(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.