Tag Archives: when we were young

The Joy (and dread) of Keeping Diaries


Like many young girls, I started keeping diaries as soon as I could form sentences. At age 15 I decided anything I had ever written previously in a diary was much too embarrassing to exist and tore them up. While all of my diaries since have been equally embarrassing, I’m glad the same destructive impulse hasn’t come over me. There is so much humor in our younger selves. In hindsight, the problems that felt unbearable – “does so and so like me?” –  are endearing and a little insignificant. It makes me sad too, to look back on myself when I was feeling self-conscious, was too attached to certain boys, and made enemies of girls in school.

My birthday is on Saturday and now that I’m getting older I am happy to have these keepsakes. I can look through pages from an old diary and be right back in those places, remembering the sights, sounds and smells as they were.

I hope you will get some enjoyment out of reading these excerpts of my personal “archive” of diaries. I wish I could share the most embarrassing entries with you, but there is part of me that wants to keep those secrets and be a loyal friend to my former self. Besides, these snippets are cringeworthy enough for me.

On friendship:

Diary List

On boredom:


On teacher crushes:

Diary Entry

On office jobs:

Diary Entry

And random doodles:

Diary Drawing

P.S. Back in 2012, Flavorwire posted these images of the journals and notebooks of famous actors, authors and artists. Check out Marilyn Monroe’s penmanship and David Foster Wallace’s use of smiley face stickers.

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