What I'm Learning From my High School Journal

My mom recently found and gave me the journal I kept in high school – I’ve been reading it and recalling vividly (and sometimes not so vividly) who I used to hang out with and how I’d spend my time. It’s been quite a kick. The journal covers April of my junior year through March of my senior year and hits home what I’d previously forgotten – I had a great high school experience and it shows on every page. Journaling used to be an important part of my daily routine – even when I’d miss a day, I’d go back and write the recap so each day would have an entry. I got out of the habit some time in college (then back into it, then back out of it) but going through old entries has made me dust off my current journal and change my strategy.

1. Do not assume you’ll remember your friends 10 years later. Several times I’ve encountered names of people in my journal whom I obviously knew well at some point but cannot for the life of me remember who they are now (like Steven, Krysta and Matt – I know I didn’t go to school with anyone with those names, so who could they be? Youth group kids I guess?) I suppose last names might help but I feel silly including last names of people I feel I’ll always remember. But now I know better. You think you’ll always remember these experiences and people but you won’t.

2. There’s a place for vagueness and veiled references but a journal is not it (unless you want to hide your thoughts from snooping eyes?). At the time I thought I’d always remember what I was talking about but turns out that “I got in a tiff with so-and-so… I hope it blows over soon” is just not enough information to go on. The use of acronyms also proves cryptic: “I finally did my DBQ today! (Chris didn’t.)” What does this even mean??

3. Through re-reading my posts I've realized that I was nearly never home. Most posts involved being at someone else's house and I found quite a few lines like "We didn't get home until 1 a.m." I also barely remember doing any homework in high school but the journal tells me otherwise.

I've gone through the whole journal now and probably won't pick it up for another 10 years, which by then I'm sure I'll remember even less. And I'll probably laugh at myself all over again.

1 comment:

April said...

this post reminds me a lot of my old journal entries... i'd have all these acronyms like "LT" to hide it from others, and now I am like... huh??
it's kind of fun to reread life back then :)