Revisiting My Old Journals

My husband has asked many questions about life before we were married, particularly about my involvement in pageantry. He’s asked me to work on a personal narrative so that my children will know how I became involved, what I learned, and any other bits of treasures from that time in my life. He also loves the fact that I am a former beauty queen!

Today's Personal History is Tomorrow's Family History: Journaling
What do your journals say?

I started the project by listing the pageants that I remembered competing in and then recording the memories that I have from each event. I’ll be honest. I do not remember all of the small events but I do remember many of the big ones. Then I remembered that I had a stack of journals in our home, easily accessible. Surely these would give me more insight to my participation.

Sadly, I do not have any journals from my teenage competition years. I transitioned into the Miss division and the journals seem to start around the time that I won the Miss Paletine (Texas) title. As I quickly flipped through the pages I was surprised at what the young adult version of me wrote and what she didn’t.

Devon Geiszler Pageant Win
Now you know why pageant girls should cover
there mouth when they win! Just a little too much

For something that was a big part of my life, I did not write many entries about pageants compared to boys. I mean, I WON THE PAGEANT! I had many duties and appearances and what now. I was so excited (see photos). But the journal entries were a smaller portion of my writings than boys. Really?!?! Was I that boy crazy?

My mother started writing her personal history and never finished it. In fact, her life history focused on all the boys she liked or dated. She never reached the time period when she met and married my dad. I shook my head at how boy crazy she was.

Then, I again looked at my journal. I WAS NO DIFFERENT! Like mother, like daughter. Seriously?!? We were so very similar and I thought we were so different. Ha! Isn’t that the typical mind set of the young.

Page after page I flipped. My husband was sitting beside me and I turned red with embarrassment. He made comments like, “You never mentioned that guy” or “Is that who I think it is?” You see, there was one guy who I was crazy about for years, but I had never really told my hubby about him. There was another guy that I went to college with that my husband also knew. I think I’ll blush with embarrassment if I meet up with him again too. Thankfully, my hubby and I are very secure in our relationship that there is nothing to worry about from the old crushes and relationships.

The shear volume of boy crazy journal entries compared to anything else in my journal left me wondering about what I didn’t take time to record. How much was really lacking about me that my children would wish I had recorded, much the same way I wish mom spoke of something more than just guys.

I haven’t kept a personal journal in years, rather I keep a family ‘blog book‘. I might need to take up this pursuit again and perhaps remember the lessons I’ve learned. I need to write more about who I ¬†really was and what was going on. I need to write in terms of what I want my children and grandchildren to know (including plenty of small details). I certainly do not want the journals of my life to only speak of ‘boy crazy-ness’. I need to leave them more of my story.

Thankfully, I have more journals from my early years of marriage. I haven’t looked through those yet but I am certain there will be many things I have left out. Oh how I wish I would have recorded more.

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee is passionate about capturing and preserving family stories so no one alive today has to be researched, or forgotten, tomorrow. She has authored 6 how-to books, a memoir, two published family history biographies, and over 60 family scrapbooks. She's an enthusiastic speaker who energizes, encourages, and educates at the same time.

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