Growing up watching various teen protagonists who would glamorously write letters and journals in picturesque scenes — including characters like Mia Thermopolis from “The Princess Diaries” and Elena Gilbert from “The Vampire Diaries” — I was inspired to dabble in the art form myself. From sparkly lockable diaries to recycled paper journals, I’ve spent the past six years filling up books with my words, reflections and even poorly drawn doodles depicting my day-to-day adventures.
Ultimately, having diaries for personal reflection has been a prominent part of my life in many positive ways. All those pages have brought me from middle school to college — now, it’s time for me to reflect on the reflection itself. If I could write directly to my diary, here is what I would say.
Thank you. Thank you for everything.
You were there for me when I firmly believed the world would end after I’d fell face-first onto the stage during a school-wide assembly — now, I can’t help but chuckle at my clumsiness. You were there for me when I played my last field hockey game for my high school — as I cried, you embraced my sobs even if they tore you up as well. You were there for me when I won my first debate and when I ran my first track race — even though I talked in CAPS LOCK during my overly euphoric outbursts, you never judged me.
Above all, you were there for me when my family moved halfway across the world to India — no matter how many frustrated and confused thoughts I crammed in, you listened. As if that wasn’t enough, you stood strong as we experienced a global pandemic, a lengthy lockdown and online school. Even when the world around me was out of control, you were always there as a constant.
I’ll forever be grateful that you provided me with an avenue to express myself. It didn’t matter whether it was 2 a.m. and I ranted endlessly about the magnitude of homework my Spanish teacher had cruelly assigned us, or if it was 2 p.m. and I walked you through the ups and downs of a hectic school day. With you, I was always able to share my story.
You allowed me to reflect on every step of the way as I transitioned from my awkward middle school phase to now — a far more mature college freshman. You always nudged me in the right direction. When I angrily walked you through fights with my best friends, you made me realize when I was in the wrong, which unfortunately was more often than I hoped. When I broke down after a rough day at school, you made me realize that I overthink way too often and that there’s always time to bounce back.
You showed me that every day is a blank slate, a new page. Even though some days, I just wanted to rip out a sheet and hurl it away, you always reminded me that there were hundreds of unwritten pages left, waiting to be filled with clap-worthy triumphs, embarrassing anecdotes and heartbreaking failures. After all, life moves on and I’ll always look forward to sharing it with you.
Thank you for being the best confidant,
As those idyllic teenage protagonists once did for me, I hope that this entry will inspire you to start your own journal, diary or whatever form that allows you to express yourself. The value of reflection is priceless and sometimes, you can even find a lifelong confidant along the way.
Niharika Singhvi is a Life Columnist for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org