‘Diarist’ is a word that has been playing on my mind lately. It’s taken until my mid-twenties for my journaling ‘habit’ to happen, yet recently I’ve been thinking about this word ‘diarist’ and how some writers have been described as such. Did they write their journals knowing they would be read by others? Is that why the language is so eloquent and the entries un-mundane? My journals are full of secrets, not just my own, and if they were ever read by another person I don’t expect to be around to hear their reaction.
They’re full of the boring things, what I did and what I ate, what he said and what she said. Occasionally I ramble on about some thought or fixation, but nothing in my journals is ‘eloquent’, and why should it be? At least in my lifetime the only person reading these pages is me. So who would I be writing to?
Yet lately I’ve been feeling some strange pressure to be a ‘diarist’ and turn my journals into some kind of an artform. Lockdown is adding to that pressure. We are living through a truly unprecedented (I hate that word) time in history, and one day people will study our time. They will maybe even read the diaries of those who lived in the early 2020s. My account of lockdown is perhaps not what they’d be looking for, as I’m one of the more fortunate ones.
I don’t live with young children, I am able to keep working, my boyfriend is doing lockdown with me, and I live in a city where I can get just about anything I want safely delivered to me. In this way, I’m very lucky. I certainly had my wobbles in the beginning, and I was extremely nervous about living in the confines of my small flat for the foreseeable future. Would my OCD and intrusive thoughts kick in really bad again? Would I cope with endless hours with little distraction? What if I actually got sick? What if a family member got sick?
I didn’t think ‘what if this suits my introverted personality?’, ‘what if this brings me closer to my brothers?’, ‘what if I connect with my friends more often?’, ‘what if I can be home to receive every delivery of every wonderful thing I order from Edinburgh’s small businesses?’. I feel guilty that there are positives to this horrible scenario. I feel bad that I’m somehow enjoying work so much more now that my office is so very ‘me’ and I can do my washing on my lunch break. The only real negative to my personal situation is how badly I miss my parents and my dog. And obviously seeing people, but then again: introvert(ish).
I want lockdown to end, that’s a truth. More than anything I want people to be safe. So how do we achieve both? I really don’t know, but a part of me wants something of this lockdown to carry on into normal life once we’re past the worst of this. Don’t ask me what exactly.
Now, for the mundane things, a good old list. During lockdown (so far) I:
I think that’s all I wanted to say for now. I didn’t even really expect to write this blog, it just kind of happened. Stay safe everyone.