[A little bit of housekeeping: I’ll be turning on paid subscriptions in the next few weeks. If you’d like to pledge ahead of time, please do! If not, keep doing what you’re doing. I’ll make another announcement when we’re there.]
I just wrote a short essay on my history as a failed diarist/semi-successful Livejournaler over on my “About” page. You can check it out if you like, but I did want to draw the main feed’s attention to this gem—a scanned page of my childhood diary, complete with the redacted names of my childhood enemies.
I can’t decide if my favorite detail is the fact that I sign my full name, that I identify “horse/dolphin” as my favorite animal, that I have a favorite “eco setting,” or that there is not two days but rather one year and two days between the entries.
I have a very strange and fraught relationship with childhood documents like this; a mix, I think, of being a packrat, being exceptionally sentimental, and having a mother who was constantly threatening to throw away anything she thought I didn’t need. I managed to save this diary! And though it is a predictably humiliating text, it’s also sweet to see little Carmen practicing her listmaking so early. Like most people, I have always been myself.
This is a joke, I could not tell you one single thing about either of these girls. (Wait, I think one of them might have been a twin? I think.) But I did use their full names in my diary because I was a weird child.
Or the phrase “pressuring me with boys.” Or the fact that my favorite subject was health??? Or the saddest detail in the world about that sleepover followed by “other than that, I was fine.” Truly an impeccable document. One for the archives.
That’s an essay for another day.
My goodness does this look a lot like my own childhood journal entries. The lists! The LISTS!
I recently found a letter I wrote to myself in grade seven as part of a school assignment. It's very funny because it opens with a long missive about how war is obviously very stupid and hypocritical of adults, men should be allowed to express their emotions, and that true bravery is being honest about how you feel...followed by a list of My Enemies and Things I Hate.
Oh to be thirteen.
Bet now they wish they'd invited you!