Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Junior High Diaries

I am now a woman who keeps a journal. Back when I was a young girl, I kept a diary. It's pretty much the same thing, only the word "journal" sounds slightly more mature than "diary". Like the diaries of yesteryears, my journals of today are loaded with self-doubt and worries that I may not be good enough.

Since getting word that an old Jr. High School crush of mine had died of an overdose, I decided to get out my old diary from about 8th or 9th grade when he had such an impact that his name appeared on that particular diary's COVER. He was sort of "Boy of the Year". His name was Chris. Hearing the sad news about him made me want to read my childhood memories of him.

I discovered he was actually one of about 1,000,000 crushes I had. It seemed the main criteria for becoming one of my crushes at that tender and awkward age was to show me the slightest bit of attention, but not too much. Once I had more regular contact with my crush, I lost interest. So even though I went to my diary hoping to read anything I had written about Chris, he only appeared in a few pages.

I called Kelly, my best friend back in those days, and fortunately still my best friend these days. We spent a couple of hours on the phone laughing our way through my diary. All sorts of memories came up. And as I read all my ramblings about everything from pressuring myself to trim weight off of my whopping 98lbs frame, to whether or not the boy I liked liked me back, to why Kelly and I were in a fight on that particular day, to how annoying my parents were, I was struck by how hard it was (and I'm sure, still is) being a teenage girl.

I'd say the bulk of my readings that day on the phone with Kelly were about our love triangle with a boy named Rick who was older than us. He could drive! (IF he'd had a car.) (But I'm not sure he even had parents.) He wasn't a student in school with us. He was instead, a construction worker. Neither of us remember how we met Rick, and the diary fails to reveal this curious bit of information. We also don't know what kind of lies we must have made up to our parents to be able to hang around these type of boys. But in our memories, and as documented in my diary, Rick was Kelly's boyfriend first. I had to hang around with his best friend, Jeff. (Who was my first kiss! Eww. And that first kiss story will be a whole different blog post, coming soon!) But in my diary I wrote daily about how I loved Rick, not Jeff and "Please God, let everyone change places." Well, I ended up "stealing" Rick away from Kelly. It's funny how I sort of glossed over how that might have hurt her. Instead I wrote of my bliss, and how I wished Kelly would just "get over it already".

Paybacks are hell, and Kelly ended up stealing Rick back from me eventually. My relationship with Rick was documented as lasting 3 weeks. I was heartbroken as my longest relationship with a boy up to that point suffered it's demise.

Kelly and I have spoken (and laughed) of the Rick Triangle often over our hundred year friendship. But as we read my diary, we were able to live it thru my 14-year-old perspective. I wish I could talk with my younger self and let her know some things I know now. I'd tell her not to worry about all these boys. And altho 3 weeks can feel long and serious, really, it isn't! She'll eventually meet the right man. Not only will she love him, but he'll love her back. Real grown up love. I'd tell her weighing 98 lbs. is really just fine and to stop obsessing over getting the scale down to 93. And I'd tell her that Rick Zuppa is going to be nothing more than a funny story, but Kelly is going to be her friend forever. But I know this little girl...and I know she wouldn't have listened anyway.

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