But here's the thing. As much as you couldn't PAY me to be a teen again, it wasn't all bad. Sure, I had a separate diary in which I wrote about the tough stuff and my struggles with depression and my fights with my parents and woes about the elusive beast known as Sean O'Leary (hi, Sean. This girl? You missed out. Bummer for you!) -- but I had this OTHER set of journals where I wrote about my THING. My THING -- and I think everyone has one, especially as a teen -- was pop music. Oh man I knew everything about pop music. I even eventually had a job at a record store where I used my mad skillz to sell awesome under-appreciated music to the masses. But I digress.
Okay, so, like I was saying. Being in high school can be kind of a total bummer. Mean kids, homework, nasty teachers, coaches on your case to be biggerbetterfasternow and all that jazz. And I wasn't in with the in crowd, and lived in a small town in Maine, so this lead to a lot of entertaining myself with one or two friends on the weekends. A lot of the best times I had were writing about music in my journals with my best friend, Fiona, and any other kids I could rope into joining us. All our inside jokes are there, our obsessions, our loves, our annoyances. I swear to God, I was Rob from HIGH FIDELITY, except for the fact that I was a teen girl with very few exes.
Anyway, the images that I've posted to correspond with this post are from various volumes of my journal. There's that first one there where I drew me and Fiona's pretend band the Cinnamin Twists (yes, spelling a word wrong makes your band name cooler) which features actor Seth Green on bass. We loved him. We still do. We stayed up all night listening to the radio broadcast of Woodstock '99 and drew all these pictures of our imaginary adventure. Then you've got one of the intros to my monthly music reviews, where I'd talk about goings on in music and review my new CDs. Did this lead to my college career as a music columnist? You decide! Then I have a fun list for you -- the entirety of my Songs of the Month for 1999-2000. I did this every year and put little reasons as to why I picked the songs. You can see that list below.
So here's what I want from you: what's YOUR thing? And do you journal about it? Blogs totally count. It makes me sad that teens don't seem to paper journal anymore. Which leads me to my challenge: START A FREAKING PAPER JOURNAL. Do it with your friends! Write about your THING or your collective THINGS and savor it and cherish it. I swear, when you grow up to be a badass YA author/music journalist/lawyer/artist/software engineer/whatever you choose to be, there is VALUE in these journals.
And for the grown-up readers: I double dog dare you to post your teen journal on your blog. No blog? Post a scan/excerpt in the comments. Like I said, DOUBLE DOG DARE.