I started journaling when I was ten years old. I remember distinctly that I was ten and that my mom
had purchased the “diary” from a garage sale at my request. It had never been used, the cover was a white shiny plastic with a gum ball machine on the front, but the most precious part to me was that it came with a lock and key. Even at age ten I had a disdain for the word ‘diary’ (because diary sounds silly, duh) and a passionate love for the privacy of my thoughts and keeping a record of them. What in the world a ten-year old has to keep locked up, you might ask? My answer would have to be, “You’d be surprised.” I might also be surprised as this is one of two of my journals not in my possession and I don’t remember what I wrote in it. I think it might have been lost during a move or something like that. My point in writing about it is that it was the start of something I’ve been doing now for twenty-one years (good Lord!).
This desire to preserve part of who I was and carry it with me into who I am is something that I had to suffer for. I have to hand it to my Mom, she never pressed to know what was in these books, and I have complete confidence that she never cracked one open to look either. She was an advocate for my privacy when it came to nosey little sisters, she respected my need to process life this way and allowed me to do it without fear of invasion… at least by her. Sisters and friends on the other hand, that’s a different story all together.
My sisters were a constant battle. I’ll be gracious enough to leave out the names of the two in particular who were the greatest detectives, but if you know that I only have three of them and you know us at all, it shouldn’t be much of a stretch to imagine who they are. Even with all of their curiosity, they at least had limits to the lengths they would go with the information they managed to procure. I had one “friend” who found my journal, read it, and then proceeded to quote passages from it in front of our entire youth group. If you have any experience with teenage girls then you can imagine just how mortifying that moment was… and yet, it wasn’t enough to stop me from journaling in the future.
My journals contain years of thought processes, beliefs, hopes, dreams, prayers, and experiences. They reflect the good, the bad, the ugly, and the deeply embarrassing parts of the person I am. I don’t go back and look at them often, and I don’t know if I have the intention of letting someone else read them (at least while I’m living, obviously they can do what they want and no doubt will once I’m gone), but it’s important to me to have the documentation of my life through my eyes and heart. As silly as it may seem, the give me a sense of who I am.
You might be wondering about now what all of this talk about journaling has to do with the title of this entry, and I’ll be happy to tell you.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the words ‘change’ and ‘transform’ and what they say to the world around us. I asked my Twitter and Facebook friends to give me their thoughts on the two words weighed against one another and I really liked their feedback. It seems the general sense is that change is either possibly a bad thing, less personal than transformation, or more devastating. I tend to agree.
Maybe when we talk about change, the reason the reaction can be hostile is because we’re basically telling people that we want to take the journals of their lives and burn them, making it as though a part of them never existed. I’m still the Katie who wrote in those journals, I’m still the girl who felt and experienced those things, but my understanding of them has been transformed through the renewing of my mind and heart.
This might sound like just a bunch of jumbled thoughts, and I’m sure not everyone feels the same. So what do you think? Does change sound like a spiritual sort of Men in Black flashy memory eraser of sorts, or do you see it as a positive thing? Does transformation strike you as the evolution of the soul, or is it only something that Autobots and Decepticons do?
Let me know what you think.