Journal or Diary. Ever wonder what the difference is between the two?
Basically it’s like comparing the difference between reading a newspaper and reading poetry… sort of.
The difference between a journal and a diary can be explained by saying that a journal is writing ones feelings, emotions, fears, and most intimate thoughts; whereas a diary is like a news report about you.
In a diary you write about your days or experiences that took place. You write tiny bits perhaps about what your heart felt like during that time. It’s more of a disciplined writing. You pick it up at the end of the day and log the events that happened. -Your assessment, your goals, your achievements, your failures, your targets. It’s about life happening everyday as a routine.
But in a journal you write about how you felt about that time period, or about a particular person, or just one thing that happened and how it affected you emotionally. It provides an insight into the person writing it. You just pick up that pen and start writing. No editing, no thinking, just continuous thoughts pouring out on the paper.
So what was it then, a diary or journal, when I started writing when I was 13 years old . Let’s see what you think.
December 25, 1979 (8th grade)
Well diary, today was Christmas and I got lots of neat stuff like clothes, jewelry, a cool lamp, calendar, makeup and this diary! I’m so happy. Tonight our family seemed to be really close. We told jokes, played games and brought back memories. Bye until tomorrow.
December 26, 1979
Tonight me, Mom, Kelly, and Susie went to Jack McGoverns Music Hall. It was GREAT. For dinner before we went to Black Angus. David and Dad went to Vancouver, Canada for one night. Me, Mom and Kelly went shopping all day. I got a dress and some sweaters. Bye… until tomorrow.
December 27 1979
Today I spent practically the whole day over at Eyde and Willmas house. (two dear friends down the street back then) I won the Monopoly game we played……(tons more stuff about that day but I’ll spare you and not jot it all down. Your welcome)
So I think you can agree that I started it as a diary.
But as days and weeks and years went by the diary transformed into a journal.
Now, don’t laugh.
February 24, 1980
Diary – Today me and Willma went into Burien and bumbed around. the Olympics end tonight. It’s really been nice having them. I don’t want to go to school tomorrow cause it’s so boring and, well, very uninteresting. I was thinking more about Tim and thoughts of him don’t sound so negative anymore but it’s hard not to think of Jeff though. I say to myself that this is love and if it isn’t, what is?
I said don’t laugh!
So many ‘him this’ or ‘he that’ or ‘I feel this way’ or ‘I feel that way’ or
‘I think that…’- ‘Why can’t I….’ or ‘I hope some day I’ll……’
So much more of my thoughts inside and less of what I did day after day.
But what I notice is that some of my most unforgettable events I did not write down.
Two of the most unforgettable events are not found anywhere on paper. Why?
I think because I was at a loss for words on how to describe how I felt. But I think mainly because I just knew no reminders would be needed… ever. Let’s see if you would need to write anything down to remember this.
Let’s pretend you played saxophone all through high School. You played in the orchestra band and you even came an hour before school officially started to be in Jazz band. Of course you never got tired of playing in the marching band as well. (except when it rained during half time as you marched around on the field)
Now, pretend it was the end of your senior year. The last High school concert you would ever be in took place. All the chairs were filled to the brim with the student’s families and friends. All the instrumental & singing groups performed.
That evening did have to come to an end, however. The last group, Jazz band, preformed the last song. You felt honored to be the only one playing those last few notes. Those last notes of the entire concert. You even got the privilege of standing up as all the others were sitting so all viewers would be noticing who to watch as they heard those last few pieces of perfectly played notes. My, what a privilege to show your talent, and in front of so many! You were a bit nervous of course because those last few notes of that last song you were to ever play you felt had to be perfect.
Time to stand. Time to start those four notes.
You thought to yourself ‘I can do it. These slow, easy notes were perfect when ever we practiced them.’
1st note played- ‘Good. That was easy. Done.’
2nd note played – ‘Good. Done.’
3rd note played – ‘Oh what a relief – Good. Done. One more. I have to hold it longer, though.’
4th note started – ‘WHAT IN THE WORLD HAPPENED ! One entire note too low! I can’t stop
now and correct it! AND I have to play it LONG! HOW.. EM..BAAAAARRASSING !! My LAST note I’ll EVER play is WRONG !”
So. Do you think YOU would ever forget that?
I doubt it.
Do you think you would ever think ‘oh… I better write this down cause I might forget it.’ Probably not.
I’ll tell you. I probably didn’t want to write it down hoping I WOULD forget it and wanted nothing to bring it back to life. Well, that didn’t work. I can still picture it all. Almost too perfectly as you can tell.
I will end my story by saying how that one incident still holds the award for the most embarrassing situation that has ever happened to me.
I’m thankfully laughing right now as I’m typing this and, you know what, I think God is giggling right along with me.