July 8, 2014

Things I Wrote as a Kid

Recently, I discovered a CBC Radio show called Grown Ups Read Things They Wrote as Kids. I heard  the show for the first time a couple of weeks ago when, on a Saturday evening I was driving the ten minutes to the village where my husband works in order to pick him up. I left the radio on as I waited for him in the back parking lot of the hotel and laughed until the tears were rolling down my cheeks. I listened to the show again this past weekend and then, I had an idea. I have a lot of writing I did as a teenager and I thought perhaps I would share some of it. Of course, my idea of posting things I wrote as a kid won't have the same impact as if I were to read them out loud in front of a live audience like they do on the radio show, but my hope is that they will provide at least a little entertainment to the reader.

What I noticed about the people on the radio show was their laughter at their younger selves who wrote about fantasies of glory or teen angst or harboured resentment against the perceived unjust actions of their parents. Most of what they were reading out loud to the audience was never meant to be read by anyone else, and at the time of writing it they had been most serious. I think it is important to both laugh at our younger selves and also to honour them. When I read my diaries I laugh a lot but the feelings of the time do come back with the memories. I, like most teenagers felt intense joy, pain, confusion, and all the other more subtle emotions in between. Growing up was an often baffling experience. As I read the diaries I began at aged fifteen I realize I cared about five main things: my family, my friends, food, boys and dance, but not necessarily in that order.

Myself at 15, taken in the school courtyard

June 19th, 1985 
Hi. I did o.k. on my Math final. Tomorrow I have English. I'm not looking forward to it. I have nothing except Summer after 10:45 tomorrow. I can't wait. I don't believe it's finally here. I'm growing my nails, so far it's working. I'm glad! Toni and Val and I 'supposedly' studied today. Val is very 'trendy'. I have a nice tan! In John's letter yesterday, He called me 'Miss Popular.' I guess I'm liked by a lot of people but I wouldn't say 'Miss Popular' - sort of bitchy sounding. Mark lent me a tape of assorted artists from England. Here's some of the Weird names: Vice Squad, The Vibrators, Angelic Upstarts, Attila the Stockbroker, The Dead Kennedys, Hollywood Brats, Abrasive Wheels, English Dogs, U.K. Subs, Adicts,Cockney Rejects, Instant Agony, Major Accident, Pressure. WIERD!!! Anyways, now I'm listening to Limahl and then Don Henley. Well I should go and sleep! 
Bye, Rebecca (doodle of a heart)

June 20th, 1985
I had an English final. It was pretty easy. All my exams are finished. Summer is here and next year I'll be in Grade 11. Wierd!! Today, Toni, Tanja, Colin, and I went to my house and ate, to Toni's and ate. Tanja went home and me, Toni, Colin and Jen went to Colin's and ate. Then me and Jen sat outside her house and talked about Scott. I keep thinking he'll come here (Scott was a boy I met from another city). I miss him. I saw a Good Play on TV. John's birthday is on Sunday. (John was another boy I met at a youth function).
Love, Rebecca (doodle of a heart)

June 23rd, 1985
Well, today I went to a Youth Group picnic. It was fun but I got thrown in the lake and I also don't like organized activities like games. After the picnic I went to Sam our leader's house and she did a survey on my personality. I'm an ENFP - Extrovert (outgoing); Intuitive (go on hunches); Feeling (sensitive); Perceptive. It was a good evening. My knee really hurts right now so I have ice on it. I was talking to Sam and I said I sleep all bundled up sort of guarding myself. She asked me if I had a secret to guard. I said yes and I won't even tell you! Maybe someday but right now I'm just learning to trust a diary in the house of my family, o.k.? (I wish I could remember now what that secret was) I thought about John since it's his birthday today. My survey said I would go well with a mate who was stable or a mate with his head in the clouds and sort of scientific. John and Scott!!! Well I gotta go. 
Love, Reb (heart doodle)

Stay tuned for next week's entry in which I describe my knee surgery performed by a very handsome surgeon. If anyone out there would also like to post things they wrote as kids I would love to read them. I had to look up 'Limahl' because I couldn't for the life of me remember anything about them. Thankfully, Google delivered: Synth heavy 80's tune by Limahl I'm happy to report that my taste in music improved over the next few years.



  1. What a hoot! (expression from the 60's) :) Your journal reveals much more about you than the five things you listed though, Rebecca. I see a reflective, passionate girl who knows what she likes and what she doesn't like. My 15 year old self didn't trust her family (brothers especially!) enough to keep a journal. I know she would have written about her horribly strict parents, her many chores and sports. At 15, for me, boys were still friends I needed to be able to make up enough players for two baseball teams :) Thanks for sharing! Love the picture!

    1. I know that I was lucky to have so much freedom and live in such a supportive family. Thanks for the great comment :-)

  2. What a great idea for a show! And for your blog, this was so fun to read the young Rebecca. And I'll add that you looked very poised and mature at 15, i don't think I can say the same for myself.

    I didn't really keep a diary as a kid, and I wish I had. Just a few doodles and "secret" notes now and then, but I'm ENTJ and just didn't have the patience for it, I guess. Either way, I look forward to hearing more from your young self - I suspect we could've been friends then too!
    Abby (doodle of a heart)

    1. Oh...mature...well..um. I did have five older siblings, though. I'd seen a lot by 15 :-)
      ENTJ? Does that translate into 'way more athletic than I was in high school' ?
      (doodle of a heart back at you, Abby)

  3. Oh this is a brilliant idea. I must go and look out my diaries. You look very cool.

  4. Yep, that sounds like mid teens! Kindddd-a mature-ish. :)

    I don't know what happened to my diary, but I do have all my year books since 7th grade. Readings the signings from the other kids, at least, gives me an idea of how I was perceived. I almost feel like digging them out of the attic!

    Happy Summer!

    1. Hi Anita! I have been so busy and preoccupied lately, but I will try harder to read more blogs. I hope your summer has been going well, and you are having fun family time.
      'Things other kids wrote in my yearbook' also sounds like a fun idea ;-)


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