An Ordinary Journal

Linda - Encino, California
Entered on May 28, 2008
Age Group: 50 - 65
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

It is true that many journals or diaries have been published by famous women, or often the wives, relatives, lovers of famous men, but I believe in the power of being ordinary.

As a woman who writes simply to indulge her fantasies, her successes, and her miserable failures in a safe place, I write what I feel, think, wish, or do in my journals. I write not to cut my inner self off from my outer self. The inner voice is our mode of access, but we can lose contact with it, by disengaging from it due to the demands of quotidian needs. So I write to find that voice within sliding to interpret what I see of myself striving in my nature.

I write to remind myself that I don’t always do what I want, but what I must, do what I am. I write to remember that which I prefer to forget, at times embracing the full weight of such memory, even if it transforms itself into a reshaping of past events.

In my journals, I write what I am not supposed to feel, not supposed to think, or not supposed to wish. I write what I am not supposed to do, and so do it.

I am neither a Barbara Walters nor a Hilary Clinton, I am any woman . . . her . . . she . . . you. I am the woman living next door, sitting in the next office, the next classroom, standing in line at the bank, standing in line at the market staring at the latest National Enquirer headline, standing in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles, frustrated, kept on hold for more than fifteen minutes while trapped in voice mail hell cussing out the music, doing the laundry, scrubbing the bathroom floor, pulling weeds out of the garden, driving car pool, writing a term paper, helping my children with their term papers, grading a paper, attending traffic school, chauffeuring my kids, my aged mother and uncle to their doctor appointments, and more. Yet as a writer of ordinary things all I can do is choose the act, the scene, the dialogue and let it unfold nascent, longing, the words pressing for life against the page. Ugly, beauteous, righteous, raw, or wrong they will not be silenced.