Tuesday, May 16, 2006

My Diary

(Aside: Apparently, Blogger does not have an autosave feature. I'm sure this post was better the first time around, but I have an uncanny knack for making Firefox crash.)

Every time I visit my mom's house, I go through the drawers of my old dresser. They are filled with all manner of things from camp t-shirts to ten-year-old souvenir lollipops, and for some reason, I usually seem to decide to just leave them there until my next visit, rather than taking them home or just throwing them out. Maybe it's because my dad once told me, after I forgot a toy or something at Grandma's house, that we always leave something behind in places we want to return to, so that we'll always have an excuse to go back. Or maybe I'm just too sentimental to throw out the poems that Kris wrote for me and the ring that he gave me, even though that chapter of my life is finished and I don't really want them in my own home.

But, after passing over my diary during ten years worth of visits to my mom's house, I finally brought it home with me this time. It's been fun reading back through some of the things I wrote. It amazes me how quickly I can get back inside my ten-year-old head, and remember vividly thinking and feeling the things that I wrote. It also amazes me how little I remember thinking and feeling some of the other things I wrote.

My diary is one of those little, padded, white books, with an easily breakable lock and a yellow butterfly on the front. I have filled every available white space on the cover with hand-written warnings, including my two favourites: "The butterfly is watching you!" and "Not to be used for book reports." It also has the words "Five Year Diary" printed on the front, but I have scribbled out the "Five" and replaced it with a "2" because it turned out to be the worst design for a diary ever. At the top of each page is the date, below which the page is divided into five sections of four lines, each beginning with a little "19__" so that the writer can indicate in which year that entry was written. Even as a ten-year-old, four lines was never enough for me. Most of my entries spilled over at least a few words onto the next line, which I would carefully draw around to indicate that they belonged to the previous entry, and at some point, I just gave up and started writing as much as I wanted, ignoring the pre-printed dates. For my tenth birthday, I got a blank, bound notebook that I used as my diary off and on over the next few years. For some reason, the binding is gone, but I have all the pages that I apparently tore out at some point. After that, my diary degraded into writing in various spiral notebooks, and never very consistently. It would be nice to have a more complete journal history of my life, but I'm grateful for what I've got.

I wonder what my ten-year-old self would say if she knew I was posting her private thoughts on the internet?

Excerpts from My Diary: Volume One

January 1, 1988
Today I threw a snowball at Danny & I'm afraid that He thinks I like him and I've lost all hope of getting Sheldon to like me.

March 25, 1988
Today there was no school and I don't think I'll write any more about boys because later on I'll regret it. I'll decide who I really love when I'm 16.

April 6, 1988
In my books I broke a world record for reading. I read a full Nancy Drew book with 25 chapters in about 3 hours and 45 minutes!!!!

April 7, 1988
Jenny claims she could read a Nancy Drew book in 30 minutes. I don't believe her. We wen't to Jeff and Laurie's today for pizza.


Kate said...

Once in a while I go back to look at my old journals. It's always an adventure...fun to laugh at myself. I have pretty complete high school and early college journals, but after that it denigrated to just about nothing until LJ.

Sally said...

I was so embarrassed by my stuff that I threw it out. Cliched angst poems written by a 16-year-old who thinks she's hard done by do not make good reading *g*

julie said...

My parents made me keep a journal when I was in elementary school, to improve my writing. The rule was that I had to write at least two sentences every day, and each sentence had to have more than two words. I would spend up to an hour crankily sitting at the kitchen table, composing entries that would cram as much as possible about my day into two three-word sentences. I still have three or four of these daily journals at my parents' house, and it's fun every now and then to reread "Matt came over. We ate ham."

Every once in a while I wish that I had kept more complete records of my childhood. Mostly, though, I think my anger at being told to keep a journal, and the corresponding willingness to spend an hour making sure that I wrote as little as possible says more about me than I could have known at the time.

Meg said...

This is such a brillant entry, i LOVE it.. I have all my old journals from growing up And it reminded me of how much fun it is to read through them.

Christy're said...

This was so funny!!!!!! Also I love "matt came over. we ate ham." I had to call my husband over to read it aloud to him too! Hee hee.

twilighttreader said...

I wish I'd kept a journal growing up. Painfully embarrasing to read though it would certainly be, it'd be fun to digitize the entire thing and tack it to the front of my LJ...

Anonymous said...

No intention of malicious intent; or attack the good name and/or reputation of Kate's college edumakation. Buuuut-->
den·i·grat·ed, den·i·grates
1. To attack the character or reputation of; speak ill of; defame.
2. To disparage; belittle: The critics have denigrated our efforts.
"Declined" or "Disintegrated" could be used,as in:
Starbuck's body and Starbuck's coerced will were Ahab's, so long as Ahab kept his magnet at Starbuck's brain; still he knew that for all this the chief mate, in his soul, abhorred his captain's quest, and could he, would joyfully disintegrate himself from it, or even frustrate it.
Moby Dick by Herman Melville,
Does Howard Shultz pay royalties to Melville and if not, should he?
--What will Capt. Cook's diaries reveal off of RI? Lord Sandwich!!

Anonymous said...

Dont fead the grammer troll!!1111!!one!!