After a series of failed relationship and heartbreaks, I wrote in my journal, “Today is the last day and this is the last time I will ever allow myself to get hurt. No more guys.” Did I write this last year? Did I write this last week? No, I wrote this on November 23, 1999. I was fourteen years old.
While cleaning out my office closet the other day, I came across a Winnie the Pooh notebook. I recognized it immediately—my journal. I started this particular journal on February 20, 1999 and the last entry is from December 11, 2002. I amused myself by reading through it. I had written about boys I liked, friends that had coupled off, break-ups, parties, friends, and all the ups and downs of being a teen.
What struck me the most about reading entries from my teen-hood was that I haven’t changed much. I mean, I have had lots of life experiences since then, but essentially, I am the same person. I am a fourteen-year-old girl trapped in a twenty-something’s body. On January 25, 2001, I wrote, “I’ve decided that I need something more. I need love…real love.” Good grief! It sounds like I am trapped in a loveless marriage or I am a forty-year-old divorcee—I was only a teen dealing with boyfriend issues.
I thought hard on this one—if I could go back, what would I tell myself? Back then, I had my “life plan” all figured out. How do you tell a teenage girl that all her hopes and dreams may or may not happen? Is that what our parents try to tell us, because they went back and read their own journals more than a decade after they wrote in them? More importantly, if I were to write in it today, what would I tell my future self? Interestingly enough, the last page in the journal reads:
…I’ll be famous.
…I’ll experience real love.
…I’ll love myself.
…I’ll get married.
Dated January 15, 2001
…I will be happy with my life.
…I’ll love myself.
Dated March 19, 2001
…I will be at peace with my life.
Dated December 2, 2001
…my life will be remembered.
Dated January 2, 2002
…I’ll look back on my journal and laugh.
Dated December 17, 2002
If someone had told me back then that more than a decade later I'd be sitting at home blogging on a Friday night, I might have just given up on love then. But as I pick up my old journal and add another entry for me to look back on someday, I write, "The difference between fourteen year old me and twenty-six year old me is that I believe in love more now." I'm still standing, even after a decade of heartbreaks. That's probably what I would tell fourteen-year-old me--"You'll make it."