I’ve been keeping a journal on and off since I was about 12 years old. It’s interesting, enlightening, and sometimes downright scary to read over old entries. It lets me see how far I’ve come.
The earliest journal still in my possession, which I believe was actually my second diary (I distinctly remember a small dated diary with a lock and key but I no longer have it) was a bright pink, Especially for Girls (TM) Diary. You knew it was especially for girls because a) it was a diary, b) it was bright pink, c) it was decorated with hearts and flowers, and d) it said so. It even came with silver rub-on letters that allowed me to put my name on the cover–so fancy!
I started this journal partway through 1986 and recorded my musings until I filled it midway through 1988. It was not a dated, daily journal (I was never good with those and ended up either leaving large sections blank or just crossing out the dates and writing my own), so wrote whenever I was moved to do so, which, at the time, usually involved thoughts about boys.
Boys, boys, boys!
I’d never really thought of myself as a particularly boy-crazy girl, but the evidence suggests otherwise.
Here I present for your entertainment, a selection of entry excerpts along with my present-day commentary. Sometimes, it’s just hilarious to believe I ever was this person.
January 9, 1987: I don’t know why I like A. I don’t think we have much in common, and sometimes he acts stupid. But I still like him. Oh well, that’s the way it goes.
That’s the way it goes? Yeah, I suppose it is when you’re 12. Thank goodness this eventually changes.
January 14, 1987: I don’t like A as much as I used to. I still like him a lot but not obsessively. I don’t know why, but I just don’t feel so crazy over him anymore. I still like him a lot, though.
It’s good to know I wasn’t obsessive or crazy. I just, you know, liked him a lot, in spite of the fact that we didn’t have much in common and he acted stupid. The heart wants what it wants.
January 17, 1987: I thought I didn’t like A so much anymore. I was wrong.
Ah, well, everyone makes mistakes from time to time.
February 6, 1987: I like M now. He’s been acting so nice to me lately. He’s pretty cute.
Wait, what happened to A? What changed here? Was I really so fickle?
May 2, 1987: I don’t know why I ever liked A. He’s such an asshole. He’s cute, but he’s an asshole. I still like M.
Look at little pottypen Liz calling A an asshole! Also, it seems I’d been smitten with M for a few months. Clearly this was serious business!
May 11, 1987: I can’t stop thinking about M. This is true love. I just know it.
Totally. Time to pick out dinnerware patterns.
June 10, 1987: How will I survive the whole summer without seeing M? I love him so much.
I’m still here! I’m a survivor. In fact, I pretty much forgot about M as there is no mention of him again after June. Hmm, so much for that being true love.
October 23, 1987: I’m kind of starting to like A again. He seems to like me.
Now hang on a second, do I like him again just because he seems to like me? Is he still acting stupid? Is he still an asshole? I need more information to properly assess this situation.
January 15, 1988: I’m going to L’s tomorrow, and T will probably be there. God, he is cute. I’m going to wear my miniskirt and do lots of leg lifts. I want to look good in case he is there.
It was, of course, an acid-washed denim miniskirt. Apparently T either did not show up or was not taken in by my feminine wiles because there is little mention of him after this entry.
January 30, 1988: I don’t like A anymore. I’ve just about given up on guys in my class.
I can understand that. I mean, tweenage boys are so immature and can’t make up their minds about anything, as opposed to tweenage girls, which are…oh, exactly the same.
March 8, 1988: I’m kind of beginning to like J. It’s really weird. I don’t really know him, but I find myself thinking about him all the time. He’s really cute and seems nice.
I suppose that’s better than “He’s completely homely and seems like a real jerk.”
March 23, 1988: I don’t like J. All of the sudden, he just doesn’t seem that cute. I like A. Yes, again.
Spoiler alert. I never actually dated any of these boys. However, the relationships in my head and on the pages of my journal were clearly intense. I mean, just look at the stickers, and I also used more of the silver rub-on letters.
I am so thankful that we don’t stay adolescents forever.