I’m younger than that now. ~ Bob Dylan
As my time at my parent’s house comes to an end, I am finally getting around to some of the chores my mom asked me to do two months ago. Although my childhood bedroom has already been ‘cleaned out’ twice before, I still managed to sneak a few drawers full of random clutter and clothes that will never fit/never be in style again. Despite some emotional connections to white-washed overall shorts, I got rid of most of the clothes with little trauma. But amongst the miscellaneous odds and ends I found my high school diary. Cue music of dread…DUN DUN DUUUUUUN.
Over the years, through the process of growing up and moving out, I’ve read countless notes passed in math class, letters recieved from pen pals and secret correspondence between my sister and I when we were both meant to be in time out in our individual rooms. All of said verbage included lots of bubble writing and silly polls (ie: Do you like me? Check yes or no) with minimal drama. But the diary wasn’t something I was ready for. Turns out I had tons of crazy emotions in high school, and I felt compelled to write them down in detail. Turns out I took myself very seriously, and I felt compelled to write it down in detail. Turns out I was in love, out of love, heartbroken and re-heartbroken, and I felt compelled to write it down in detail. Turns out some of my friends betrayed me, and I let down some of my friends, and sometimes we made up, other times we didn’t. I wrote all that down too.
Having a self-written record of my teen years sounds charming if I had been a charcter in the Babysitter’s Club. But what I read was really sort of unsettling. Partly because I have very little recollection of EVER journalling, which is strange since there are almost-daily entries. And partly because the words written were extremely dichotomous. Sometimes I was decidely (and I suppose appropriately) immature, and other times I was shockingly insightful and adult. For example, I was all Lifetime Original Movie about love and the fact that I knew, just knew, that I would never find it after my first go-round. But I was sad, realistic and almost clairvoyant about the downfall of some of my lifelong friendships that never did recover from the divergence that occurs when children grow into women. I was decidedly over-dramatic about my academic pursuits, worrying over tenths when it came to my high school GPA (oh I had only known then what I know now), but consistently appreciative of the amazing family support I’ve always had.
Flipping through those pages was reminiscent of both an acid flashback and a gag reel of terrible teen years that we all were forced by chronology to go through. I wish I would have had a better handle of my insecurities that forced an already forceful personalitly to inadvertendly hurt people. I wish I would have wasted less time on friendships that were never meant to last into adulthood and nurtured those that I’m lucky enough to continue to this day. I wish I wouldn’t have had really horrible bangs or worn tapered, high waisted jeans. I wish I would have discovered Frizz-Ease and a well-fitting bra sooner. And then I stop wishing and just remain thankful that Facebook wasn’t invented until well after my formative years. That could have been ugly.
Now that the words have been read, there’s really no reason to re-read them. The art of diaries is probably somewhat dwindling, what with blogs and MTV induced idiocy that plagues teenagers. Picturing myself with pen to paper so many nights makes me laugh and sigh simultaneously, picturing myself burning that journal with a legally bought drink in hand makes me smile and…want that drink to be a double.