This morning, I was going through the drawers of our dresser.
This doesn't happen often as I tend to use the dresser drawers as a kind of place where things go to die. It's one of those "chuck and run" scenarios -- pick up a load of mess from around the house, open a drawer, don't look, chuck it in, and close it quickly before whatever is in there can escape. There's sweets, magazine clippings that for some reason never made it to the bin, camera film, batteries, a couple of memory cards with god knows what on them and whole load of other crap.
I needed a battery, and I knew where to look. The drawer of doom. So I reached in, in kind of the same manner that a vet would reach into the gaping bumhole of a cow, eyes closed. And I pulled out not a battery, but an old diary. I have literally no idea how it got in there, and I have no memory of even seeing this book since I was 14.
I got that amazing feeling you get when you see something you haven't seen for years, that great rush of nostalgia, and then I opened it. And the CRINGING began almost instantly. So naturally, I thought I'd let you all in on this and give you a little slice into the psyche of my teenaged self! My 14-year-old self would totally kill me right now.
I was probably the same as most 14 year olds. Bloody embarrassing. Let's for starters have a look at the cover. Subtlety obviously wasn't my main prerogative here. If I didn't want people to know who my crush was at the time, I didn't go about it particularly well. Anyone within a 6 mile radius would have been able to tell that I obviously had a bit of a thing for "C.D," with "I love C.D," "I Love C.D 4eva" and "Chris Deare is fit!" scribbled on the cover in biro. Smooth!
The interior is equally "creative," with receipts for tops I'd bought in Miss Selfridge glued in alongside cinema tickets ("Dodgeball!") and other completely age appropriate items such as this empty box for a chocolate willy.
There's the sticker my friend Mikaela stuck on my school jumper in May saying "Dickhead Mushta" which pretty much confirms we were total toerags. Drawings of shoes I wanted (purple platform Candies!), a list of my favourite songs by Geri Halliwell and Destiny's Child -- apparently "Happy Face" was my DC number one which made me instantly go and listen to it and that warm rush of nostalgia came over me again. SUCH A TUNE!
But of course, these are just incidentals, not the actual content of the diary, the words I spewed onto the page 11 years ago. I had a read through, and man, I was fickle. Friendships were made and broken from week to week, nearly every month I was desperately in love with some different unknowing boy in the year above or in my maths class, or just some surfer I spotted on our holiday to Cornwall in the summer holidays.
I would write about my undying love for someone and literally THE NEXT DAY I had a new crush.
Friday January 19th: Guess what?! Like major amazing -- Dan asked me to go swimming!! Probably doesn't mean anything but I'm just so excited! But I said no. But only cos I look so fat in a bikini! But then I text him saying no to swimming but how about the cinema? His phone's turned off! I await a reply!!!
Friday January 26th: Charlie fancys Dan and it seems he may fancy her too. Yes I was upset but I felt more stupid than upset because I fancied him all this time and so did she, and he prob fancied her back!! I wasn't supposed to find out but she told me herself. Oh well. My life is shit. They're going swimming 2nite.
Saturday January 27th: I think I may fancy Adam Nicholson. Sophie is going out with Henry!
Wednesday February 28th: I got my english report, I got an A! Miss Smith's name is Jinpa, how weird! At youth club I fancied Joe C but so does Max, so if I flirt, I feel guilty but I reeeeaaaaallly like him and if she flirts with him I get so jealous! I think he fancies her. God this happens all the time I am never gonna get a chance! AAAAAGGGHHHH!
Monday March 19th: I fancy CD but my horoscope says that 2moz my love bubble will burst! Aah! I am really scared he hates me or something -- wot if he goes out with a Year 8 instead?
Tuesday March 20th: I text CD last nite but I think he defo hates me cos he didn't text back. Ate loads today!
Tuesday August 7th: Seen 2 boys that look ok, their tent is about 5 away from ours -- i think 1 may like me cos when I look @ him he is always looking my way (the 1 wearing red). Good day.
You get the picture. Literally a bitch on heat. But from what I can gather from the entire 2001 period, was that I wasn't actually successful in any of my romantic endeavours which is probably a good thing or I would have got a right name for myself, luckily it was just me, myself and my diary that knew about all of these desperate love affairs.
Another big thing for my 14-year-old self was my period. I seemed to talk about it all the time. I had started my period when I was 12, so it wasn't a new and exciting development, but still -- it got a whole lot of airtime.
Monday February 26th: Stayed off school, got worst backache cos of my period. Mum and Dad bought some new fish!
Wednesday May 28th: Feel like poo. Period, tried tampons 2day don't get why everyone likes them the're shit
Friday July 20th: PERIOD.
Being 14 was horrible, by the sounds of it. I think generally, being a teenager was pretty rubbish. But it makes for hilarious reading now, and I am now going to go and dig out all of my old journals -- I kept one a year between the ages of 11 and about 17 -- and sit and read them and pore over every page and thank the stars that being 25 is much, much better than being 14.
OPEN YOUR DIARIES, XOJANERS! I want to hear what your teenaged self thought about love, life, and the world. Come at me in the comments!
I'm on Twitter, obviously. @Natalie_KateM