Last week, feeling uninspired in front of the television while the kids slept, my mind wondered to a little metal box hidden out of view on top of my cupboard.
I can’t remember the last time I opened this box. It has moved around with me for years. House to house. Country to country. The contents untouched for what now must be decades.
Busy-And-Important-Husband was on yet another Busy-And-Important business trip, providing me the privacy I needed to revisit this box. I dragged a chair to the cupboard, reached up and tipped the corner of the box so it toppled into my arms. I jumped down to the floor, placed it carefully onto the ground and opened the lid.
There they were, in all their glory: a little red one, an orange one with a floral design and a grubby shiny yellow one. Diaries I had kept at various stages of my childhood.
Eagerly I snatched at the orange one with the floral design and flicked through the pages. I watched as words written in my childish handwriting whizzed past my eyes, stopping the pages occasionally to drink up the snapshot of a day in the life of a 13 year old.
As I flicked through more pages, boys’ names with love hearts around them flashed before my eyes. When it comes to sourcing ‘firsts’ this was a literary gold mine. A first glance, a first crush, maybe even a first love. Heart aching honest accounts from the mind of very awkward and confused teenager.
But then I saw it. A love heart with a name I didn’t expect to see. But it wasn’t just one mention. There it was again, over on the next page. And again in the next week, and even into the next month.
According to the pages in that diary, my first obsession was not Michael the handsome surfer dude who lived down the road. Nor was it Chris, the charismatic tap dancing genius from dance class.
It was…a horse.
According to my diary my first full-blown obsession was Phar Lap.
It’s at this point that my husband (if he is reading) would be rolling around on the ground in hysterical fits of laughter. Fast-forward a couple of decades and I can only describe my relationship with horses as…strained. In fact, I could probably jump a paddock fence in a single bound at the mere mention of going horse riding.
But I do remember watching Phar Lap as a kid with my family. I remember burying my face into a cushion, trying to hide my tears from my sniggering big sister. I can also remember being obsessed with the movie’s theme music, probably causing my parents’ ears to bleed as I tried to bang it out on the piano, over and over and over again.
So my equine obsession would have been forgotten if it hadn’t been for Kerri’s blogging challenge and those diaries. Which brings me to the act of writing.
People often ask me why I blog and I’ve often struggled to give them an answer. But rediscovering my old diaries has reminded me why writing can be a wonderful thing. That the words I sometimes struggle to put down today might bring a few surprises and smiles in the future.