Revisiting Your High School Diary

By Jenn Rose Smith
90s inspiration board

90s inspiration board

About a year ago, I began the daunting project of scanning in all of the journals that had amassed in the back of my closet over 3o something years. I’ve been an avid journal keeper since I was in junior high, and even have a few dating back to elementary school. What was it like revisiting my 1990s self? Hard, hilarious, mortifying, shocking. I’ve been surprised at my immaturity and rebelliousness. It’s truly hard to find a single page without something incriminating or just plain embarrassing. (Every now and then I’ll send Camille and Chanel a screenshot — they love it so much.) But I also see good things — a girl who wasn’t afraid to question the world around her, a budding passion for art and design, and so much innocence.  I’m reminded of a line from Jeffrey Eugenides The Virgin Suicides: “We felt the imprisonment of being a girl, the way it made your mind active and dreamy, and how you ended up knowing which colors went together.” Looking back, everything had a sort of electricity to it. That first kiss with the boy you like from art class. Sneaking out of windows and finding the best party. Discovering a new cd or great new movie to watch on repeat. All of those moments were like exciting little previews of the life I knew was coming — one where I could love, explore, and live with total freedom. What I didn’t know back then is that, sometimes, dreaming is the best part.

image credits: images of kirsten dunst from the virgin suicides, girl in car via pinterest, bubble gum girl by aslan eylul, georgia may jagger with white horse by venetia scott, alicia silverstone via rolling stone, leonardo dicaprio stills from baz luhrmann’s romeo + juliet, white wrangler via jeep, gas station girl from pinterest, journal entries via the mortifying personal history of jenn rose smith