I pulled out my teenage diaries the other day, quite honestly hoping to do some personal research on what it’s like being a teenage girl. It’s amazing how a body can forget the chaos of adolescence, and being the mom/step mom of five teen girls, I need to be a bit of a pro on the subject.
Since I brought my diaries out, I’ve read through them for hours. I loved writing, even when I was young. My first diary was at age ten, but it was the typical daily log of activity. Four lines to say what you did … most days I wrote, “Today was a normal day.” The first time I started writing daily pages of notes, however, I was thirteen. Most of the writing is ooohh, so painfully Degrassi-like. But some, occasionally, is actually quite brilliant. I filled many books with text. Some pages were scribbled, some adorned with perfect penmanship. Some were torn out, others were decorated with hearts and swirls, while still others were tear stained.
As I flipped into the high school years, I was so thankful that I had taken on this hobby. One day, I wrote,
“This is sad. Time is going by. I can’t stop it. This day is over. I’ll never see it again. I don’t know my future, only the present. The past is dead, the future approaches, but the present lives forever.”
I was private back then, thoughtful, lonely, misunderstood … but isn’t that the same story of every 15 year old girl? Then in 1987, when I had just turned 17, I wrote this:
“I was kind-of thinking last night in bed that I would like to have my diary read to people after I have died. Then others could see how I really felt inside. By then it wouldn’t matter at all what they thought of me!
“Lately I have been having difficulty saying what I mean. It’s really hard, and it bothers me. Sometimes things come out in the wrong way, and I offend people. I don’t mean to hurt them, really. (Well, you’re my diary! Why am I trying to convince you? YOU of all people should believe me, shouldn’t you?)
“Anyway, I’d really like someone to know me and believe in me. I think I really would like my diaries read after I am gone …
“Hey, you! Reader! What do you think about what I have said? Does this seem dumb to you? Who are you? What year is this? Is it still in the 20th century, or is it passed the year 2000? Are you a relative? (“only in the wet weather!” … [inside joke].)
“May-be you’re Mom or Dad, or one of my brothers and sisters.
“May-be you’re my husband (you gorgeous looking hunk, you!) or one of my darling children. May-be you’re my child and you’re all grownup! How are you coming along in school? I know that it can be a drag sometimes, but keep striving!
“May-be it’s my university roommate.
“May-be I’m not even dead!
“Anyways, whoever it is, here’s what I think:
“Sometimes the hardest thing to do is trust. Sometimes people don’t believe me, and sometimes I don’t believe people. Seems to me that if we all knew what was in our diaries, we’d learn who to trust.”
[Wow. Enough said. Excuse me while I go chat with my girls. Perhaps today I’ll be so lucky as to experience some of their own unique brilliance.]