Stupid Girl Revisited


journalsI’ve spent the last three weeks transcribing my old journals. For twenty years, these scribbled steno pads and composition books have been shoved in the bottom of a box.  I always mean to throw them out, but couldn’t quite bring myself to do so. What if there was something I needed to know, or remember in those pages? I hated the idea of reading them, of being reminded of what a stupid girl I was then. There are so many things I can’t forgive her for and yet I knew that I needed to make some measure of peace with her eventually. I don’t know if I thought of that when I decided to tackle the journals, but as it turns out, that’s what’s happening.

On the way to work I tell my sister what’s going on with the poor sad fucked-up stupid girl in the journals.

“Who are all these Nates and why don’t I remember any of them?” or  “She’s so excited and she’s about to be utterly crushed. I kinda feel sorry for her.”

“It’s weird that you’re talking about yourself in the third person,” my sister says.

“I get that I was her but I’m not her now. Ya know?”

And it’s easier to like her when I think of it that way, to recognize how she is struggling instead of just cataloguing her failures. But like an audience shouting advice to the final girl in a horror film, I want to shake her and scream every now and then.

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2 Responses to Stupid Girl Revisited

  1. Deb says:

    Oh, I know exactly what that’s like. I recently made the comment to a friend of an ex that I don’t have even a single cell in my body left from that time in my life so I hold no resentments at all toward him. I don’t. I really don’t even know who I was now.
    I’d like to think I wouldn’t be who I am now without going through all the stupid stuff I did, but I wonder. I remember the pain I went through and so much energy put into something that was not worth it and I want to tell her, “Focus on you! You are worth more than this.”
    My daughter is doing the same things, and it’s so hard to let her make her own mistakes when they are the same ones I made.

  2. Patricia says:

    I get feeling the mortification of revisiting the old self and all those mistakes that seem so clear now but were indecipherable back then. And yet, I’m jealous that you have the notebooks. The stuff in my old notebooks is just my fiction writing. Which is interesting in a way but doesn’t give me the sense of history I crave for. My memory is crap, has always been crap and I wish for concrete somethings that would ground my feelings in a very real way. “Oh right. The day my heart broke was a Tuesday in June. Right. It’s right here after all.”

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