Monday 6 August 2012

Oh Dear Diary, We Fell Apart

They say every teenage girl, or person, even, should keep a diary or journal. A place to record your feelings and secrets, and let out your frustrations.

I started keeping a diary before my thirteenth birthday, and ended (so far) just after my fifteenth. I filled up two ring binded Paperchase notebooks. Those rings would become bended and twisted from being shoved in my schoolbag every day. Scrawls of red, pink, blue, black ink that changed colour with the yellow pages of my first notebook.

All my adolescent angst and turmoil was spent during my First and Second years of secondary school, when I was thirteen and fourteen. Some of that has been recorded here, if you're willing to look or have been around long enough. Those diaries were filled with the usual stuff, like 'why won't anyone be my friend? I can't be that unbearable' and 'I HATE THEM ALL THOSE SELFISH BITCHES'. I'm not quoting directly or anything, that's just the gist. Then there was more personal stuff, like 'I thought I was supposed to be smart, so why am I so bad at everything at school?' I wasn't that bad, really. Just terrible at maths, but the next year I would go from Honours to Ordinary, so happy ending there. But lots of people, a few with letters and initials after their names, had told me when I was in primary school that I was really clever, and then I didn't feel clever anymore. I didn't know what to think.

So there I was, pouring all my problems out into my diary, fulfilling the stereotype. People say that's a great way to look at your problems, out there on the page instead of all muddled up in your head. But after a while, I started to realise the opposite - as I wrote them down, my problems left my mind, and in doing so entered the real world. I could not deny them anymore, for they existed. It made them all the more terrifying and unsolvable, and made me all the more unhappier. I didn't like it.

I didn't mean to stop writing my diary, it was completely unintentional. During the Christmas holidays of my Third Year in school, a month after I turned fifteen, my school opened for about a week for girls doing exams to come in and study for a few hours a day. I went in and each day I would spend the bulk of my time studying and about an hour writing in my diary, but the diary-writing time grew day by day. I'd gotten news of a play I was going to be involved in, and I was so excited, but I had a plan. I wasn't going to just write it in my diary, I would print out the email I'd gotten and paste it in, for posterity! So each day I would hint at it, and agonise over leaving my friends, and become unbelievably excited.

I never stuck it in.

I'm glad I got over my angst back when I was younger, and that it didn't stick around. Of course I'm still worried and angry about things now, but only sometimes, and I know how to deal with it. I know that I have power. And people to talk to. Those days I only had friends outside of school, and while they're great and everything, they're not really that much use to you on a daily basis. (I DON'T MEAN THAT I LOVE YOU)  What I needed was friends in school, and for whatever reason, my own... I don't know what it was, or maybe I don't want to know, but I didn't have them. At the start of Fourth Year, which I finished back in June, I thought 'Okay, I don't need people anymore... but it'd be cool to have them.' I didn't need friends, I just wanted them. And they were there.

I think.

Those diaries are now in a box in the shed, which I refer to as the Archives in my head. Whenever I read them, which isn't very often, I feel sad. But that's only natural.

And sometimes I still want to write my feelings down, or what's happening, down on paper, where I can scrawl, and it only belongs to me. But I don't want to get back into the habit again. I want to leave it behind.

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