I’m convinced no one should EVER throw out their teenage journals. They’re literary time capsules of poor choices, adolescent emotions and slang that marked a generation.
Uncovering my long lost journals from high school, and even my overseas gap years, was both hilarious and insightful.
Which boy *gasps* met my eye in chapel and totes held it for, like, at least three seconds…
How the heck Claire managed to see the new Jonas Brothers video BEFORE ME when I’m the one who has a Google alert on them and a poster on the back of MY wardrobe…
The running commentary on my turbulent relationships with everyone and anyone, from the ‘mega hot’ P.E. teacher to my stepmum, who needed to “take a chill pill BIG TIME” when it came to cleaning my room…
They’re pure gold, and some of my finest work.
It’s been said a child’s perspective can often be the truest and unbiased view of the world. But from what I read in my journals, it’s a young woman’s perspective that’s the most brutal.
Basic teenage girl language and celebrity obsessions aside, the pages of these journals contain a worrying pattern of heartbreakingly negative self-talk and discontentment. Having re-read them now in my mid-20s, it makes me sad for my teenage self and protective of the young girl who was so clearly influenced by what everyone else was doing and thinking.
Listen: Why we need more realistic images on social media. (Post continues after audio.)
A bit of context: was I the most popular girl in high school, with the most friends and the most party invitations? No.
But was I without my regular gang of girlfriends every recess and lunch by the oval, and after school watching the year 12 boy’s footy practice? Never.
I may not have received the most attention from my male classmates, but I did have a high school boyfriend (who I ran away from when he asked if I wanted to go out with him).
Based on what ‘matters’ in high school, I was pretty on par with average. Braces, baaaad cowlicks and a bit on the chubbier side, I was very much middle of the road, firmly lumped in with the majority of my peers.
But as a young woman, I was witty and cheeky, with a sassy streak, an intelligent mind capable of forming opinions and a love of making people laugh. I loved playing netball, doing musicals, watching movies and loitering at the local shopping centre after school.
So why was I so discontent with my life, when I had so much going for me and to look forward to in the future?