Dear Diary,

Where do I begin?

I remember getting you for Christmas when I was 11 years old. You were the Christmas gift I did not have on my wishlist. While that was the case, I found you useful in the long run.

You became my sweet escape.

To be real with you, I did not know how to approach you. No one I knew had a diary. So, I just started writing whatever came to mind. Main things I wrote about were my nighttime dreams, aspirations, gossip, and fanfiction. It was not until high school when I opened my deep thoughts and feelings to you. Writing my entries took either 15 minutes or two hours.

You helped me through the highs and lows of high school. You helped me cope through my stressful nights, rejections, drama, boy troubles, and more. There were pages that had scribbles and drawings all over. There were pages that had my teardrops that dried up over the years. I even had pages where I cursed and wrote in all capital letters because I was extremely angry and frustrated. I'm sorry I took it all on you. But, if I vented to a person, they would have thought I was insane and need an attitude check.

You let me speak unfiltered.

While there were negative entries, we cannot forget about the positive ones. The ones where I tell you about my accomplishments, life-changing experiences, and the best days ever. There were entries about prom, earning scholarship money, and more sappy stuff. The entry that I loved the most is when I wrote about accepting admission to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. You remember how challenging the college admissions process was for me. Knowing I was going to attend a great four-year university was something I wanted to celebrate with my friends, family, teachers, mentors, and you.

I could tell you anything. You were a safe space that I looked forward to every day. Though you did not speak back to me, you helped me find answers to many of my problems. You gave me the courage to speak up about things that bothered me to the outside world. Plus, you helped me improve my writing. What makes you special is that I can guarantee that you will not judge me. You are the best listener there can ever be. I know I have not been keeping up with my daily entries since I started college. In due time, I will return to you because there are many stories that I need to tell you!

You may be inanimate, but you were a real life-saver. Thank you.