My desire to keep a daily diary had consequences I did not foresee

It’s a good feeling when you learn new and exciting things. You’re eager to start experimenting with your new knowledge. That feeling keeps pushing and you just can’t resist it. Well, what if I tell you to think twice before you do anything about that new skill, idea or knowledge? Don’t think only about what enjoyment or benefit lies in it for you. Think about its impact on your future and the people around you. I learned that lesson in a painful way.

Before I tell you my story, I will give you a brief background. I was one of those troublesome kids during my childhood and because of this, my Mum decided I couldn’t stay with her. Instead, she asked one of our church’s pastors to take me in. I stayed with him for over ten years.

Now back to my cautionary tale. It all started back in 2012. I was a big fan of the TV series The Vampire Dairies. I loved the show and I was intrigued when I saw one of the characters writing about their day in their diary. I thought it would be great if I have my own diary, too. It would be a good way of telling my life story.

I bought a new notebook and started writing down everything that happened to me each day. I enjoyed it so much that I went everywhere with the notebook so that I wouldn’t miss any event. I primary school teacher at that time and I taught my students about it and told them to start keeping a record of their own, too. Looking back, I hope they didn’t take my advice seriously.

When I say I recorded everything that happened to me each day, I mean both the good and the bad. Every person that I interacted with was included, although I altered their names so that no one would be offended if they by chance saw the diary.

After two weeks, my excitement began to dwindle. Eventually, I lost interest in the whole thing and just dumped the notebook on a table in my room. What a time bomb that would turn out to be.

On the morning of the fateful day, I led the family devotion as usual and everything seemed normal. After the prayer, I greeted my guardian and his visitor and was about to leave to take my bath when my guardian called me back and asked me to sit at the table. I was surprised. “What is going on?” I thought. I sat at the table surrounded by every member of the family and the visitor. Then, my guardian began to speak.

“I didn’t know all of us in this house were your enemy such that you now have a book to record our sins,” he said. “When I first read your book, I was very angry and thought of sending you out of this house but you can thank my wife that I have not. So, we all hate you after all we did for you. I have already made photocopy of the notebook before you can deny it.”

I was shocked. That wasn’t my intention but no one cared to hear me out. They seemed only to have read the bad parts of my diary. I received the scorning of my life that morning and for weeks after I suffered the psychological effects.

Now, I don’t just rush to put any exciting new idea into practice. I must think properly about it before I take any action. It’s a lesson I learned the hard way.

By Ojumoola Damilola

I’m a pharmacy student at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. I love writing stories and dramas. People do say I walk very fast.

You can find me on Facebook and Twitter.