Is it better to forget?

June 3, 2009

So before there was Tumblr, before there was LiveJournal, there was Diaryland. I joined in 1999, when the Internet was (for me) shiny and new and there was nowhere to leave comments. I kept the diary to semi-publicly air my dirty laundry, and to kvetch about things that weren’t working in my life, knowing that there was a limited audience of people who were reading it.

I’m not going to link to it here. Those industrious people who’ve known me a long time could probably go and find it, but I’m not sure it’s worth it. Because here’s the thing: it’s horrible. It’s the mopey ranting of a 21 year old who needed to vent somewhere and kill time working in the computer center of her college. Having rediscovered it recently, I read every single post and it depressed the hell out of me.

What struck me most was how many things I didn’t remember. Many of them dusted off long-stored feelings that hadn’t seen light of day for quite some time. And many seemed completely new to me, even though I lived them. And it was kind of shocking. I had to spend about two days processing everything I had read before I could even talk to anyone about it. And then I had to wonder: is any of it worth remembering? What good is it to dredge up fears, fights and feelings from ten years ago?

I don’t have any simple answers. Do you? How much do you remember?



  1. I remember too much. And I’m linking to this today!

  2. My various diarylands all still exist, but I can’t bear to look at them. I’m curious to know if there are things I have forgotten, but considering all the painful memories I know reading them will dredge up, it’s probably best if that stuff all stayed forgotten. I know it exists, and it would be hard to read and live through again. That’s enough!

    • It did remind me, though, that there was a time that I talked to Josh nearly every day and it breaks my heart that it is no longer the case.

      • Yeah but that’s probably his fault, not yours.

  3. I had an old site called BreakdancingRobots.com around 2001 and them morhed it into Be the Boy in late 2003.

    • I meant to mention this at the time, but breakdancing and robots are two of my favorite things. Luckily they transformed into something even better.

  4. I like having the embarrassing things around…well, maybe not super visible, but I like having access to them. If nothing else, they are a reminder of how much cooler and smarter you are now.

  5. I have journals going to at least 9th grade, but in all honestly I hardly have the urge to read them.

    On one hand, it is nice to read one’s past and see how much one has come. On the other side, I sometimes have the sudden urge to burn them all – to free myself of the past, and focus on only moving forward.

    At least for me, many parts of my life has been tumultuous – so while I don’t want to necessarily deny those memories, I have no desire to really discuss or relive them in any fashion.

    So I keep those journals. I remember everything. But I avoid the need to ever revisit them.

  6. Holy cow. I read my old diaryland stuff a couple years ago… depressing.

    The past helped shape us, my love. We don’t need to dwell, but remembering allows us to appreciate how good life has become.

    Love you! Hugs!

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