Ever since I was little, I have been told I have the memory of an elephant. No matter how hard I tried, some things just wouldn’t slip my mind. Sometimes cringey thoughts would resurface, and I found myself recalling small or strange details that were essentially useless. One thing I always thought about was the concept of people having diaries. It was always the strangest thing to me. Why would they write down their innermost thoughts and dreams down on paper, especially when paper decays so easily? Why would they leave their most precious thoughts out in the open for others to read or take? Why even bother? None of it made any sense to me.
Oftentimes, I found myself daydreaming as a child. Most of the time, I would stare up at the walls inside my closet and I would write down whatever I was thinking. As time went by, I would engrave all of my happy memories onto the walls of my closet. Scraggly letters spelt out small, simple messages, sometimes accompanied by unprofessional doodles; the first among them was the spelling of my own name. Even now I still recall inking the letters, “CQITLIN” onto the surface, writing the “A” as a “Q” like always. I didn’t have to fear that I’d forget these memories, for those words were engraved permanently into the walls. Walls that could endure the harsh years much better than paper ever could. Words began to litter the walls of my closet, ranging from high to low, written at odd angles, each varying from meager sentences to extensive paragraphs. I had created a diary where words surrounded me on all sides, each conveying their own story, memory or idea. Whether I was joyful or miserable, my closet contained words that cried in happiness, words that screamed in hatred, words that sang, words that wished, words that could tell a thousand stories; but all of these words were heard by no one else but me.
This was a memory bank of my life, from the times when I was learning the alphabet up to my high school years. As more time passed, my “diary” collected dust, and new ink no longer etched itself into the walls. Memories began to stay in my head rather than on the cold, dusty, cramped space in that dark room. I knew that I would forget over time, and that those pictures of sunny days with friends would lose their color and focus. As time went on, images of my daily life overshadowed the earliest ones, making them lose their luster and clarity. Sometimes I could recall painful moments more easily than the ones that brought me comfort. And thus, those happier memories of my childhood would grow dull.
Without my consent, the times that I loved would fade away, for they were intangible. But it was alright if those times dissipated. It was alright if I forgot the people I loved or the places I’ve been to. Even if the memories of what I’ve experienced are erased, it doesn’t mean that they never existed at all. The actions and words of my past are solid as stone, even if the pages of my memories fall apart. A new entry to my life will soon begin and waits to be put into words. I know that my “diary” will be filled with innumerable experiences and hardships alike. But I am ready for it. And I know that whenever I come back, my “diary” will be there with my memories locked inside.
Looking back on it, my diary was as normal as any other child’s at the time. I wrote in it just like anyone else, and spent time pouring memories into words. However, unlike the diaries that are thrown away, mine would stay with me. Sure, it’s childish and now I find the idea of writing in a closet amusing, but this diary is filled with my aspirations, my hopes, and my thoughts for the future.