picking myself up

Dear diary,

Another day has gone by, and I’ve been overlooked yet again.

When she grabbed for me a couple of days ago, I nearly burst at the seams from excitement. But then I nearly burst at the seams when she tried me on. I guess I don’t quite fit the way I used to. Maybe I shrank in the wash. She just tossed me aside, half-way inside out. I felt so exposed.

My mother used to say “you’ll be put on one leg at a time just like everybody else.” But I always thought I could do better than that. These days, I’d settle for just being worn on one leg. Or at least to be folded up in a drawer with some dignity.

Some days, I wish I could just pick myself up off the floor.

So the Monday Mission for this week was to write a post in the style of a diary entry.

I used to keep journals. I wrote really often when I was 17 through 20. I still have all those books, lined up on a bookshelf next to my bed. I don’t really look at them, and certainly never read them. I largely forget their existence. But for the assignment I thought “wouldn’t it be funny to post a real journal entry?” So I went and had a look last night. I picked up a few of the journals, and flipped through them, looking for something entertaining. I tell you, I am slightly scarred from the experience. At 17, I was insecure about my looks and my self-worth, wasting time and energy dieting and suffering from unrequited affections. And I took myself way, way too seriously.

I can say that, without doubt, I like myself much more than I did back then. I wouldn’t go back for anything. I’ll take 37 over 17 any day.

21 thoughts on “picking myself up

  1. very good!

    one reason I never kept journals is that my handwriting is atrocious. I could never stand to look at what I had written, never mind read it.

  2. The teen years sure are something when you take backwards glance at them.

    Pants! Of course. You are the voice of pants for this generation. ;)

  3. I think the poor things should be allowed to have an ongoing voice. Do they ever make the laundry? The hangar? Your haunches? Ah, suspense!
    I burned my teen diaries, written in turquoise ink with lots of underlined words. I may have been channelling Queen Victoria. Ooow.

  4. I’ve destroyed my diaries from adolescence but I look back at photos from when I thought I was fat or ugly or whatever and think Oh. My. God. I was tiny and I should’ve made the most of it! I think I’m glad I don’t have my morose poetry to remind me of my own idiocy.

  5. I was always pretty sporadic about keeping a diary, and then, like you, when I reread entries foun that I was taking myself way to seriously. Now I have a blog, which (as you know) is basically my online secret personal diary. And yeah, I still think I take yself too seriously…

  6. not only are you more confident and all, but you’re darn funny! PANTS! love it!

    I waffle between burning my old diaries and holding on to them to help me understand MQ a bit better as she ages. all my diary stuff from middles school is boy angst.

  7. fleebob434-
    I’m glad you like my pants! I can almost guarantee that there will be more pants in the future.

    I’m thinking that my own journals need to go out of sight, too. I actually like them as physical objects, but I’m mortified at the idea of anyone reading them. Including myself.

    I’m glad you enjoyed my pants! Thanks for visiting.

    I actually have quite nice penmanship. It’s one of the few aspects of my journals that doesn’t leave me with a burning sense of shame.

    It always amazes me to think that anyone would want to relive the teen years.

    You burned your diaries? Huh. Much as I hate mine, I can’t doing them in so permanently. (And mine are in a nice blue fountain pen ink.) As for the pants, perhaps they will find themselves on the butt of a pilot, and thus make their way into a hangar.

    So you also destroyed your journals? That is perhaps wise. Still, I can’t do it.

    Blogging has actually been very different for me. I think largely because I’m writing publicly. (I’m pretty identifiable by my name, which really does filter the sorts of things I post.) (And for what it’s worth, I don’t think you take yourself too seriously!)

    You said crack! Ha! Who knows how long it will take me to fully plumb the depths of pants humor?

    Mme. Meow-
    If only we could get some of that wasted energy back.

    Interesting to have them in the abstract, but remarkably tedious to read in practice. The refrain of “he didn’t call” can get rather wearying.

    Isn’t it frightening to realize that someday we will have angst-ridden teenagers living in our very own homes?

  8. I was just reading my old journal from med school last night…for fun. I’m fascinated by the conflicted, immature ramblings of young me. Fascinated.

    I’m also very glad to be me now, not then. Reading about it helps remind me.

  9. az-
    “At age 17? How unusual. :P”
    Yes, shocking, isn’t it?


    Fascinated sounds better than mortified. Glad you’re glad you’re you now, too, though.

  10. Oh, so true about not going back to 17. When I first started teaching high school, I was 27. One of my students once asked (in a tone that was adorably, heartbreakingly wistful), “Don’t you miss being in high school?” I laughed out loud. Go back to the misery of being a teenager? Hardly.

  11. I have all my old journals. I still keep a journal, but it’s been neglected for a long while in favor of the blog.

    I didn’t like myself much when I was younger, either.

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