From the Journal of Lita Hopkins
July 7, 1928
After talking with Hunter last night I have decided to start writing down some of my thoughts. He says I shouldn’t lock myself up inside the prison of my mind. Charles will listen to me only so long, but then he has such a lot of work. Hunter is a good friend and lends his ear to my prattle. He even says I have an original point of view. Most women just don’t think beyond the immediate according to him. I have known many women who do, but who would listen to them?
I am starting this as a secret journal so as to avoid prying eyes. Maybe later I will share it with Hunter. I don’t think it would much interest Charles. He would not disapprove. In fact he might encourage me to get my ideas on paper. He is very sweet, but so harassed with work at the press. I want to write freely without worrying about hurt feelings or misunderstandings. I have such odd and perilous thoughts sometimes. I don’t even understand them all.
Charles says, “Life is hard, but giving in to discontent makes it harder.” He is mostly right of course. We should make ourselves as good as possible. Right now, I feel so restless it is difficult for me to settle into my tasks. My body and mind wander constantly in search of experiences, like I have been frozen and am at last thawing or a dormant seed pushing out toward sunlight. Too fast, I feel I will hurt someone with the speed of it.
I am beginning to believe I am not a normal woman. Something is not right. I feel so selfish at times. I have tried to do things properly as a wife and daughter and friend. But it is too stifling. I am tense with anticipation of the next moment and ready for anything. I used to feel satisfied when I did right things, behaved in the proper way. Now I only look for ways to stay awake to sensations and experience.
Am I a still a good person? I have become surly and find it hard to submit to all that is expected of me. This journal is my honest quest for the woman I am. I have many roles to play –wife, daughter, hostess, supervisor for the servants. I am hoping to uncover new layers of me that I have been afraid to see, but I fear that I may be baser and more on the beastly side than I am comfortable with. I want to be true to those who count on me. I don’t want to cause uneasiness or offend anyone, but I have a feeling of being wrapped in layers of musty linen like a mummy. I am not dead but decaying inside and must unravel to breathe. This all makes me nervous. What if I start to pull at a thread and the whole of my life ends in a pile on the floor and I left exposed, naked. But to find out who I am also excites and intrigues me, to find who Lita Hopkins is and hidden places I am living. I have been hiding from myself. Now I am seeking. I cannot stop pulling at these dangling threads now that I see them.