Dear Diary


Dear Diary,

Today I turned six and was given a balloon. That balloon has the most beautiful of colours and it seemed that no matter how much I blew, it could keep expanding and expanding. The shape and colour expanded with it. It feels magical and I feel so confident when I hold it near me.


Dear Diary,

I took my balloon out yesterday to show everyone how beautiful it was. Some people smiled but some people were mean, I could feel they wanted to pop my balloon – it didn’t feel safe to keep my balloon out there. When I got home, I decided I had better put the balloon in a box to keep it safe. It was hard to do because I love it so much, but I think it is the best for everyone.


Dear Diary,

It’s been a few weeks since putting that balloon away; I feel a bit less special now and not as confident, but people around seem less agitated. I am not sure what to do, so I copy what everyone else is doing… it’s kind of fun; not the fun I had with my balloon but everyone else seems to enjoy it.


Dear Diary,

It has been a few years now since I last wrote to you… School is tough, teachers want so much from me and the playground can be a vicious place. I’m glad I don’t have my balloon here, it would have been crushed. I find sport is the best way for me to get through each week. It’s good to feel my body working even though the tackles can be hard.


Dear Diary,

Wow, what a weakling I was, looking back at all those entries. Why would anyone care so much for a balloon? Sport is fantastic, I am not the fastest but I get onto all the teams, school still sucks but at least I have friends to play sport with.


Dear Diary,

How can anyone choose what they want to be when they grow up?… it’s too hard to decide. School is hard, sport is okay. I started to teach myself guitar and writing some songs to help make sense of it all.


Dear Diary,

So this is it hey, I have to work, pay rent, kids are on their way. Better make sure I am a good father, husband and all that. Don’t have time to think much about what I want to do, just better do what I need to do to make this all work.


I don’t have much energy unless I push really hard, but I guess this is life.


Dear Diary,

I met a guy who reminded me of my balloon. He still had one. Initially I was a bit dismissive of him, actually a bit jealous… but it did make me wonder.


Dear Diary,

You know what, I went looking for my balloon the other day. I was sure I would have thrown it away by now. It was hard work, I spent a long time looking through loads of papers, trophies and other keepsakes. I had to stop myself from getting distracted as I rummaged through all this stuff. Some of the old songs I wrote are hilarious, such teenage angst… at the same time I could still feel what was behind that angst…


It all feels a bit too hard to go through all that old stuff right now, I might try to find it later.


Dear Diary,

Sorry for the long break between entries but I went back through my stuff a few times; I learnt lots about what was important to me and what I was still holding on to.


Guess what, it turns out my balloon was harder to lose than I thought. I was a bit nervous when I came across the box, what if it was all torn or deteriorated. I opened the box and felt sad; not because it was destroyed, but because it was still there – perfect and just as I had remembered it.


Dear Diary,

I had been keeping my box with the balloon in it to myself for a while now, my wife wanted to see it and so did the kids, but it didn’t feel right to share it – what if they laugh?

After some coaxing, I opened the box and showed them… they didn’t blink – of course that’s you, they said. And as I shared mine, they went and got theirs… turns out my kids hadn’t packed theirs away too far.


Dear Diary,

Something dawned on me today: for the past few years, I have got a huge sense of comfort from re-connecting with my balloon, but I never blew it up!


Just having it there made me feel comfortable, that was enough for me, but not any more. The real joy, the real beauty, is not from knowing where it is but from having it blown up and on display… but it’s so old, surely it will burst.


Dear Diary,

I’ve been filling the balloon with my own breath for the past few months, little bit by little bit I blow it up. It feels great to see its colours again. At times I get nervous it will burst so I let a bit of air out, but it never does, so slowly and slowly I keep filling… with a smile on my face for each additional breath I breathe into it.

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