I did a very bad thing – In my recent state of nostalgia, I decided to pull out all of my journals that span approximately 20 years of my life. What started out as something fun quickly turned into a horrific mistake. Yes, what I wrote when I was 15 and 16 years old was quite funny. My writing was peppered with lots of direct quotes, including the use of the word “goes”, as in “So then he goes,’Hi Tracy’ and I go, ‘Hi Ben’.” God, that was embarrassing.

My college years were filled with the names of a bunch of boys I liked, couldn’t get the nerve to talk to, was asked out by but didn’t want to date, etc. I seriously think I liked someone new each month. What is so funny is that I can remember each of them.

What really got to me were the journals from my “adult years.” I had no idea where I was going in life. I thought I knew what I wanted, but in reality, I was just trying to find a comfortable place to fit. Then there were the relationships. I had one entire journal about a boyfriend named Eric. An ENTIRE journal. I didn’t even like him that much, so I have no idea why I had so much to say about him. By the end of the journal we had broken up and I had met the man that I thought was “it.” David was 10 years older than me. He was (and still is) a high school English teacher. He was funny and smart and I completely fell for him.

I was reading some stuff I wrote about him and I couldn’t help but cringe. I think this is a normal reaction when we think about these things. I mean, most of what I wrote was actually quite sweet, but I couldn’t stop thinking that I already knew how this story was going to end. I have no idea why I continued reading it. I read through that journal and the next one where I was in a dating “dry spell.” I didn’t want to date anyone, but when I finally was ready, I didn’t have any luck. One guy apparently liked to date, have sex with, and promptly dump all the new girls at work – which I didn’t find out until later. We had one date (did NOT have sex), and that was it. He gave me the creeps. I also dated a nice guy who was friends with my brother-in-law. He was a Cubs fan and had a career in Illinois politics (no names to protect the innocent – and I would be that innocent one). About a month into him dating he proceeds to tell me that he was dating someone else and they decided to be “exclusive.” I believe he said to me over the phone, “I’m really sorry, but I didn’t think I’d end up liking you so much.” Now that I’m writing this, I’m finding it quite humorous…

I guess after reading all of these things I experienced some up-and-down emotions. It is very surreal to have a stack of notebooks sitting in front of you that contain all the drama that is your life. Certain moments I read about and laughed. Some I wished I could forget. Some I longed to go back and relive.

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