The diary is old and worn. Much like its writer now. In its early days, it was much like its writer then: young, vibrant, fresh, many white pages ahead to be filled in with “life!”
The diary lay two-thirds of the way through the box, covered with papers, crumbled bits of flower petals saved from an event that is lost in time, old birthday cards, a small collection of old love letters from a flame that is only now remembered upon the reading of his notes. The red cover which entranced its owner as a child can now be seen for what it is ~ fake leather binding now cracked and faded.
“Dear Diary” it begins.
“Dear Diary, today I went to school. Johnny looked at me. I wonder why?”
Ah yes…Johnny. Third grade in Miss Monroe’s class. He had dark brown hair and bright blue eyes. Even then a sure-fire girl magnet. Or at least a sure-fire this girl magnet. That Johnny should look when he could have been ogling Julie with the bright yellow ‘boing-boing’ curls, or Jennifer with the dreamy eyes, or Beth the brain with porcelain skin. But Johnny looked at me. At the girl with the hand-me-down clothes and the big freckles and the gap between the teeth. He looked and she wondered why. To this day the writer of that journal wonders what became of Johnny. The writer wonders what might have happened if when Johnny looked she had smiled back rather than making the funny face and turning away.
And the writer wonders about all the other times she has turned away. How often do any of us turn away from the possibilities because we are afraid of what it might mean if we opened up to it? Because we can’t believe we might be worthy of that look and all it might entail. Because we are unwilling to embrace our own beauty and power and ability to enthrall. We are afraid of our Selves. My grandmother once told me not to be afraid of my own worth.
There is a new entry in that diary. It is dated nearly forty years after the first entry. “Dear Diary,” it starts. “Thank you. I’m looking back now.”