I’ve kept diaries since I was six years old. Now, I’ve decided to share these strange, funny, doodle-infested little books with a larger crowd. Why? The inspiration came from one of my writing idols, the essayist, novelist, and journalist Joan Didion. In her 1966 essay “On Keeping a Notebook,” Didion writes, “I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive or not.” In less eloquent terms: We can all learn a little about who we are today by studying the various selves we used to be.
Here, I share my former selves with you (and try to extract some wisdom, lessons, and laughs in the process). I do it by posting actual pages from my many diaries, then exploring between the wide-ruled lines. Because, amidst all the wanton love letters and mundane to-do lists and awful self-portraits I scribbled in these dozens of volumes, there have to be at least a few nuggets of universal truth. Maybe not. But there’s only one way to find out.
Welcome to my Open Book. Settle in and stay awhile.
P.S. To get in touch, send me an email at caroline [at] carolinepraderio [dot] com. For more about me, click here.