all my thoughts out. Thus, calming me down as I slip into more of a meditative mood. On the other extreme, in the event of experiencing rage, writing gives a sense of clarity to my anger. While this clarity does not dispel the brunt of my anger or its negative energy, it seems to convert it into something more productive or beneficial to me. Odd as it sounds, but there are times when I'm able to write and compose fluently in a fit of anger or perhaps create a rough sketch of something that I will undertake and develop later on. Hence, keeping this online diary seems to help me tap my emotions in a most powerful way.

At the end of the day, despite how many or how good our friends are, there are certain lines that have to be drawn. As much as we like to, we do not tell everything to even the closest of our friends for various reasons. Therefore, the diary, or in my case, the random scraps of paper that I write my thoughts on from time to time is our confidante. In this respect, it does not serve to benefit me fully. Re-reading what I wrote only has a limited effect of easing the burden inside what it comes to the need to really tell someone and having that person's opinion. This proves that inter-human relationship is still important in our isolated world of Skype, Twitter and MSN where real human interaction does not truly exist. I do wish that there is someone in which I can confide in them about EVERYTHING and they will understand despite having their own judgements and reservations. Perhaps I'm asking too much... perhaps we all just need to give a little love to make it happen.

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