Friday, December 30, 2011

Dear diary: Deep thoughts from 14-year-old me.

Inspired by Alvina Ling's tweets from her childhood diary, I decided to dive back into my own diaries for some light reading. I chose my freshman year of high school, since it finally got a little variety in the entries, which had previously chronicled the first five years of a seven-year crush (obsession) with a certain boy named John.

Apparently, I was going to write a novel! (Or a "quirky novel-thing.")
I started this quirky novel-thing and I'm so excited cuz I think I'll actually get through this one! Yeah, I know, ha ha ha. But what majorly sux is that I don't have the time to really work on it! (I don't!) Well, wish me luck over Christmas vacay (if it ever gets here). Feliz Navidad.
Yeah, that "majorly sux." And did I think I'd write a whole novel in a one-week Christmas break?

This one, in which I worry about my future life plans, made me smile:
I'm so upset about my future. I wanna be a writer or artist, but what if I'm not good enough? What am I gonna do? You'd say "journalist" but I don't wanna sit behind a desk. I'd be so unhappy. And photography, too. God, an artist/writer/photographer would be great. I'd mainly be a successful writer, with the other two on the side. I'd have enough money to build a house with a lot of windows and my own studio. My job -- I can work at home, so I'd work and be there for my kids. I'll have a good husband. And a dog. Can't forget the dog. Some people think that that isn't possible, my dreams aren't possible. I don't think so. I will prove them wrong. Go, stubborn me.
14-year-old me certainly knew what she wanted! I especially love the specifics -- a lot of windows and a dog.

And this gem, always thinking about religion and my beliefs:
Okay, so I'm questioning my religion again. I'm thinking Buddhism or Wicca. Or a mix. I don't know! Religion stinks. I'll have Donna-ism. What I wanna do. Oh well.
Wicca? Blame my obsession with The Craft.

And I can thank my psychologist father for my tendency to psychoanalyze myself:
I'm such a perfectionist. According to psychology, that's a sign of low self-esteem. I feel like I can't fail. Like I'd disappoint everyone if I didn't get above a 95. Well, everyone has issues.
I wonder how much I've progressed on the internal pressure front...

Then I found a folded-up note from the second half of freshman year that was passed between me and my friend April about something she overheard:
April: This girl was like, OMG do you know that girl Donna who's ranked #1? Well on the weekends, she goes to keggers and drinks!
Me: I'm so proud. My first official high school rumor. I actually kinda missed them. Tear.
I was valedictorian of my high school, and people liked to pretend my life was way more exciting than it was.

Last but not least, from my freshman dance recap, in which I got my braces off the week prior (finally!) and felt pretty for the first time ever:
Everyone was saying how great everyone else looked, but Anthony's first reaction (to me) was, "Wow, Donna, you look really beautiful." That is the nicest thing anyone's ever said to me. By the time you read this you'll look at a picture and be like, Oh my God what were you thinking?! cuz my dress will be out of style next year, but I looked awesome.
Side note -- Anthony was a friend, but he wasn't my date. My date didn't appreciate me. Ah, well. And my dress? Black spaghetti straps with diagonal lines of pink sparkles running down it, and the sheer top layer came down below the straight hem in four V-shaped triangles to the front and sides. Yep, classic style.

Anthony and I, because the date wasn't worthy of the scanning effort.
(And oh, frosted tips. You bring back memories.)

I had way too much fun reading through that diary. I may have to continue, considering I have a stack of fourteen of them!

And please tell me I'm not the only one who kept meticulous (and now, hilarious) diary entries all through adolescence! I wrote consistently in mine from age 8 through age 20, I'd say. That's dedication!


  1. Oh my lord, this might be one of my very favorite First Novel Club posts ever. Thanks so much for sharing your journals! I think mine had a very similar vibe. (Although I tossed most of them once my parents decided my old room was going to be a guest room.)

  2. Oh man, this is so appropriately timed! I just cleaned the office recently, and found several old (MS/HS aged) notebooks filled with story fragments...let's just say it's good they're buried in the office. I will give you this gem of an excerpt:

    "I was at a hacking site. I pushed a combination of keys to bring up a Russian government site. I clicked on enter and stood up, wanting to stretch. My nightshirt fell past my knees to its original length. I sat back down and looked at the screen. The words PASSWORD REQUIRED were flashing on the screen. I typed in a long code of gibberish and hit return. I expected a white screen with the words Access Denied to come up, but that didn't happen. Cool!"

  3. I've also kept journals since I was little. I actually found a first grade one which was HILARIOUS to read through.

    I'm so glad I've kept all my journals! It's fun to read through them from time to time. :)


  4. Donna, you're so lucky! Those diaries are worth their weight in gold. There's a novel (or two) hidden in there. Think about it.

    I wish I'd kept mine. Sigh! Still have one notebook left from high school, which brings back some awful and wonderful memories.

    Happy New Year!

  5. @annie - So glad you loved it! I have a box with all of my journals that I took with me when I moved out.

    @Sara - That's hilarious! How convenient that the password was the exact same gibberish!

    @Meredith - I know! What we considered important enough to chronicle at the age of 6. My youngest diary is from third grade.

    @Joanne - One day when I'm stuck for ideas, I'm totally using the diaries for inspiration!

  6. Donna, oh my goodness. I love this.

    And that photo. I remember that photo!



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