Sunday, January 06, 2008

dear diary

This afternoon I felt motivated to sort through some of my old stuff, and as usual, the sorting was promptly delayed. I couldn't help but peruse some old year books and examine old photos. I also came across one gem that provided me with a good 15-minutes of reading: a diary, kept very briefly when I was eleven.

Here's an excerpt from January 17, 1992:

There were many juicier pages I could have included, but decided that people might not be too interested in the three different boys I liked at the time (though after a couple weeks, I'd very prudently narrowed the list down to a more conservative two), or my thoughts about menstruation. Seriously. Some very thought-provoking material here...

And now, a few reflections:

1. I've always thought of myself as a pretty decent speller, but (though it might not be obvious from the excerpt above) I found loads of evidence to the contrary. I also didn't seem to have any grasp of a certain minor writing convention commonly known as "the paragraph."

2. I like that until I was in high school, I thought that for a diary to truly be a diary, every entry had to begin with "Dear Diary" and signed "Love, Michelle." And for some reason, I related to my diary like it was some kind of hyper-critic, and therefore felt compelled to apologize for my various offenses (i.e. messy handwriting, not writing in 3 days, etc.). Where did I get these ideas?

3. In spite of all its cringe-worthiness, it's somehow refreshing to read about my pre-adolescent concerns. And though I am glad that a good deal of the silliness is behind me, it's nice to remember... and know that I really was eleven once.

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