What will happen to my journals after I die?
What will the readers of my journals think of me?
Does it even matter? Should it even matter?
Sometimes these questions come to mind as I write what are deeply personal thoughts and feelings onto the pages of my journal.
And sometimes there's a hesitation as I pause to give thought to the next words bubbling up inside wanting or needing to be expressed.
Would it only matter if I based my worth on the thoughts of those around me?
Would it only matter if I wanted to be remembered for the good things about me?
Or would it only matter if I didn't want the messy parts of my life, of who I am to be known?
Journals are private. They are a safe place to land; a refuge, when life seems crazy and overwhelming. Journals are also a place to figure out who you are, what you think, feel, and believe about yourself and the world around you.
Journals at their essence, are about our humanness.
My mom’s journal was found shortly after her death from cancer some years ago. It was read by the finder of the journal but the exact nature of the contents were never fully disclosed. The family member who discovered it, decided that it should never be read by others out of fear that feelings could get hurt.
And then the journal disappeared.
Where that journal is now is a mystery. What was written in it I’m not sure. But whatever my mom wrote, whether it was about her life experiences, relationships, or her two year battle with cancer, perhaps people would not have been able to handle what was her truth.
What is your truth? What is my truth? And do I censor it in preparation for the day I leave this earth?
Or do I write in a way that honors who I am and the life I'm living no matter what thoughts or opinions others may have? No matter if the life I live somehow smashes the illusions people have of me.
It's easy to allow the fear of the unknown to censor your words; to stifle what you may need to express the most at any given moment. But what level of power are we willing to turn over to a time in the future that is yet to occur? Or to the assumptions we have made about what others will think of us when we are no longer here to explain, to defend or stand firm in what we wrote.
Because in the end does it really matter? Isn't what's most important is that I wrote what I needed to say and stayed true to myself in the process? And isn't that what's most important for you as well?
My name is Tara C. Pray and I write over at wordsbytara.com. I am currently hosting the Pen*Paper*Write Journaling Series and working on my first book. You can learn more about me by visiting my site or by following me on Instagram@tpraywrites.