I was going through a bookcase the other day. I love books, but they’re heavy, and heavy things aren’t really the best thing when you’re considering moving. I had to go through and be brutally honest with myself—was I going to read it again? Could I find it at a library? If I bought it and hadn’t read it, was I ever going to? If I did plan to read it, could I find it at a library? You get the point. I am the person that says she won’t buy a Kindle (or e-reader) because 1) I’m cheap, and 2) I like books. Books don’t need to be charged, and if the book gets damaged (water bottles have a strange way of leaking all of their contents around my books), you’re not damaging an entire collection. If you leave it someplace (yes I've done it), you didn’t just throw away $200+ dollars.
At the bottom of the bookcase are my journals from college. I wrote in them every year I was there. I didn’t write “Dear Diary” or have a lock on it or anything corny like that, but I wrote pretty regularly. People say this is a good habit—it’s therapeutic, and you’re keeping a record of events as you see them when they’re happening, not later when your memory is fuzzy and you embellish the past into something better than it was. I will probably always have them, but here’s the problem—I can’t go back and read them without feeling embarrassed for myself. It’s like time traveling without the advantage of being able to interact with those characters from the past. Suddenly you’re reading about things that happened and how you felt, but you’re also thinking, who is this dumby? I read a page, cringe, turn the page, read, cringe and repeat until I’m compelled to shut the book.
Some people say (who am I, Fox News?) “But the past is what makes us who we are!” Please. That’s just a way to excuse the sheer idiocy that went on. I don’t keep a journal, but I write here, and what you see is just a highly edited sliver of what goes on in my head and in real life. If there’s anything I learned from those books I wrote in college, it's that sometimes the fuzzy (and sometimes embellished) memory really is better than the young, dumb truth.