I’ve kept a journal off and on since the early 90s. Sophomore year of high school through senior year, and then all during my mission, and then again since the mid-2000s. (I still write every day, though the entries aren’t always stellar. I consider this blog to be a journal of sorts as well, and these entries are obviously much more robust.)
But Tomas is at the point now where he’s almost as old as I was when I started my journal, which gives me a unique opportunity: to reread my entries from back then and remember just who I was at the time and how I thought. I hadn’t picked up my high school journal since . . . high school, probably. I thought I remembered just how I behaved and what sort of a person I was back then.
I was wrong.
For one thing, high school me was full of pretty strong mood swings. In my head, I’ve always considered myself to be pretty even, but one entry will be all about how angry I am at a friend, and then two days later we’re best friends again. Obviously, a lot of this centered around girls. Wanting them to like me. Trying to figure out how to interact with them and not make an idiot of myself. This was only made more complicated by the fact that most of my best friends were girls. I always got along well with them, but in some cases it was the age old “How can I get her to like me not as a friend but as a boyfriend?” dilemma.
I also really disliked Social Studies, I guess. Judging by how often I singled out my resentment for having to do homework in that class.
In my head, I was always a diligent student. In my journal, I got a D on an Algebra test and didn’t really seem to care that much. I squeaked by with an A- in the class, and that was only by doing every shred of extra credit I could get my grubby paws on.
I was much more judgmental than I am today, willing to assume the worst in some people for the simplest of reasons.
It’s so strange to read the entries again now. In some cases, I can remember actually writing them, almost down to the feel of the paper under my pen as I was scribbling. In others, I stare at the words and swear someone must have added them when I wasn’t looking. I have no recollection of things that happened at all.
It’s been helpful to me to read the journal, though. And I even loaned it to Tomas, on the off chance he might find it interesting. At the very least, I hope it might prove to him that I’m not making things up when I say I remember what he’s going through, and that I went through similar things myself. Then again, if he reads them carefully, he might be able to throw some of the things I did back in my face, or call me out for some hypocrisy.
Fair game, I say. I was just a fifteen year old kid trying to get through life, the same as he’ll be next year.
Did any of you keep journals in high school? Do you ever revisit them?
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