I remember getting my first diary like it was yesterday. It was 1978, I was 10 years old and I got it as a stocking stuffer for Christmas. It was pink with a picture of a little girl holding balloons that looked like buttons. It had a gold tone lock, a tiny gold key and a plastic cover. You could only see the girl from the back, and she looked like a combination of Laura Ingalls meets Holly Hobbie meets Strawberry Shortcake. It was small and thick because it was a 5-year diary and the edges of the pages were covered in gold which made it shimmer in the light. I was instantly drawn to it and couldn’t wait until January 1st, so I could begin writing in it.
In the days leading up to the new year, I found myself going through the pages and daydreaming about what I would be writing down for the next 5 years. I filled in “The Property Of” page with my name and address, which I carefully wrote in script and then turned to the next page and filled in the years. That’s when I realized I would be starting January 1, 1979 and ending December 31, 1983 at the age of 15! As a 10-year-old, that felt like forever!!
I was so excited and felt so grown up because, now I would have a place to write down all the “personal and exciting” things that would happen in my life, like going to the drug store to get the latest issue of Tiger Beat Magazine so I could hang up the posters on my bedroom walls, getting pizza at Red Moon (shout out to my hometown of Howell, NJ) or watching Erik Estrada (my absolute favorite actor at the time) in “CHiPs.” I know, it all sounds simple and silly, but back then, these events were the most important things in my life.
Once the new year began, at the end of each day, I would take my diary out from my hiding place, which changed frequently and recap the day. Mind you, because it was a five-year diary and each page was divided into 5 sections, I could only fit 2-3 sentences per day. But for a 10-year-old, it was perfect!
I still have this diary and to this day, it is one of my most prized possessions from my childhood. I often pull it out and read through it and relive the events of those years. It’s so surreal to read the words of my younger self. It’s a great way to relieve stress when I’m faced with writer’s block. Some of the entries really crack me up and I think, “If only I could talk to 10-year-old Lisa, I would let her know that things will be ok and not to stress so much about her math homework.”
This diary marked the start of my interest in writing. Since receiving that diary, I have filled dozens of journals and notebooks with stories, poems and random thoughts. I’ve been able to document many of my life experiences and travel adventures. It allowed me to get into a routine of writing daily and I will always prefer pen and paper verses a computer. There is something so comforting about it.
I am so grateful that my Mom thought to buy this diary for me. It’s because of her that I realized my passion for writing. It’s because of her that I am the woman I am today. It’s because of her I was able to become the Mom that I am which allows me to write my book Life Lessons. Thank you, Mom! I love you more than words could ever express!