The First

“They need to better themselves so they are better than themselves.”

This was the first sentence I drafted for a “first” diary entry I never wrote down. Just a digital notepad scribbling in my phone’s memory, never to be committed to paper. Even now. I just don’t like it enough.

But I wrote that sentence nearly a year ago, along with the rest of a first diary entry that was never to be, only ever to be digital ash. Well I have a lot of digital ash on my phone, and a lot of real ash in my ashtray, so I figured I ought to make a crematorium for it all. And have a memorial for the things I have thought – thought so important that I was compelled to note them down, but then allowed to drift from care as easily as dust leaving a shaft of sunlight.

So I’ll start by typing up this diary entry. Something that meant something (obviously not enough) to me, at some point in my past, and now… Well, I don’t even know what it says now. I don’t know who I was or even am anymore, so I can’t imagine what kind of promises I would have set out for myself at the start of a new year, or how many I will have broken now that we’re nearly at the end of it. Let’s wait and see…

 

“1/1/12

They need to better themselves so they are better than themselves.

I always think the first entry in a diary should be quite perfect. And it’s wrong to edit diaries or plan it or style it or censor it in any form from the truth; but I just think if this is to be read back at any point of hindsight or reminisce, it ought to seem good in at least the first few pages, then by about page 20 we really rip into the blood and guts of it. I feel like I’m planning and plotting a true novel, I suppose if I’m going to dedicate myself to diary-writing I must expect something of interest to happen that will be worthy of keeping in posterity – I do hope life lives up to the rough plot outline I’ve been revising and sadly re-drafting for a while now.

It’s quite a dare to open the diary with a lyric-y sounding sentence of my own composing, ambiguous and vaguely affirming, it is really only a dare for myself, as is every word I write to myself. What will I think of these words in the future? What am I thinking of as I’m writing them now?

I suppose things are going to have to get as mundane as life quite soon. I can’t flower up every occurrence, and sometimes I will want to use this diary to vent vulgar tensions. Hopefully I let myself get to page 20 before the flowers truly dry up and the vulgarity veers away from poetry.

As a living record of life, I can’t hope to maintain an objective aesthetic to this diary, however, it should be noted (hopefully to have this note noted in future) that I started this in earnest, possibly before a turning point in my life, but that is to be seen, or not…”

 

I don’t know how much I’ve changed during this interval, but I can tell you a few things: I never wrote a second entry; I’m happy with the level of hope and self-awareness I displayed in this first entry; and there have been a few “turning points.” So many, in fact, that I’m dizzy and confused, no longer giddy but slightly nauseous, and wondering which way is the right way forward. I have no answers.

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