We all had them. We all snuck into siblings' rooms and read them. We cherished them...
I was at my parents' place recently, and came upon my very own horde of poorly written journals. Filled with spelling errors and angst...and I'd like to share them with you.
We find ourselves in 1992:
Things seem sweet and wholesome...but lurking just below the teddy bears are horrible spelling mistakes, illustrations that imply difficulty with hand-eye coordination, and rage over snowpants...!
|I got a keyboard...note the hyper-realistic keyboard drawing....?|
"I hate Lisa. She takes a hyper-spaz just because I don't wear my snowpants. She is mental"
Is she the "mental" one Claire? Look at your smarmy smirk and cauliflower hand...also, you might be dyslexic.
We move forward into the month of May. I got my ponytail chopped off into a super cool short hair cut. Maurice Cody Public School was not ready to handle the super chic coolness on my head...
May 25, Tuesday, 1993"I got a hair cut. I like it. But people teased me. I did not like it. I felt like kicking their ass! But I did not. Too bad."Note the self portrait, complete with post-modern comic book speech bubble saying "Bum", accusing the viewer of participating in the judgement of the hair cut...you did, didn't you...Bum.
We jump forward once again to the day I started learning cursive writing. Feeling very proud of my new skills, I decided to employ them in my diary entry... After several failed attempts to remember how to form the letters, I concluded...NOTHING HAPPENED. (in printing).
Claire, what happened? SOMEthing must have happened. You were going to write about it with your fancy new writing skills...did you get a Lik-M-Aid package?!
- Ryan has stopped being a pig
- Mrs. Bee is in a wheelchair
- The school caught on fire
- ...and I play hockey.
No time to stop! Teddy Bears are OUT. Super cool blue wrapping paper with newts and bugs is IN!
My diary now has a name...Midnight. Which is coincidentally the name of my cat. I am ashamed of my lack of imagination...or maybe of my fixation with cats (...no. I'm not ashamed of that)
My taste in films has been solidified. Dumb and Dumber IS (one of) the best movies ever. High five little Claire!
Pogs are now IN. Apparently I have 42 of them. I glue one into the diary to illustrate their awesomeness, but second guess myself and remove it...the glue remains.
1997. Tragedy strikes. My pet snake, Slither has died. I am reminded of how fucking awful pet snakes are.
Over the next year the entries focus on how much I am being bullied at school. I begin to hyper-focus on who my friends are. Listing in each entry those people who are definitely my friends. I do not talk about the good things that happen to me. I know there were good times, but mostly I have focused on being isolated, lost, confused, and angry...oh, so angry.
I feel that under great abuse and stress, we break into two types of people:
- Those who get sad, and ask "What have I done to deserve this?!"
- Those who get angry, and say "I don't deserve this. Fuck you."
I fall into the second category, and the diary entries reflect that. Filled with angry rants at other children (who seemed very grown up at the time), who felt that I was worth less than them because I liked Star Trek, reading, and The X-Files... At 27 years old, I stand by my interests. Picard is fucking awesome and will go all diplomacy on your ass...and if that doesn't work, he knows judo and has photon torpedoes. BAM.
From 1997 to 1999, it appears that I hate school, my teachers, get more bad grades than I should, and that I am the most picked-on kid at school.
...There is a break in the entries for almost 3 years.
I looked over all the sad scribblings of a little kid with no friends, and felt disconnected, until I saw this this final entry from 2001:
"Ummm... yeah. I kinda lost you for 2 years... sorry.
I'm going into grade 11, and I've had an 85% average since grade 9. I've been to many concerts, read many books, made dozens of friends, had many parties, chosen my future career, gotten a new computer, built a shed in the backyard where I sleep, had a boyfriend, had crushes, been crushed on, made the high school hockey team, made fun of Mr. Bloch, played in the school band, taken up two new instruments (bass, and guitar), joined 2 bands, written bad poetry, watched many movies, met several actors, chosen a new favourite movie, and travelled to new countries. I'm taking a workshop on film and making cheesy movies.
I'm finally happy!
...I may have gotten a little weepy.
I got so used to teachers and adults telling me that being unhappy and picked on was normal, that being unhappy BECAME normal. And then...magic. Somehow between the ages of 14 and 16 things got better. Maybe my high school was big enough for me to find friends? Maybe I got cool? Maybe the bullies grew up? Who knows, I guess all that matters is that I am truly, honestly, and definitely: