January 1, 2021
My New Year Resolution since 2016: Keep a diary
I can’t believe I’m doing this again, hiding inside my room, the curtains drawn, and the door locked close.
I’m writing and I don’t want anyone to know it.
Yes, I, Alison Winters, am writing a diary right on New Year’s Day. (Happy New Year, by the way)
Oh, Gods. This feels so weird. I’m scribbling down utter nonsense into something non-living, talking (well, writing) to it as if it were a person!
What was I supposed to say to a diary? My thoughts? My feelings? I’m afraid I never understood what the huge deal was, with keeping diaries.
Yeah, yeah. I know. Diaries were your best companions. You could entrust them with anything, and they made you smile whenever you revisited old diary entries.
But I wasn’t a writer. I haven’t written any more than I could help. Essays? Poems? Stories? Well, they all made me break into cold sweat. Whenever I sat down to write, my hand would start cramping (like it is now, ugh) and I would turn into stone, staring at that daunting blank piece of paper. This probably is the longest I have written in one go. Ever. My hands are screaming at me, but I have to go on.
It wasn’t my fault I had wanted to keep a diary five years ago when I was naïve. It had been one of my New Year's Resolutions. A New Year Resolution that never happened.
That is why, this year, I decided to keep a diary again, no matter how much I dislike writing.
* * *
January 9, 2021
On January first five years ago, I remember seeing a wrapped present for my birthday (yes, my birthday fell on New Year’s Day. Lucky, maybe, but I thought otherwise). I literally fell over it, tearing the packaging to pieces, holding my new diary in my hands. I couldn’t wait to get writing that very instant, and record in it, my deepest thoughts, feelings, and wishes.
I owed to myself I would write every day.
Well, so for all my optimistic vows. I barely wrote into that diary. Whenever I did, it would not exceed two lines.
I remember a diary entry that went this way:
28 January 2016
Nothing much at school today. I studied, talked to my friends, studied, and came back home. I’m so bored.’
6 March 2016
I wonder why people have to write in a diary when they can remember? Isn’t it a waste of paper and ink?’
My Resolution was turning into something I dreaded. I did not see the diary if I could help it. It was probably in the storeroom or the dusty old attic.
I kept that diary, promising on January first every year, that this would be a fresh new start, and that I would stick to my ‘diary writing’ this time. Alas, if only I had been a little more dedicated to it! That old diary of mine had not seen over twenty pages of writing.
You must wonder why I’m obsessed with this resolution. After all, not everyone needs to keep a diary. They can live just fine without one.
But I really want to experience how it is, to maintain a proper diary. Beneath all my aversion to putting words to paper, I know I will find this hard at first, probably even undoable, but I will not regret this later.
I don’t have any far-fledged dreams. I might leave a week or more between visits, but this time, I’m not gonna forget I have a diary I’m keen on filling.
I’m going to do this.
* * *
January 14, 2021
I’m thinking this is not so hopeless after all. The words flow from my hand with a little more ease, and I don’t dread these visits so much, either.
In fact, I started reading the diaries of one of the most famous people from the Holocaust. I think you know about her. She’s Anne Frank, and I can’t keep her book down. I’m surprised I didn’t read it before. I’d heard of her, of course, but I didn’t really know much about her till now.
I can’t believe it really happened, World War 2 and all those massacres. Anne was just another girl my age, and she didn’t deserve it. When I read her diary, I feel like I’ve met her in actual life. I’m astounded all this happened almost eighty years ago. It feels so… mindboggling.
It was millions of other people who suffered the same way. Yet, it was her diary that made this known to the world, and now I can’t help thinking about it all the time I’m awake. I’ve never felt this way before.
* * *
Six months later
July 19, 2021
I can’t believe I’m not tired of writing here yet. Usually, I would have stowed it away somewhere in the deepest recedes of my house by now. You could say I’m continuing this because I have a lot of spare time in my hands, but I think it’s because I’m –um- liking this. Strange, yes.
I’m not exaggerating! If you come to think of it, I’m writing frequently. It’s only been a few months, but I feel like I’ve known you for several years.
Writing in this diary has given me a clearer sense of who I am in actual life. I can understand myself in a better way than ever before. I look back at my first few entries and chuckle to myself. I really was abhorrent to writing, giving a million excuses for not keeping a diary. I’m glad I bore with it this time. If I hadn’t, goodness knows if I would ever have picked this resolution again.
I never thought I was going to admit it, but yes, I enjoy this very much. Though I still tend to look upon writing with the same essence of distaste as in the past, I try to change my way of thinking. I’m getting on better than I could have prospected.
I’m certain this year, I will not have any trouble in keeping up with my long-standing resolution.
My New Year Resolution since 2016: Keep a diary: Finally completed in 2021