What happens when you keep a diary from the age of 17?

By 31st August 2020 No Comments
    11 mins
What happens when you keep a diary from the age of 17?

I recently read all my diaries, travel journals and poems that I have collected over the years, and this is only because I rewrote everything to digital form correcting grammar mistakes, and I was speechless. Especially while reading my personal diary, because I didn’t realize how many small details slipped my mind while entering adulthood, and how they significantly influenced my character in the present.

I started writing a diary when I was seventeen. And although it seems this is the time when I started writing, the truth is the poems began much earlier. I also wrote a book at the age of 13, but it disappeared by natural death. I know exactly why I reached for the pen as a child. I just couldn’t express myself by speaking words at loud. I’ve known that what I was going to write will be a perfect memory of the evolution of imperfect thoughts.

“I should write something about myself first, but I want to skip that part. Someday I will probably regret this decision, but I don't have much desire to do that. And it’s probably obvious that I don’t even know what to write about myself. All I can say is that I am a 17-year-old blonde with blue eyes, who is looking for her purpose in this world, for the other half and the meaning of life. Something that I want to do with great passion. Wake up in the morning and know that what I am doing is what I want to do. I don't know if what I am writing here will make any sense in the future, but it is a fact and honestly, I am writing it all for myself. To sit in an armchair as a sixty-year-old, read my story and remember that this was, and is, my life. With a smile on my face that I have all my dreams in my old age within my reach. To say to yourself with pride, “Yes. It's my life. I have no regrets and I am happy. Here is my diary.”.
Writing for yourself, as a therapy

Knowing that you write only for yourself and no one will ever read it, is the best way to discover your true emotions or thoughts. Especially after many years… That’s probably why I would like to share the experience and explain why I think that writing has a salutary effect.

Lots of times writing has helped me to free myself from negative thoughts or situations, and it has helped me to see that I am the only person in control of my actions. It is your choice where your foot will stand.

Self-confidence makes it easier for us to gain the courage in taking risks. Although, it doesn’t always look so sweet. Sometimes the fear is greater and controls our actions. Depending on, whether we treat this fear as a motivational feeling to act, or as a stop sign – it will always accompany us wherever we go. In this case, I recommend the book “My Friend Fear: Finding magic in the unknown” by Meer Lee Patel, who befriended her fear and treated it as a good friend.

In my diaries, I wrote everything and about everything. Even several times I managed to capture the hour or the ordinary “I’ll be back soon, I’m going to eat a pudding”. Many times I cried with laughter at what I have written, and other times I was shocked that I was able to stick together such deep reflections on the moments I lived. I would not remember anyone if they weren’t in the world of my memories.

I was a teenager like any other teenager
I'm one step ahead of the meeting with P. I hope everything goes well. If not, then the risk paid off, right? Recently, I already had a written message, and I thought about it for a long time, before going to sleep: “Hey. Tomorrow I will probably regret writing this message, but I'd better write it so I don't regret not having done it. You are a really special guy. When I was talking to you, I didn't feel that there was such a thing as the distance between us. And now, when we're only a few dozen kilometres apart, I don't know if I should show up." And it's good that I didn't send that text message. Then I decided that it would be better if I send this: "I don't think I will come to see you there." But I didn't send it either. Somehow it turned out that I made an appointment with him in Toruń. We're going to the Planetarium. (...) Fuck. The school-leaving exam is ahead of me, and I am pecking around.

I created a beautiful comedy-drama and found out that as I got older, I became much more introverted. Though sometimes I think I never was an extrovert, but just adapted to the environment. Or I just have changed. It’s hard to explain because despite the fact that I’m curious, crave for unknown, very spontaneous, talkative and I love to take risks – on the other hand, my inner battery drains off really quickly and I love to be by myself, alone. Sometimes, there is still an anxious feeling that the time I spent socializing is keeping me away from my “duties”. To my goals.

I dealt with stress through a sense of humour. Now, I know that when I was writing, I looked at negative situations as if I was a different person. I wasn’t such a drama queen in written words. The difference on pages, when you lose yourself or can’t achieve your goals is significant. How you talk about yourself, or to yourself, reflect this stronger on paper.

The law of attraction

Believing that something wonderful is destined for me, searching for meaning in life and travelling the “world” is a pattern from a very young age. I believe every life has a purpose and my overthinking also led me somewhere. These are the only moments in my diaries when the tone turns serious. As if I was in a trance of entering the visualization of already achieving the goal. Sometimes I wonder if it’s possible that I go through my life looking for answers only to in the end discover that this was my purpose – to wander around and write about it.

I came across the law of attraction around 2010, and it was back then that I started experimenting with it. I don’t think you have to be negative about something when you haven’t even tried it. And saying so, I recommend the book “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne, which I believe also opened my mind to new possibilities.

Society pressure

For many years, society and tradition imposed a ready-made image for a person entering a certain age. How their lives should be, where they should be, what they should say and what they should feel. For many years I have been told that I should already have a family. For a person for whom emotional stabilization, professional fulfilment and ambition are the most important values – it is a shot straight in the heart. Because I am one of those people who consciously know that they are still at the fulfilment stage, and it’s not known if I ever have a family. I don’t want a baby just because I’m in my thirties and I don’t want to hear that the main goal in life is to have a family. I want to have it when I am ready.

All these thoughts of not having what I would like to have, as well as the toxic relationship, put me under a state of mental pressure. Realizing that I demanded something of myself that possibly is not on my desires list. And it ended in anxiety, that troubled me, especially at night.

In 2016, I entered the total great unknown and I received a gift from the world. A ticket for a journey of self-development that I was missing, for many years. From that moment on, I have waited in several places “at the bus stop”, changed the conveyance and discovered my true self. I again remembered my goals, which I wrote so much about.

Stairs or elevator?

Each experience shapes us. And just because some people have a slightly harder path to success, it doesn’t make them worse. And no one has the right to call those who seem to stand still – lazy. We don’t know what they really do at the moment to achieve their dreams. Personally, I think it takes great courage to turn around, go back downstairs and start everything all over again. I know, because I did it too and I recommend it.

Age, in this case, is just a number.


“People too often choose stabilization because they are afraid to pursue their dreams. As if they were dangerous. But you can at least try it. There still will be time for an orderly life.”

The above quote opens my diary. I had it printed on a photo with a view of a road in the woods and hung it on a corkboard, just above my desk. I liked to look at it every day because it reminded me that although you sometimes don’t know where you are going, you have to trust that you will find your way. For me, the stabilization was the awareness of the emotional balance – that you are at the stage of your life in a place where you are proud of your achievements.

If someone laughs at your goals and in your face, remember that this is your story and you don’t need to take them with you. It’s never easy to cut ourselves off from the comfort zone we know or break up with the list of other people’s expectations. But if you do it and land on the ground floor again, I can assure you, you will stumble more than once. You will hear that your plan is not working and why you even continue.  There’s a reason why it’s been said that the best-achieved goals are the ones fighting for so long that you cry with happiness when you have them caught. And this applies to every zone of life.


Let’s not forget we don’t always know what’s behind the scenes of the other person’s life. Not everyone talks about what they really experienced. Not everyone likes to talk about it. It’s true that some people have an easier path than others, but those who have a more interesting or stronger story to tell are remembered by other people, and those are an inspiration to fight for more.

At one point, something broke inside of me. I was crying in the room all night, that I had not lived up to my dream. I let myself down all the way. I didn't care what people will say because I don't care, but the very fact that I failed myself… Something was telling me that I wasn't fighting enough and that's why I fell. This is the worst feeling when you know you've failed yourself while being so confident in your dreams.

[Early 2020]
I don't know why I stopped believing in my abilities. I still have a hard time getting into 'stress-free' work. At times I am already stressed out that I have nothing to stress about. To this day, I am shocked that I am, where I am, and I do, what I love. And that I am among the wonderful people who have accepted me as their "family". I think it will be a while before I will believe that I deserve all that I have achieved. I am proud of myself.

Author Paulina

I'm a writer experimenting with fear, a photographer capturing the unseen, and a daily layout artist. This website is an honest self-talk about all the fears, the runaways, the routines, the jobs, the words, the photographs and the stories I write for you and me.

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