Translating My Teenage Diaries

From the ages of 15 to 22, I kept a Livejournal. But it wasn’t just any old online diary, it was my work of art—a place where I could cultivate this hip image of my friends and I by writing vague posts and posting washed out polaroids. It was like a sad obsession. I would spend hours scanning photos and perfecting this whimsical dreamy tone. And for what? So people could think I was cool obviously. Coolness is the greatest kind of currency to a teenager. It means more than money or good grades. It’s the ultimate achievement. As I’ve gotten older, however, my life has {thankfully) made less sense on a forum like Livejournal. Things have gotten too weird, too complicated. and quite frankly too boring for a website that caters to excited youth. The best part about being “done” with my Livejournal though is calling bullshit on my old posts, which are so drowned in crap that it’s hard to figure out what I’m even talking about. Let’s try to translate the musings of a teenager into cold harsh reality.

What A Closeted Teenager Sounds Like

Age: 16
Subject: Girls
Date/Time: October 13, 2002/4:36 P.M.

Liv Tyler is so FUCKING hot. I’d kiss her in a second.

Anywho, today’s been good. The weather is awesome. I decided to be anti-social and go to Barnes & Noble to read and loiter around by myself. What can I say? I love being alone. I honestly love it. I was eating my bagel and this very attractive girl came and sat at the table next to mine and I couldnt stop staring at her. She made number three on my Beautiful Girl list. The first being a random girl in LA I saw while in line to see Blair Witch Project and the second one being a random girl in San Diego. This girl was waiting for someone I believe. She looked frustrated and checked her watch every so often. I was going to sit with her but I didnt want to be rude.
Shit, I have to do HW and go to a show. Bye!

Current mood: Energetic
Current music: “Hey Ma” by Cam’Ron

Translation: Only closeted homosexuals have a “Beautiful Girl” list. Only closeted homosexuals pretend to lust after quirky indie chicks.

Deep Thoughts Brought On By Feminist Literature and 90s Rock

Age: 17
Subject: wild horses
Date/Time: October 14, 2003/6:06 PM

today, i’ve been learning how to feel again. im getting inspired. i finished a doll’s house. fantastic. i also listened to my favorite song of all time, “Wild Horses” by The Sundays on repeat. & i tried to cry for every friend, every family member, every experience that i felt got away from me. i couldn’t cry but i feel a lot less numb. more awake and focused. im going to get my shit together & im going to find my way back.

Current mood: hopeful
Current music: sneaker pimps

Translation: This was around the time I stared to type exclusively in lowercase because I thought it looked more adorable. BTW, what’s up with teenagers having breakdowns and breakthroughs every three seconds? It seemed like every single  post I was “losing myself” and trying to gain my sense of self back. I think I just had too many feelings and not enough anti-anxiety medication.

Teen Poetry

Age: 18
Subject: i lose.
Date/Time: September 1, 2004/8:08 p.m.

Aspirations End Here

i used to think that i could’ve been that somebody for everyone
a great son, a caring brother, a better friend, a stellar significant other
but now those aspirations are turning into unfulfilled fantasies
because you see apparently it’s too difficult to do all of that
to be all of that
so says my mother & father
so says my brother & sister
so says my friends
& so says my lover
so here i am
giving my resignation
because i quit all of you

Translation: I bet you a million dollars that I wrote this in Geometry because I was depressed and didn’t want to learn about trapezoids. I was always questioning my relationships with people and thinking they were falling apart, which I guess they kind of were. High school friendships are generally a mindfuck. I’m so happy that getting older means not having to live in a constant state of paranoia about your relationships.

How A Teenager Pretends To Spend A Saturday Night

Age: 18
Subject: typical.
Date/Time: November 1, 2004/11:32 p.m.

tonight was very typical. the same people who get drunk, got wasted. & the same albums played. & the same drunken dancing was done. duhduhduhduh. except, tonite, there was alot more sex than usual. it was all fun & boring & amazing. all at the same time.

Translation: Being a teenager meant being jaded. I can guarantee that “getting drunk” was code for drinking Mike’s Hard Lemonade. We probably danced to Moving Units and I had terrible sex afterwards that I thought was amazing. When you’re getting laid in high school, you kind of want to broadcast it to the whole world but in a casual aloof way. Bad sex doesn’t exist at seventeen. You have no point of reference so it’s just amazing. Period.

How A Teenager Deals With Heartbreak

Age: 18
Subject: um.
Date: February 2, 2005/12:44 p.m.



Translation: When an evil male broke my heart, I became so insane that I had to fly to Humboldt and stay with my sister to “get away from it all.” Unfortunately, I ended up spending the entire trip on the phone with my friends and ignoring my sister. I wouldn’t wish first heartbreak on my worst enemy. It’s some other level type of grief. For the next few months, my Livejournal entries consisted of “I’m over it!” followed by “When will the pain go away?”

When I went to college, the entries more or less stayed the same. Multiple posts would include some variation of, “& today i ate sushi & listened to leonard cohen & i’m so depressed!” Even though my blog was phony, I thought of it as a piece of teenage art. I took so much pride in this thing that existed only on the internet and read by my friends and gay teens in Ohio. As difficult as it is to reread though, I’m glad I have it. And I’m even more glad to have outgrown it. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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