i remember getting my very first diary when i was about six years old. it was a small hardcover-notebook with a tiny lock that bound the opening. the pages were saturated with light-scented perfume and it was the most perfect thing for little girls my age. 

i was told back then that i could write down whatever i had in mind onto those perfume-filled pages. any secret, any thought, good or bad. i was elated for this new given freedom. at six years old, i faithfully filled each page daily; so afraid that if i missed one day, this freedom would be taken away from me.

years later, i filled more than half a dozen notebooks with memories of my childhood. i found some a few years ago when my husband and i were about to make our cross-country move with our three children. i sat next to the cardboard boxes and flipped through the pages and saw my early life flashing before my eyes. i chuckled at the immature words and sentences. but they also encouraged. they reminded me i am no longer who i once-was. i promised myself that day i would never stop journaling.

these handwritten words in the pages of my journal confirm that from an early age I have experienced each encounter in my life twice: once in the world, and once again on the page.” -terry tempest williams