I found one from 1996 and flipped through it, I was 16 years old. The most common topic I wrote about was myself and how dramatic, tragic, and secretively interesting my life was. Very teenager. Very angsty. But it's not journal-y in a factual way, it's annoyingly vague. "I am waiting for spring" - types of thoughts that go on and on without really saying anything.
When I wasn't writing about myself, I was writing about inanimate objects. Flowers, dust, the moon or stars, coats, calculators... very rarely, animals.
There is no evidence that I was making any attempt to relate to other human beings.
Maybe that's how my journal still sounds to other people, or maybe my ponderings here are driven by different motivations because now, online, people can comment on things so I kinda have an audience and a motivation to write about relatable topics instead of reflecting on my own emotions. Or maybe I really was just a lot more miserable back then... I could sort of be an "it gets better" story for nerds, my life doesn't sound that tragic to me now but back in high school I didn't know I'd make friends in college, graduate with honors, get a good paying job and a sexy husband and have daughters. Easy for me now to say I had no right to be self-absorbed, or make every story into a tale of how tragic life is. I wonder if I knew how good I had it compared to other teenagers?
Anyway I found this entry, dated January 25 1996, just as an example of my fixation on things that weren't even alive. I'm posting it for posterity's sake, not because it deserves analysis, nothing in the notebook is terribly good. But it's mine and I instinctively don't want to lose it.
As a mirror, I watched Elizabeth become beautiful every day. She woke when the morning sunlight flashed across me and I bounced it playfully onto her wrinkled covers. She slept when it was too dark for me to shine anything at all. In the morning, she watched me as she put on her makeup and combed her hair until I could tell her, in my own wordless voice, that she was beautiful once again. Back then, when I was new and she was young, I suppose we were both beautiful.
Many years passed by. I was made of cheap wood that began to rot away like leaves as time went on and she was made of impermanent human skin that loosened and spotted. Neither of us was really beautiful anymore, but I told her she was so she would smile and face her days as always.
One day the wood surrounding me splintered and broke. I went crashing to the ground violently and broke into a million pieces on the carpeted floor. Elizabeth rushed in the darkened bedroom and looked at my mess for a long time before picking up a piece of me and looking into it. Although she could only see parts of her old face, she knew the truth. I could only reflect her tears.
And then, for the first time ever, I showed her an image from long ago of sunlight on her young face. She too remembered mornings back then with the same fondness as I. If I could have laughed, I would have done so then, but I couldn't. All I had was knowledge nw, of a silent but mutual agreement between us that beauty cannot die.
The sun had come out again.