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Before I had a blog…

Written yesterday, when no internet was around, well not at my house anyway....

March 21, 2009

So this weekend the contractor guy was going to come by to work on my window and on Raye’s bedroom wall. I had to move things out of the way for him to work including my filing cabinet/nightstand. Well to move the filing cabinet, I needed to pull everything out of it. That wasn’t such a bad deal as it was a quick chore before hitting up the theatre to bartend Friday evening.

However, today, after the contractor was done and it was time to put my room back together, the contents of that cabinet took me on a trip down memory lane. The copies of Tablet seemed surprisingly like time capsules in and of themselves (“really copyright 2003?”). However what called to me more were the 10+ notebooks & journals from sophomore year in high school through college. I skimmed college years, laughing at how much I liked to use the big words and concepts from Freshman philosophy courses and such. It was fun to read forgotten funny quotes from the ongoing “quote book” of my life. Then I got back into the proper journals of mine from High School. It’s weird, looking at the dates and thinking, hmmm, what was going on in the life of Mir a decade ago? Apparently drama was what was going on. A lot of it. Drama written with the greatest weight and importance attached to it. Some scenes still hold a firm place in my memory, others I had completely forgotten about until this day.

Nostalgia is a beastly time waster. I had the whole day ahead of myself when I started that project. It was only about one in the afternoon. I was going to continue reading my Sarah Vowell book so I could lend it to someone at the theatre by next weekend. It’s been a clear day, I thought about taking a walk. I have a bunch of British comedy to watch. Instead I got balls deep in the past and it was like the next thing I knew I looked up at the clock and it was four in the afternoon! Even now, after I got all the blasted notebooks put safely out of sight back in the filing cabinet, I’m still musing on the world of long ago. What’s different? What’s strikingly similar? I mean if I’m going to spend three hours reading all that shit, I might as well make the most of it and come to a concluding “now what have we learned from this?”

Oh so many notebooks: Back row Journals from High school. Middle Notebooks from late High School -early College. Bottom row notebooks from college

I guess the thing that struck me first was how thorough of a journal writer I was, even back then. If you think my blog entries are long, ha! You should have seen these notebooks. Some entries went on for ten or more pages, complete with dialogue of important conversations, and careful reflections. The voice of journal writing was very similar, the spelling much worse (some words not even guessed at phonetically.) Actually, it made me kind of miss writing in an actual physical journal rather than an LJ because I had the liberty to be as verbose as I suppose I naturally am without having to feel like a pompous ass about it. I figured the more verbose the better because I wanted to save my life’s experiences for posterity’s sake, but for my eyes only.

Naturally, they are for my eyes only. Because, while everyone’s entitled to a pity party on their LJ every now and again, one tends to tone it down with the knowledge that they don’t want to bombard their friend’s Friends Page with gloom and doom. In the private notebook one is free to be a Glumey Gus as much as it feels necessary. So as a fat teenage girl with low self esteem, my journal was the Warhol’s Factory of personal “woe is me” pity parties. I tended to skip over those entries in my reading today, though. I remember the feeling, don’t need to revisit it.

The last thing that struck me about the writing itself was how fucking much of it there was. I don’t mean the journaling, now. I mean the shitty personal essays, shit angst-riddled poetry, short stories. Like I say, most of the writing was crap, not really worth anything in and of itself bet damn there was a lot of it. Notebooks filled to obesity and extra pages taped into the journals. I was a writing machine and so ambitious. Maybe it’s because I had more time back then, or that I’m just more specific these days, or I don’t know. Then, of course there was a lot of the drunken chicken scratches that I wrote under the influence of the booze I procured and hid under my bed and saved enough to make sure I was jolly well trollied. These hieroglyphics start out easy enough to decipher, (a precursor to the drunk type which is just not as impressive, Cathy’s infamous blog entry excluded.) until suddenly the page is just covered in scribbles. It’s as if an illiterate child pretending to write got a hold of the pages and went to town—though occasionally the odd “FUCK” pops out of the gibberish script. 

Obviously, I’ve changed in some ways and am the same in other ways. Ten years is no small chunk of change, at least not when I’m only this far in. The element in the writing that stuck me most was this deep emotional investment in my friends. I know that sounds stupid, everyone loves their friends, right? I know, but reading some of my old drama and tension between old friends it sounds so familiar with problems I’ve had in my world as a “grown up.” Perhaps it’s because in high school I was in a group of three tight girlfriends and am now in a group of four tight girlfriends again. Very different girls and different situations, of course, but the stresses, the basic obstacles, the intense love and devotion are all so familiar. In fact there were some instances in those old journals rang so similar to some things I’ve dealt with recently in the past six months or so, it makes me wonder is this just part of these kind of relationships, is this part of life, or is this just me? Psychologically, I can even see it back then, I think my deep down view of these really close-nit girl friendships is a kind of mini social contract. I adore you, I will do anything in my power to help you or make you happy if I can, I just got to know that you feel the same way about me. I realize that sounds rather overbearing for female BFFs. When I think about it I’m not that demanding with my very close male relationships or even my romantic relationships (though I only have the one to draw from.)

As for the close friends and the extended friends, in high school there was a tendency to put them all on a pedestal and enjoy them so much, with the underlying fear that one day they would wake up and realize that I wasn’t cool at all and tell me to fuck off. I think I grew out of the fear bit, because that fear doesn’t really work under adult circumstances. Some friends I don’t get to see for six months at a time or even more. People are busy leading their own lives. However, get them in a room together, like a birthday party or a game night or something I still have a tendency to take a step back and soak them in and think to myself these are the most awesome people ever. I’m so lucky to have them.

So there it is. It’s interesting to see which neuroses I have grown out of and which I’m still living with. Looking back at old relationships, how I felt about them and how I dealt with them, is rather enlightening when taking into account how I manage them today. I retract my earlier statement that nostalgia is a time wasting beast. Maybe taking a little trip to the past is a bit of soul searching endeavor and not a complete waste of time…

…so long as it’s done in moderation.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 23rd, 2009 12:57 am (UTC)
it's okay, you can put me on a pedestal ;) haha j/k

i have my journals from high school and i don't know that i will ever read them again.
Mar. 23rd, 2009 04:18 pm (UTC)
I'd advise reading 'em someday, or at least browsing through them. It's funny the stories that I had totally forgotten about, or that had changed in my mind over time. The fulfilling bit is that knowing you've grown or you're not that angsty any more or at least you're not angsty about such bullshit anymore. I don't know I found it it be quite interesting.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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