What a life I live! Those were words I started writing in my diary when I was thirteen. Sometimes it seemed sarcastic: other times, very hopeful.
Recently, I looked back in some old diaries I kept at age 13 and 14. I was quite innocent then, but man, did I ever write a lot about crushes I had on boys! Even in church and in the private church school. These diaries covered looking back at 1979 when Dad told me he and Mom had to work some things out, then skipped to me writing about the divorce happening, but NOTHING about my feelings. It covered the closing of my private school, starting at a public high school, the sale of my childhood house, moving to an apartment where I had to make new friends, and navigating the public school arena and seeing my dad maybe once yearly, yet my posts seemed mostly hopeful.
I didn’t express my feelings or opinions much, as if I feared someone would peek at my diary. Through all the changes, I never mentioned crying, except when Beth, a character in Little Women, died of a long term illness. My dad had given me the book, and I’d started reading it over that Christmas break when my brother and I went to visit him.
Never did I mention crying when my dad said they’d divorce if they couldn’t work it out, never when they divorced. I didn’t even write that day . My posts seemed like simple recountings of my days overall. I wrote a lot about boys when I was 14 too, as if I thought they would make my life better. I wrote funny stories about my friends and sounded like I responded to many things with the attitude of, “Oh well,” which seemed different than before. I mentioned getting ignored by a boy and feeling glum, then being cheered up by a friend or some other boy.
Man, was I shallow, or what? Even then, I was pondering being a writer…you have to start somewhere, I guess. Honestly, I think I didn’t express my feelings well until they hit me over the head. It seems I avoided my feelings a lot. Maybe I was afraid of them. Funny, I didn’t write much about my beliefs, just about my activities with church and youth group.
Well, I guess things have changed! I was disappointed with myself, though, because I can look back and remember the feelings I had. Maybe it just took me a little while to learn how to express them, even to my diary. Guess what? I lived through it all, every growth experience. What a life I live!