I’ve always kept a diary and in my early teenage years I wrote a few lines on days I did something.
When I had my first boyfriend the diaries became more detailed on the days we did something exciting. I also managed to graffiti all over it with hearts and our names, basically declaring my undying love!
One of my most interesting diaries became a journal in my late teens and here I chronicled my activities with my friends. This was most interesting as I can read back to the day of night clubs, and dates. I also wrote about my insecurities and longing to find a proper boyfriend. I even listed all my friends who were in relationships and wondered why I couldn’t sustain one. All the dates I had been on they was always something lacking. I wondered what was wrong with me.
These days everything is out on Social Media but back then we kept everything to ourselves, and little did I know that my feelings were normal. Other people went through the same type of things and it would have helped me knowing that.
These three years of journelling finished in 1977, just as I met someone I really liked. It would have been fascinating to read what what I thought of him, except I was too busy having a good time to write anymore. It turned out he was the one, and we married in 1980.
We were together for four years before the first of my two children were born. They kept me too busy to write. What I did do was write about certain moments, like a weekend away, or a visit to my family. These make wonderful reading for me as most of them were sprinkled with humour. It also took me back to those early years and my parents.
As the children got older, I continued to write like this and stories about their early childhood would have been long forgotten if I hadn’t written them down.
These days I keep a five year diary. I write in it every day – well that’s not strictly true, I write something for every day, usually a week later then have to remember what I did. This is my fourth five-year-diary.
A few years ago I picked up one from when my children were teenagers. They weren’t bad in comparison to some stories I’d heard but it talked of the rows, the staying out late, and all the other teenage stuff. It took me back to the arguments I had with my mum when I was that age.
From that I wrote a short piece of fiction called Blowing Hot and Cold. I wrote it from the mother’s point of view. It highlights that she has own problems and her coping mechanisms, then throw into the mix a volitate teenage daughter, and life becomes difficult.
It’s only a very short story and this is the opening paragraph.
An upstairs door slammed. I hunched my shoulders. It was another row with my teenage daughter. The argument was over nothing; it wasn’t even a proper disagreement. She just blew up and snapped.
Do you remember your days as a teenager when you thought the world was against you?