I want to bring out all kinds of things that lie buried deep in my heart. Anne Frank

The aftermath of the Best Friends Forever Reunion left me in a contemplative mood for days. Friends remarked that I was quiet, conservative and feminine in the past so the revelation of “a true confession” caused jaw-dropping looks. At a high school reunion, I laughed when former teachers thought I was Lorna, my elder sister. What a forgettable student I was! I don’t blame them. It was true anyway. Looking at myself today, I don’t recognize the person I once was. Still, I thought of checking out that forgettable person and affirm the good that is happening in my life today.

Best Friends Forever Reunion 2009

I unearthed my “baul”, a box full of treasured memories like old photos, memorabilia and diaries written since I was 10 years old. During the reunion, I confessed to the ex that I still kept the diary during the years we were together. Horrified, he told me to dispose of it. I shrugged. It was the past, nothing incriminating and everything written was pure and innocent. For some reason, I should have thrown it when I got married. I dumped all the letters, gifts and photos in the trash bin but I kept the diaries. Now I know why I didn’t throw the diaries. No, it was not to reminisce the memories of first love and that of my ex-boyfriend now my husband.

I pulled my diaries out from the cobwebs of the musty “baul” and began to leaf through the pages, now yellowed after 34 years. For the next few days, I poured over the poignant memories. I’m not a very profound writer and I scribbled about things I did that day or week with my family, my boyfriend or my groupies. Both things of significance and not. My diary detailed the life of my family when we were still complete. My mom, already sick of breast cancer in 1975 suddenly came alive in the stories I wrote about her. My departed siblings, Oscar and Ruben ,the clowns of the family and my dad sprang to life as I read the “Dear Diary” entries. I felt a tugging in my heart,a deep longing for my departed loved ones as I got transported back to 1975. For one brief moment, images of their smiles and antics kept me in a cheerful mood.

Wiping the tears away I continued to read on and discovered so many aspects of my life that I have totally forgotten. I reflected once again after reading my diaries from the years 1975 to 1979 ( the 17 to 19 year old years). My discoveries?

19 years old

1. I had inferiority complex

Oh dear. I was so insecure of my looks that I always thought my boyfriend would dump me for a prettier girl. It didn’t appease me even after my ex-boyfriend assured me I was beautiful, and a very loving and caring person. I knew so little of the opposite sex then. The “Oh he doesn’t love me anymore….I want to break off… He has another girl.” reeked of low self-esteem. The tantrums I threw at my boyfriend were all due to this insecurity and I think that’s one of the reason I broke off with the first one. I can’t believe how low I thought of myself.

2. I was a prayerful person

I loved seeing the prayers I wrote for the special people in my life. I think it showed that I really cared for their welfare. I closed my diary entries with a prayer, and often implored to God to protect my loved ones. Yes, I still pray today but I don’t write it down anymore. I think I should continue this practice.

3. I played the musical organ and piano

I haven’t touched the piano or keyboard for years. I can see how music soothed my fragile spirit back then. If I felt unloved, I dabbled with Mark Lester’s “Where is Love?”. When my mood shifted to joy, I’d play the upbeat Barry White’s “Love’s Theme” or Isaac Hayes “Shaft”. If I felt my inferiority complex kicking in, I turned to Helen Reddy’s “I am Woman”.

Instead of just listening to the records, I was at the center of the musical piece actively expressing my emotions in largo, pianissimo or forte. At the reunion, a classmate asked me to play a piece because he knew I played the piano back then but I couldn’t remember a single piece. I felt really sad that I didn’t continue this hobby of mine.

4. I am/was Cariñosa – loving or affectionate

I heard this description often repeated by the ex and my ex-boyfriend (now husband) and I believe it is one of my finer qualities. I didn’t realize that I totally lost it at the height of our grief. When we consulted a grief therapist back in 2005, I heard my husband telling me how much he missed my “Cariñosa” ways. I turned into a cold person, probably trying to numb the pain of losing a son but in turn shutting down my finer qualities.

Today, that insecure person is totally gone. I feel beautiful, confident and having the time of my life but I believe I should carry on being a prayerful person, playing musical instruments and retaining my loving and affectionate nature. I don’t think I will throw away my diaries anytime soon. They are precious memories of my past and shows my growth after struggling with painful experiences.

The diaries are indeed a blessing in that I can now look back and reflect on how much I’ve grown in my faith and walk. It is a blessing to be able to look back and see the innocent prayers I scribbled down. I had no idea how God would bring certain things to pass. I didn’t realize it then but the heartaches and pains I struggled through were answers to some of my prayers which brought about my growth or the growth of that special someone dear to me.

So I continue to affirm the good in my life and learn the lessons from the past.

1. I am my own unique self – special, creative and wonderful.
2. My life is a joy filled with love, fun and friendship all I need do is stop all criticism, forgive, relax and be open.
3. I’m glad I am alive today.
4. I give out Love and it is returned to me multiplied.
5. Loving myself heals my life. I nourish my mind, body and soul
6. I have a wonderful husband and we are both happy and at peace.
7. I choose to make positive healthy choices for myself.
8. I choose love, joy and freedom, open my heart and allow wonderful things to flow into my life.
9. I attract only healthy relationships
10. I prosper wherever I turn and I know that I deserve prosperity of all kinds

Did (or do) you keep a paper journal? It is a good thing to do, and you will be blessed by it.

About Noemi Lardizabal-Dado

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ gmail.com) for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

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