After reading Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (an excellent and highly recommended read), I started going through my childhood diaries as part of the process of de-cluttering and letting go. I decided that I’d summarise each year of my life and then get rid of the diary itself, because I’m not that person any more, and I don’t think it’s particularly useful to hang on to a meticulously recorded list of things I did every day when I was 10-years-old. Rather, here are the parts of my diary which I think are interesting or insightful or just darn cute enough to preserve.
- I treated my diary like a person, the imaginary little sister, the best friend or the girlfriend that I always wished I had. I went through a couple of different names for her: “Dear Diary/Sarah/Jessica/Ivy”.
- I was a seriously hardcore gamer. I played games every single day, mainly Pokémon, Super Smash Bros., Perfect Dark, Mario Party and Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings. I would play these for 3-10 hours a day, depending on whether I had to go to school. I can see now why I feel an urge to game if I haven’t played anything in a couple of days.
- When Pokémon 2000 came out, I watched it every day for weeks. This is, undoubtedly, what led my brother and I to create an elaborate ritual where we would burn coloured candles outside representing the legendary birds in order to honour our collectible Mew card, which we buried in a waterproof box.
- I re-read Harry Potter several times over, and created my first ever email account: Hermione4eva@hotmail.com.
- I could jump down 8 steps.
- My brother and I were really big on a made-up language called Gobbledegook or Gobbledegik. It was just a bizarre code, where words like “Age of Empires” would become “Ludderudgy Lumpy”.
- My relationship with Eugene was one of admiration, hurt and betrayal. He was so clever, and so controlling.
- Everything was very dramatic. I had a lot of arch enemies and a lot of people who I would have died for, and not much in between.
- I had friends who were trees, my favourite of which was named Sapo. I wrote about the time I tried to heal him by stuffing a hole in his trunk with these weird little onions that grew in our school.
- I tentatively started exploring my sexuality, and I was very embarrassed about it. I didn’t record any details, but I was very conflicted about whether it was sinful or not.
- It was the first year we had a computer, I think, and I started using internet terms like “lol”.
- I founded the Dark Knites, a spy club which was really quite poor at espionage.
- Apart from gaming, if there was one thing I was obsessed with as a 10-year-old it was keeping strict records of who among my friends liked whom. Most of my diary was addressed to my crush, Jessica, and I spent months agonising over whether my love for her was true, and whether she loved me. The final verdict is that we dated for 10 minutes, exchanged “secrets” (which I’ve long forgotten), and then Jessica expressed that she no longer felt the same way about me. (I have since come to learn that she was just humouring me, but when it got serious she let me down gently.)
Ahh the heady days of youth.