Bwahahahaha! The predicament of being fourteen.
Of the diaries that have survived cleaning and purging, the timeline starts around 7th grade. Labelled with the sophisticated moniker of "journal", I recorded my thoughts in the pastel Hello Kitty or Little Twin Stars notebooks with leaky purple and pink pens. The handwriting was strong in those early books, my 12 year old thoughts exciting, recorded in all caps, with lots of exclamation points.
By high school, the tiny notebooks gave way to regular-lined school notebooks and steno pads. The scrawl was loopier and to combat the shyness of talking to myself about myself, I wrote the passages as "letters" to real friends (Lynn, Shelly, Jim) I had no intention of mailing. The biology textbook that served as both diary and super-secret message system to Cindy. There was also the college freshman English composition "journal" I had to keep as an ongoing assignment. The compare/contrast lists of all my boyfriends, including the fortune telling games, easily manipulated so I ended up with the latest man of my dreams. Attempts at fiction writing. New Year's resolution lists with vows that numbered into the late teens. Drunken college confessions where my writing wasn't quite contained within the margins.
Looking at life through my younger eyes as an adult, I've been able to forgive a lot of hurts. I hadn't given certain people or relationships much thought until I relived them the past few months. Certain boys who courted me in my youth, dismissed as cads "only after one thing", have had their reputations redeemed and their rightful place secure in my heart based on my rediscovered recorded history.
I'm also sad to realize how amazing I was as a person back then, even though I didn't believe it. Talk about being your own worse enemy. No healthy 120-pound girl should ever call herself fat. Or ugly. Or stupid.
But I'm pleasantly surprised to realize how lucky I was. The friends I made. My first love, and the heart-racing, crazy roller coaster we went on through 1986. My after-school jobs where I first gained confidence in myself. How sweet my parents were, each in their own way. All of my small-town, middle-class experiences. The passion I had for everything in my life.
You can take my word for it.
Researching my box of diaries for this blog entry, I was startled to read this passage; I could have written it last week. When I placed the date of when I wrote it, it makes perfect sense. This journal entry was written sometime in 1984, a few months after my grandmother passed away. It would appear my coping mechanism in dealing with loss then is the same as it is now - to OD on nostalgia. I don't think it's a bad thing, I'm taking stock of the people and memories that matter to me. But perhaps it is time to start looking to the future again.