I can’t remember what happened today like on Wednesday. I am writing this on the 24th. Though I can’t write about the real today because I won’t have anything to write about on Saturday. I’ll just have to leave Friday because I’ve tried to remember what we’ve been doing but I can’t.
Entries like these are a source of pride. This reaches a whole new level of tedium, even in comparison to lines and lines of ‘the cat was sick on the rug’ or ‘I went to school’. Not only does it say absolutely nothing at all about what happened on this day, but it manages to stretch this across several sentences and use a level of detail that I chose not to reserve for such events as the final day of school or the birth of my first cousin.
A few months later I had graduated to simply opting out of recording the events of certain days:
I can’t write anything because:
- It’s night time.
- It was a boring day.
It was not that I didn’t want to; it was that I somehow couldn’t. In these days I used a Jacqueline Wilson journal; the kind that had tiny boxes for each day and little questionnaires at the beginning about who your best friend was (‘me‘) and how you choose to relax (‘Sudoku‘). I guess it was designed to be a sort of grown-up diary, in which appointments and assignments are recorded, rather than a diary in the more literary sense. I was relentlessly diligent about making sure I filled in every single box, though I occasionally cheated by simply writing the word ‘boring’ (perhaps a precursor to my later fondness for using performative devices in my writing) in very large handwriting.
Nowadays I obviously wish I’d written in more detail in some respects (though perhaps with slightly less detail on the exact content and quantity of my packed lunches, or on my sister’s blood test), but I’ve always found it challenging to write in a journal every single day. Sometimes the things that happen just don’t feel important enough, and at other times it feels like so much has happened that you don’t have the patience to write it all down. Perhaps it’s similar to how I never used to like being asked how my day was; why would I want to repeat everything that has just happened to me? But I suppose I’m in a minority…