From the time I was a young girl, I always wanted to keep a diary. During that time diaries were not called journals. As a matter of fact, I never heard the word journal used until much later in my life. When my mother and I would go shopping downtown on Market street or Chestnut street in Philadelphia, Pennslyvania, I would most likely at different times buy a diary. I remember two of my diaries. One was blue with a gold lock. Another was deep dark reddish brown like the paint color named sienna. I treasured the second one. Although brand new, the manufacturers had made it look old and antique. It also had a lock and key. It looked like rich, dark, leather.
I never finished any of my five year diaries. This is why I bought so many new ones. My goal was to finish a whole five year diary. I thought about those little books this week. What made me want to keep a diary? I think my inspiration came from two little girls: Anne Frank, the Jewish girl in Germany. She would die in a concentration camp during WWII. The other girl who inspired me was an African American girl named Charlotte Forten. By chance I discovered her diary in a library one day. The feeling was like finding a treasure chest. This little girl might have looked like me. She lived in America. I think her father was a freedman who loved the sea like my father loved the any waters where he might fish.
I will never forget these two courageous girls. They helped me to see that my ordinary life might be important enough to write about on paper. It just proves we never know whom we are inspiring in life. I have never met either girl, but both have lived on each day in my life giving me hope to believe nothing is just mediocre and without purpose. They gave me the dream to write.