I recently found several of my old journals. As I started reading them, and looking at my own drawings, three things became clear:
1. I was a decent writer in my teens and twenties. Or maybe I just actually still believed my thoughts and feelings mattered?
2. I lived and felt BIG, like my favorite Anais Nin. (Whom I only discovered in January 2015)
3. Um, youth is wasted on the young: So much of the "Essence" of who we are at the ripe age of twenty-something gets beaten, compromised or forgotten by our older versions of self!
So with this knew little revelation I have started to dive in. Yes, some of it is overly-dramatic. But most of it is quite cathartic and spot on. I find myself shaking my head at how far off path my current life meandered from that lively, soulful, believing and experiencing girl. It's pretty funny too, that I couldn't spell... ever! Not at nine or ten either.
Don't miss my point here. I am NOT saying I wish I was back there. No. No. No. I'm contemplating how much more fulfilled most of us would be if he held onto that "essence of our ripe years" like a small string on a balloon. I can't live there! I have three kids, responsibilities, bills and shit to do, but is it not healthy to pull that string a little and remind ourselves of the passion and beauty and newness of it all from which we came? The dreams and the sights of a heart with everything in the very front. No strings, no ties, freedom....and the irony of most of us complaining we didn't have it!
I am going to compose it all as the sample below. Each page will have the following:
-Actual picture of the drawing, journal entry, or poem.
-My current life situation at the time of the entry.
-Take-Aways from my 37-year-old self.
-A currently in progress photo shoot of three twenty-somethings and three "older than that" women to show the poetry in femininity in or burgeoning and in our betterment.
Lulu Diaries, Teen Years
· In fourth year at Cushing Academy.
· Going to Northeastern in the fall.
7/11/15-I read these words and the parallels to how Anais wrote are shocking. I love the "freedom" and "aliveness" we both were seeking.
7/11/15-The wobble form analogy is so accurate. I was always seeking validation, or some "shape" to become to belong.
7/11/15-I'm happy to see I had the levity or humility to call it "mini-drama" because my words seem so "not-mini." Ha
There is something breath-taking in the beauty of seeing the past once far enough removed. There is a certain quality of light and perspective that shines to highlight how exactly everything was meant to be as it is. That beauty I find is also seen in the young, vibrant girl that I still recognize.
1996- April 7th, 1996
"It has to be dramatic, or I'm not amused. Amusement doesn't necessarily cause freedom and I want to be free. I want to feel the feeling of someone who let's someone else love me, but I can't.
I am numbing or maybe not. Perhaps I feel mush. Like Jello, I just wobble around my feelings, let them mold to the dish and if I break, I just wobble to fit the mold again. Note I gain nothing. Feeling is to hurt, hurting is to reassure myself I am living, but living shouldn't consist only of hurt.
Although when I'm sad I feel most alive. When I am happy, truly happy I'm immortal. Feeling invincible, like nothing could hurt me! Unfortunately, I DO live, therefore I hurt, and it in itself hurts this knowledge of my mini-drama cycle."
Yes, I'm relieved to be where I am. I am actually more confident and secure in my own life (albeit messy, right now) as I've ever been. Still, I have a distant compulsion tug a little on string attached to a balloon of years gone by. That crazy, dramatic, life-consuming girl is still somewhere within me. She's gained some years and many burdens, but most of all she has learned so many lessons that actually make her grateful to look back with fondness and a few cringes. I can remember her creative prowess and zest for living. I've already found I'm learning so much about my passions and loves and shaping into who I am by looking "Backwise."
If you have diaries of your own...Look back. You might be amazed to find some answers or advice
only YOU can give YOU.
More from Lulu:
The Huffington Post