Reelin’ In the Years

My mom keeps everything. Everything. She insisted I take every diary I ever kept down to Chicago with me this summer instead of tossing them into the nearest recycling bin.

These diaries stretch from age 7 to age 26. Here’s an entry from the Ramona Quimby-branded diary on January 13, 1987:

Dear Ramona,
How are you doing? My Uncle Ron is coming tonight. I had a great day in school. Well, I wanted to get ahead. I hope you understand. Here is a story of romance. It’s a short story too.

How I got to be an author, by Tori (my maiden name). I wanted a boy friend. Then I will write a book about him. I did.

Funny how those themes of writing and the opposite sex carried on through my diaries. I won’t be sharing any other entries, however. I was much too rough on myself. My personal diaries, until very recently, were a litany of “I’M SO FAT! I’M SO STUPID OH GOD I SHOULD GIVE UP NOW NO ONE WILL EVER LOVE MEEEEEE!!!!!!!”

I just want to give that little girl and that young woman a big hug. She didn’t know that she was enough. She didn’t listen to the people who told her that, either. She believed the haters, because many of them happened to be folks whom you were supposed to listen to.

She wasted a lot of time worrying instead of doing. 31-year-old me would love to have that youth back. I remember the younger me having fun, but I remember her often being bored, or angry, or sad, or scared. She didn’t have to live that way, and I’m just realizing this now.

So the rest of the diaries are going in the trash. Who wants to remember “OH MY GOD I AM SUCH A LOSER!!!”? Not I! Hopefully no one will find them and make them into an art project. That would be just my luck.

(Photo by Aymoide on Flickr.)

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