Find your authentic self. I’m working on my second book and my editor Faye gave me this assignment. I figured I’d start with the past. I dug out an old storage box that housed some of my favorite memories. It had only been opened once or twice in nearly three decades. I came across a tattered spiral bound notebook with my old familiar handwriting. When did I change the way I write? Better question, did I used to write? I don’t remember writing. It must be someone else’s notebook.
Sure enough, after reading through a few entries, it I discovered it was me. I still have the same writing style and random thoughts I have today. Also, needed an editor back then. That hasn’t changed. I laughed the entire way through it. It looks long but it’s a quick read.
I’m sharing it for a couple of reasons.
- Most of it is written in pencil which is fading. I wanted to preserve it.
- I wanted to share with my former classmates. Maybe some of the names will bring them a smile.
- I thought maybe it could help those who have teenagers. Maybe it would remind them how hard it is to be a teenager and hear the things important to them at this age.
- If you knew me back then, it may be fun to hear your name in one of the entries.
- Maybe this will inspire you to open up one of your old boxes. Maybe…you will find something out about yourself that you’ve lost along the way.
Enjoy, it was fun hearing some old song lyrics and mention of old movies!
9/8 This weekend was alright, I guess. I went to my cousin’s wedding. It was pretty boring. The person I like didn’t even look at me today. I think he likes someone else but oh well. I had a lot of homework this weekend and I spent my day off doing it. I did watch some TV programs that wanted to. My stomach doesn’t really feel that great, but I think I’ll make it. I can’t wait until lunch I’m so hungry. I’m sitting with Sam today because Darlene isn’t here. Well, gotta go.
9/9 There isn’t much to say today except Darlene isn’t here again so me and Lori are sitting with Sam at lunch. I went to the dentist yesterday even though I didn’t know I was. I’m in a good mood because I have study hall last and no more health this week. We have so much homework in History, I’ll never get it done. I’m also making a real fool out of myself by not knowing the questions in History. I’m so HOT. I’ve got a sweatshirt on with a shirt under it.
9/10 Today was pretty good, except for History. I HATE it. Corie asked me to come to her house Friday night so I’m going to call her tonight. We have a big test in History & Science tomorrow. So, I guess I won’t be doing much tonight. I don’t have much to say except I’m really hot. Wonder what I got on my Spelling test, probably not very high.
9/11 Today’s going alright. After school I’m going to Corie’s basketball game and after that I’m going home with her and were going to the football game. The History test was so hard. I know I failed it. I got a 95 on my Spelling test. I spelled immigrants immigrands. I have shop next and I’m sick of doing measurements. I wish we would just start making something. Better go, my finger is turning purple on my pointer finger. I have a hang nail right where my pencil goes.
9/14 I’m in a good mood today. Friday at the football game I walked around with Sam because Corie walked with Kelli. I had a good time. Meghan was baptized yesterday, and we went down to the party. I helped keep score at Corie’s basketball game. It was pretty easy. I can’t believe it Denise’s shower in like three weeks.
9/15 Today is pretty good but hopefully tomorrow is better because I have study hall. The calendar party is tonight and Mom’s jello hasn’t hardened. Samantha said they were laying on the floor in challenge class, but I have no idea why. Nothing else to say but I think he likes me.
9/16 Today is so boring I can’t stand it. I can’t wait till lunch because my bellies growling like you wouldn’t believe. I do have to study for my Spelling test, I forgot all about it. I better start remembering things or my Mom’s going to start saying I need a senile pill. You should have seen my Mom and Cheech last night. I could have died laughing. I was so embarrassed.
9/17 Today was so boring. The person I like hardly even looked at me. I failed my Science quiz and the English that is due this period isn’t started. I guess I better get started. I’m so hot and I can’t stand it.
9/18 Mrs. Dodson isn’t here today so today we have Mrs. Summerhill. I got a 100 in History. I was the only one, that’s a first…and last. Today is Friday. The last day. Thank God. I have to babysit the Dixson kids tomorrow night on if Brenda’s coming home. Which I doubt she will go. Oh, the football game wasn’t finished so nobody one.
9/21 I just turned in my English and I can see her reading it. She doesn’t have a smile on her face. Oh well, at least I tried. On my map in History I got 10/10. There was a possible 2 extra points but I didn’t get them. I’m so mad my hair keeps coming out onto my shirt. I have to go to the bathroom so bad. I hope she’s in a good mood today because she is my partner in shop and we are sawing wood. Ha Ha just kidding. Have to go…so hungry.
9/22 Today is going so bad. I have over five books to carry and my arms are about to break. There is not much to tell but I feel sorta sick in the stomach. I guess it’s because I’m so hungry. We didn’t cut in shop yesterday. We just learned how to use the machines. We have a safety test today on them and we have to get 100 on it. I know I’ll miss at least one.
9/23 I’m not having a good day today either. We just had a History test and I studied the wrong thing. If I fail it, I bet I will be getting a progress letter. I do pretty good except for the big tests. Maybe it’s better if I don’t study. I have study hall today and I’m not excited because he doesn’t sit behind me anymore. Oh, I passed both of my safety tests to I guess I can start my cutting board.
9/24 In reading we took a vocabulary test. Pretty easy considering I didn’t study. Then in gym after we ran for four minutes, we jumped rope all period. I was so hot and to top it all off I had to put my sweater on after. We had a history test and it was pretty easy. I’m not going to say anything else about him if he likes me, he can tell me otherwise, I’m not gonna worry about it.
9/25 Today is pretty good but I’m not going to the football game because me, my Mom, Sandy and Denise are going out to eat and then Drew and Dad are going to get their tuxes fitted for the wedding. I got a 90 on my Spelling test but it’s a B instead of an A because of Mrs. Dodson’s stupid grading scale. Mr. Begolly made us spell words on the Spelling test, and I mixed up the spectrum.
9/28 Today is so boring. Kelli asked him if he liked me at the game and he said “no”. Oh well to top it all off we have shop next and I think he likes her.
9/29 Denise’s shower is Sunday and the favors are so cute. I can’t sit down today because my skirt is too short. It’s not too bad when I’m standing up. I have piano lessons tonight. I’m not in the mood.
9/30 Valerie filled my knowledge in this morning by telling me some members of the basketball team were using some extremely harsh words to the members of the other team.
10/1 Today is cold. Lori wore her winter coat and was so embarrassed. Diana is going to be my partner in shop. Not much else to say except I hate school. Christy fell down the stairs.
10/2 odayta sia orisca irthdayba ndaa odayto sia indaka oringba. Orila sia oringga ota eadra yma ournalja hatsta hywa ima rightingwa hista aywa.
10/5 Friday, Sam and Lori read my journal & I read theirs. Yesterday was Denise’s shower. I feel sorta sick and I’m freezing. I have Denise’s short sleeve shirt on, and it has a little hole in the back, so I have my jacket on but I’m still cold. Norma Jean had the twin’s dresses yesterday and they were so cute. The twins were singing in the microphone at the shower while everyone was eating. They were so funny. They were singing “I’m a nut”, “Take me out to the ballgame” and their ABC’s.
10/6 Nothing to wear today. I was going to wear my pink sweater, but my mom wanted to wash it first because it smelled like basement. I’m so hungry.
10/8 I didn’t write yesterday because I was studying. Yesterday was exactly one month until Denise’s wedding. I didn’t dress for gym today because I had shorts and I would be to cold.
10/9 Me, my mom, Denise and DeDe are going to Mickey’s this weekend. Sam asked someone if he liked her and he said yes. I’m not hot or cold today, I’m just right. I beat my time in the shuttle run.
10/13 I just failed my History test. We went to Mickey’s this weekend and watched TV for 14 hours. I feel sick.
10/14 Didn’t write nothing.
10/15 Today’s kinda chilly. My sweatpants kept falling down in gym. I got my popular song book for the piano and I’m playing “Glory of Love”, it doesn’t sound too bad. I get my gown fitted tomorrow for the wedding. I’m also getting something to get my picture taken in.
10/16 Yesterday I was talking to Lori on the phone and I hung the phone down to the new room and started to play the piano and when I came back her Mom was on the phone. I’m going to shoot her. I threw Sam a note today. I had it in pig Latin and I had to tell her how to read it. Then Amy started to read it out loud and I told her to stop (kiddingly). Then Bill B and Boyd started to read it over Sam’s shoulder.
10/19 Today is picture day and I forgot the money. I got it taken anyway. I just have to bring the money in tomorrow. My sides look so stupid. Sam and Lori are coming over to my house after the dance. I got my gown fitted Saturday and it cost $18 just to get it hemmed and to take the sides in. I have to blow my nose. I wonder what were doing in shop today. I’m way behind. Me and Amy are just starting our rails. Darlene was absent quite a few days and already past me up. I hate History again. I never know the answers.
10/20 I hate History again.
10/21 Yesterday at piano lessons there had to be at least 15 people in the room, and they were all talking. It was so hard. I got this one song perfect at home and when I got there, I couldn’t get a not right. But I’ll do better next week.
10/22 Sandy brought my shoes home yesterday and they fit pretty good. I’m tired and have to go to the bathroom bad. Got a stupid C on my Spelling test.
10/23 Tonight is the dance. Sam is getting off the bus with me and we are never gonna make it up the hill. She brought two bags a purse and three books. I have my gym clothes, two books or maybe even three. Lori is coming over after she is ready. We are having Fox’s pizza..mmmm. Not much to say but my butt hurts. Just kidding.
10/26 At the dance on Friday I danced with Marc. It is so cold in here almost everybody has on their jackets. I think the heaters aren’t working. When Sam and Lori came over Friday, I was getting the pizza out of the oven. I burnt my thumb because the hot pad had a hole in it, now I have a blister.
10/27 Sam, Lori and Darlene wore a dress today. I forgot. I also missed the bus. Not having a good day. I’m so hungry. I’m on my rails in shop. I’m nowhere near finished.
10/28 I got a 100 on my Spelling and I couldn’t spell one word right this morning.
10/29 Lynne and Cheech were supposed to pick up my gown today. Denise is getting her gown today. She is taking all of their stuff out to Ohio on Tuesday, so she has to sleep in my room. Sam is going to Amy’s with me on Saturday. Mrs. Dodson is checking our journals on Monday. I wrote my poem for Reading on the bus and Kelli and Lori were making fun of it. It’s ok, Sam, Darlene and Valerie didn’t laugh. I don’t like him anymore, definitely. We didn’t do anything in Gym. I hate it when we just stand around. I didn’t do my Algebra last night because I really didn’t understand it.
10/30 I’m in Study Hall right now and I feel like an idiot. My hair looks so stupid. Sam was supposed to bring Lori her miniskirt but forgot it, so Lori has on a long skirt. I have gym next and I’ll feel like such a sped cause I have a clip in my hair. … I’m back, my hair keeps falling out and I can’t wait until I get home so I can wash it. I got my gown last night but it’s still a little long.
11/2 Me and Sam went to Amy’s party on Saturday. It was pretty fun. They were playing truth or dare, and Matt A. put a dish on his head and was singing a rap and it fell of his head and broke all over the place. It was so funny. I was late getting up today, so my hair looks stupid. I got something on my shirt, so I have my jacket on. I keep dropping things. I like someone new.
11/3 Denise threw up this morning. She is on her way to Ohio. I feel so stupid. I was supposed to read in History today and I started to read the wrong paragraph. Mr. Toland started and kept saying this foreign word and everybody was laughing at me. I felt like dying. (Take out the papers and the trash…cause there ain’t no coming back.)
11/4 It is the next day, but I have so write something so it doesn’t look like I didn’t so I have to write something because I didn’t so chow.
11/5 I’m going with Matt again. It happened in Algebra. Amy fixed it. I’m not coming to school tomorrow. Shh..don’t tell. My Mom says if I help clean I don’t have to. We are going to the hall to decorate tonight and tomorrow is dress rehearsal. Got to go, we have to write compositions again today and I hate that.
11/10 Denise and Mick got us pearls. My partner was shorter than me and he liked Alissa. It was pretty fun. We got it videotaped and watched it on Sunday. It was so funny. I went to Joan’s last night and watched “Hot Child in the City”. I didn’t get to finish it because my Mom came. She is bringing it to Mom today so I can finish it.
11/12 I didn’t have a partner in Gym today because Amy wasn’t here, so I got Bill.
11/13 Today is Friday the 13th. Kelli called me last night and asked me to go to her house. ___ is sitting over there picking his teeth with three fingers. YUK.
11/16 Today I was cold all morning but now I’m hot. We have o go to our lockers next that means we have to take our lunched to shop….YUK.
11/17 Sam wrote a note to me in History and Mr. Toland made her throw it away. He’ll probably read it. My throat is sore. I don’t feel organized today. My bookbag is a mess and I don’t feel like I have anything done right. YUK, I just tasked Ginger’s mouth stuff and wow…YUK. Well, gotta go organize my bookbag.
11/18 Didn’t write yesterday so today isn’t today it’s tomorrow.
11/19 Just took a History test and it was soooooo hard. I didn’t know one thing at all and I’m being serious. I need to blow my nose now. Denise called yesterday. She got a job. I babysat yesterday and I got $10.
11/20 Today is the dance and its snowing out. My Mom said she won’t take us if its snowing hard. Denise is coming home Thursday. I’m taking me, Lori, Sam, Melanie, DeDe and my Mom to the Dance (if we go). It’s going to be so crowded. Sam’s Mom is picking us up in their van and she said there’s no heat in the back. Great, we will all be freezing.
11/23 Yesterday was Sandy & Drew’s Anniversary, so they came down. Friday was the dance and I had a good time. Lori danced with Mark to a fast song. Sam and I were dying. On Saturday me, Sam and Lori went shopping. Lori got sick. Shawn went to the dance with us because he didn’t have a way.
11/24 Mrs. Bowman and Mr. Toland gave us all period to read, now that’s boring. Diana is so stupid. I just wrote that because she was reading this and making fun of all my so’s. So, I just decided to write that. So, I guess I’ll be seeing ya. So, talk to you later.
12/1 Only 24 more days until Christmas. I babysat on Friday and got $15 I’m going tomorrow too so that should be about $20.
12/2 Matt broke up with me yesterday. I’m so mad. Well I got a 45 out of 60 in History whatever that is. Gotta go Mrs. Dodson is having a spaz attack.
12/3 Me, Sam, Lori, and Wendi are going to the dance at the church tomorrow.
12/4 Last night my Mom had card club. I felt sick. Not much more to say but I have a butt. No just kidding. I mean no, I have a butt I was just being silly.
12/7 Me, Sam and Lori went to the dance on Friday night. We met Wendi there. We had a good time. I danced with Danny and he called me last night. He is really cute. He plays basketball and is real tall. He has dark hair and a deep voice. He’s soooo cute. Sam’s old boyfriend was there, and he kept following her around.
12/8 Not much to say but I wore a dress (blue/green one) and I’m having trouble getting up and down the stairs.
12/10 Today is the last day of school this week cause Friday is an in service day. So, I guess I’ll be home all day tomorrow. At least I’ll get to watch Days. Oh, I almost forgot, me and Darlene worked at the bookfair today, it was pretty fun. A lot of people were down there, and it was busy.
12/17 Two of my friends are secretly mad at each other and I’m not in a good mood because I’m starving. Gimme some food. Sunday is the Christmas Program and Saturday is practice. I just know I’ll mess up.
12/18 One week till Christmas. Loris isn’t here again today. I’ll have to call her and see what’s wrong with that women. She has to be really sick because her Mom wouldn’t let her stay home two days in a row. I hope Denise and Mick come home for Christmas. I went down to shop today because I only have about another day or two sanding then I can stain.
12/21 Today I stained my wood. There are a couple of white spots, but it looks pretty good. Denise and Mick are coming home Thursday morning! Last night was the Christmas program. I was the elf and I had two scriptures and played the piano. I came in late though and everybody was waiting. The family I babysit for gave me a heart jewelry box with M&M’s inside.
12/22 Today is the last day of classes, thank God!
1/4 My stomach sorta hurts. I’m going with Marc now. Me and Lori went to Shawn’s party on Tuesday. I went to the Sheraton for New Years and when we came home Sandy and Drew had been robbed. Yuck, I feel like I’m going to puke.
1/5 I’m really not having a good day. I feel sick. Sandy and Drew got a dog last night. It’s a Siberian Husky. They named it Sheba. I took my cutting board home with me.
1/6 I had piano lessons and got a song I can hardly even play with one hand let alone two.
1/8 Not much to say today cuz today aint today it’s Friday. But really, it’s Monday so bye.
1/11 Sandy chaperoned our dance on Friday. It was boring at first but then got better. Sheba was at our house all weekend.” you never close your eyes anymore when I kiss your lips…”
1/12 “A love you don’t find everyday…you’ve lost…” I wore my outfit from Christmas Eve and I’m so embarrassed.
1/15 My hair looks so special. Ugh Sandy and Drew are going away so I get the dog tonight. Me, Sam, and Lori might go see “For Keeps” on Sunday.
1/20 We are in the new high school now so I’m writing with purple pen because there are no pencil sharpeners anywhere and my pencil is so dull. We did go see “For Keeps” on Saturday and then stayed and shopped for a while. The movie was pretty good. There were guys chasing us and all that crap. Lori had a big Kmart bag it was so funny. I had piano lessons and I messed up real bad because I had a headache. Me and Lori are in chorus now and on Tuesday when we were doing warmups everybody sounded like they were dying and me and Lori couldn’t take it anymore. None of us can take it anymore.
1/22 Today I’m in a good mood and Sam is in a bad mood. She is against something and Matt is not. Oh well. Going to Denise and Micks tonight. We are going bowling tomorrow night. Can you believe my Dad is going to bowl? I wrapped Denise’s cutting board (the one that I made) for her birthday cuz we won’t see her for it. I got a letter in the mail from a boy yesterday, but I don’t think it’s really from him. I called Wendy, Sandy, and Lori and none of them could take it. We took it down to Cheech’s and she thinks another boy did it.
1/27 I was sick the last two days. We went to Denise & Mick’s this weekend and went bowling. My Dad was pretty funny, but he did pretty good. He almost beat Mick. Wendy got my picture of Danny on Friday, but I don’t have it because I didn’t see her yet. My hair was hurting cause it was getting greasy cause I hadn’t washed it in four days…gross.
1/28 I’ve got hearts all over my hand cuz Sam and Chris went wild with my pen.
2/1 Yesterday was the Superbowl, so Sandy and Drew came down and brought the kid they were babysitting. I finally got Dann’s picture. Only 10 more days until we leave for vacation. Sandy and Drew are taking Sheba to obedience classes. She already knows how to sit.
2/2 We have to write stupid poems in English today about Valentine’s Day. Lori already wrote hers and it’s not that bad except the one part about the doves. I’ve got two lockers now! One for Gym and a real one, neat.
2/3 Well tonight is Whitesnake concert and do you see me with tickets? Nooooo. Last night I didn’t have piano lessons because her kids were sick. Wendy called but then again, she calls every night. I don’t mind. Only eight more days until Florida. My Mom is even letting me take my mini skirt.
2/4 Wendy called me three times last night, but I don’t know why, the third time she told me she just lost a tooth. My mom heard on the news that it is going to be 80 down in Florida. Only one more week until we leave!
2/5 Denise and Mick are coming come for Neice’s birthday on Sunday. They are going to Coins with Sandy and Drew.
2/8 Yesterday was Neice’s birthday, but she was at Mick’s Moms cause they were at our house Friday and Saturday. We went shopping. I got two outfits and a shirt for Florida. “I’m so excited and I just can’t hide it…”.
2/9 Jimmy and Uncle Ron are coming to our house tonight. I’m so excited because I haven’t seen him in over 7 years.
2/11 Well, I’m leaving today finally. My Dad’s probably gonna have a bird when he sees how much stuff were taking. Jimmy and Ron were over on Tuesday. Jimmy still looks the same, but Ron looks a lot different. Well gotta go Mrs. Dodson’s havin cardiac. PS like the spit on my tablet?
2/12 Not much to say except I’m not in school and I don’t know why in the heck I’m writing this. I’d say we are in Virginia. I have to pee real bad Wendy is saying she is special, please give me a break. We’re in Tennessee now isn’t that SPECIAL? If you are wondering what is on the top of the paper, that is Wendy’s spit. Yuk! You’d think we were going to Chicago it’s snowing so bad. I hope it’s warm in Florida. Well better go now. Gotta make Wendy feel special so she’s not bored.
2/22 I’m back. Now much to say except Mike keeps talking. We had fun in Epcot.
2/23 Sheba stayed this weekend and was bad. I babysat on Friday.
3/1 She is only giving us two minutes to write. “Running just as fast as we can…I think we’re alone now.”
3/4 I’m going to Saltsburg volleyball and basketball game tonight so I’m excited. Not much else to say except I gotta blow my nose.
3/7 Wendy & I went to the Saltsburg basketball game Friday. Danny was there and he’s still “nice”. Ian was there too he’s supposed to take me to the sweater hop. He’s “nice” too.
3/8 Darlene brought me in a picture of Denise & Mick. Me, my Dad and Art are going to Niece’s on the 19th or something. I guess they’re going to some guns show or something. I hope we don’t go in the truck. I’m sooo hungry.
3/9 We took Sheba to Greensburg cause she graduated last night and afterward there was brownies and they tasted like dog poop; it was disgusting. Sandy had one too but after she took two bites she was about puking. One minute I looked at her and she had it and the next minutes she didn’t. When she got Sheba a bone, she stuck it in the bag. I had to eat the whole thing and I took a big one too because they looked good.
3/15 I wore a skirt today and it’s freezing outside. We have a History & Science test tomorrow. How do you like my pen? It’s new. No just kidding, it’s Brad’s. Not much to say except today is a long day and I’m starved.
3/28 Ian called me on Saturday. He’s new, I met him Thursday and the track meet. Well really that’s the second time. I met him at the basketball game. He is so descent. He asked me what I’m doing this weekend, so I’m cited.
3/29 Mom & Dad’s anniversary today.
3/30 Today is not today, it’s Friday. I’t so tra la la la la
4/6 We are back from Easter. I got a piano light. Sandy and Drew got me a puppy for my birthday. Its name is Tasha April DeVonDeer.
4/8 Nine more days until my birthday and only eight more days until my party. Mrs. Dodson is now yelling at us and she just said end of lecture. We are going to the track meet tonight if it is not cancelled.
4/11 We went to the track meet Friday. Ian was there and so was Banana & Raisin, so Sam was excited.
4/12 I wore my white pants today, pretty stupid. I got yelled at by Mr. Toland about 70 times for talking.
4/15 Today is Friday. I called Ian last night. I’m so proud of myself but he can’t come to my party cause he’s going fishing up at his Dad’s camp but I’m still proud of myself.
4/18 Saturday was my party. It went alright I suppose. I got a pearl ring from Mom & Dad. Me and Darlene look weird because we have on our gym clothes. I missed the bus today, so my Dad brought me in. I have gum and she didn’t even notice. Now that I said that, she is going to catch me.
4/19 Today is not going well. I don’t feel all that spectacular if you know what I mean. It’s almost the end of the day and I never got those parent permission forms signed.
4/20 Today isn’t today it’s tomorrow. So, “I’ll be seeing you in all those old familiar places…”
4/21 Today is the last day this week because we go to Washington this week. Sam is cited because Matt asked her to the dance. Tasha is being really bad and keeps dumping her water on the floor. Yesterday she brought it into the living room and dumped it on me.
4/25 I babysat yesterday, and I kept falling asleep.
Sorry no exciting ending. Just everyday stuff. Here is what I learned. I was either tired, sick, hungry and had to pee all of time. My 9th grade self would have been horrified if she knew I was posting this for the world to see. My 40 something self now knows that I never needed to be embarrassed about any of it. The kids sitting beside me probably felt the same way. Finally, I love to write. I journal almost every day and can’t wait to go back to read those 30 years from now if I’m lucky enough to still be alive.
What about you? What do you think you will find in your box?