When I was 6 years old, my Grandma gave me and my sisters diaries for Christmas. Mine was pink. Although I was somewhat resentful that I was supposed to like pink just because I was a 6-year-old girl, I was excited at the prospect of having something to write in that would be just for myself. But then I encountered a problem: what are you supposed to write about in a diary? I remember asking my sister about it. She told me to just write about what I did every day, so I started. After a few days, for some reason I became convinced that I was doing it wrong, so I went so far as erasing several pages of writing (oh for the days when I wrote everything with a number 2 pencil). Then I went back and started over, writing what I thought was correct. My writing gradually evolved from describing my everyday activities to exploring deeper emotions and venting about the trials of growing up and the horrors of high school. By the time I moved out of the house, I had filled up at least 8 other notebooks with my thoughts.

My journal became my best friend, and I learned that it was deeply cathartic to get my feelings onto paper. It made them real and significant. It made me feel like I mattered, at least to myself.

Whenever I go back and read my old journals, I always wonder—could the person behind those words really be the same Kristina? So much has changed. I don’t even remember ever thinking so many of those things. Sometimes it seems like the only thing I have in common with that girl is the ugly, deformed handwriting. And I fear losing that part of myself, forgetting who I used to be. Because whether I realize it or not, that part of my life shaped who I am. That’s one of the reasons I’ve faithfully kept a journal over the years, and still do, now in digital form.

There is another way I’m the same as that Other Kristina. I love the idea of writing a blog, but I keep thinking there’s something I’m supposed to write, or at least something I’m supposed to sound like. So I look around at other people’s blogs and try to imitate them and inevitably fail.

At this point, I don’t think there is anything I’m supposed to be writing about. And I know you’re not supposed to qualify sentences with “I think.” But at least I’m confident in my insecurity, so that’s how I’m going to leave it.

I’m not trying to be persuasive here. The only thing I’m trying to prove is to myself, that I can overcome my fear and get my thoughts out there. I think there’s value in writing just to express myself. But this time I’m going to let The Whole Internet watch.