Monday Musings: Teenage diaries, #3

The third instalment of my teenage diaries. The rationale behind the project is here. As always, I will change all names and identifying details, and remove anything that is too easily identifiable. I will also correct all my spelling.

This time, I’ve kept the same group of friends, but gained a hopeless teenage crush, Sam, who went to my youth theatre, which was being split into two different groups after the holidays. I’d fancied Sam for ages but he had no idea that I liked him.

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26th February, 2002

I still don’t know whether Sam is in my group or not. He has to be. I can’t bear it otherwise. But yesterday, Monday, I didn’t go to theatre group. No-one seemed to think it was on, and I didn’t want to know.

But now I do. If he isn’t in my group, which I think is the truth, then it’s over. If he is… but can’t think about that. Can’t let myself hope. I won’t see him until May. And then…

I have to stop going on about Sam all the time!

I had a really interesting discussion with Allie, Lois, Jenny and a few other people in room 4 on Monday. It was about how people are attracted to other people. Personality or looks? I said I think you sort of take someone’s personality into account when you start fancying them. Even if you haven’t spoken to them you can tell a lot about them from the way they talk to other people, just their body language, the way they look. You see… this is going back to Sam again, isn’t it?

Aaaargh.

Right. I will write about school. At school today I sat next to Allie in PSE and we had to do this personality test. [Possibly a version of Myers-Briggs?] We both scored lowest for personality type E, which was interpersonal intelligence, and highest for personality type F, which was intrapersonal intelligence.

Intrapersonal intelligence means you’re independent and like working on your own. You know your strengths and weaknesses and you’re quite intuitive.

Intuitive. It means you know what’s going on, even if it’s not clear.

Am I intuitive? I wish I was. It would help a lot with this Sam thing for a start… Stop there!

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HOW PATRONISING!

And ‘knowing your strengths and weaknesses’. Mrs —, our temporary tutor, made me so mad when she said after reading that “but I don’t think anyone of your age really can?” HOW PATRONISING! I don’t mean to boast but yeah, I know myself, I understand why I do things, I definitely know my strengths and weaknesses!! Here, I’ll show you.

Strengths

I’m very creative and imaginative. I always have ideas. (Easy one that). Unfortunately I often let my imagination run away from me and end up imagining things into situations that weren’t really there. Have to control this.

I can work very fast and I’m pretty good at all my schoolwork.

At school, I’m pretty nice to everyone. I haven’t fallen out with any of my ‘new group’ of friends yet.

I’m excellent at working alone and I can make myself get things done if I really try.

Yeah, but strengths is easy. I’ll do weaknesses.

Weaknesses

I like to be dramatic. This whole Sam thing. Okay, I have to go back to it now. I know I do really like Sam and I’m not making it up. In fact, the entire problem is real. But I’m not utterly miserable about it. In fact, I’m enjoying the drama of it in a a way, and also thinking how sorry for me everyone will feel if they find out.

It sounds horrible, but I mean, I have been very upset over all this. What I think is that if I can enjoy any of it than why don’t I?

I get annoyed with people at home really easily, and act babyish.

I’m not very good at helping people. I find it very hard to help anyone who’s upset because I just don’t know what to say.

I’m prejudiced against people who aren’t clever. This is because trevs [Local slang. Roughly equivalent to ‘chavs’ or ‘townies’, but the class element is more muted] are stupid, so I assume anyone is horrible who is stupid. Well, I don’t think they’re horrible, I just find it very hard to like them.

I find it hard to understand how people can have problems with work. I find most of it so easy.

There. I’ve done a vague list. There’s a lot more I could add.

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P.S. I’ve become a vegetarian.

Author’s Note

I find the way that I have carefully and deliberately structured this entry quite interesting. By this point, I’d fancied Sam for a few months and there are plenty of stream-of-consciousness earlier entries detailing my feelings, but by this point, I had clearly come to terms with the situation enough to have thought how to convey it in my diary. Although I do find these entries very funny to re-read, it’s fair to say that this was a very stressful situation at the time. The thing I remember about it most clearly is the suffocating sense of being imprisoned by my own thoughts, how I couldn’t stop thinking about Sam and going over the few interactions that we had even though I often became bored of the topic myself. I had all this very real emotion but there was no outlet for it. I also remember becoming frustrated by my own diary, which is perhaps why I wrote this entry, where I try to give a sense of how I’m feeling without writing down the same things that I always wrote about Sam. Far from being a raw rush of teenage emotion, this entry is written for a reader, even if that reader is only my future self.

I’m also cheering on my rant against the patronising temporary tutor. I think the list of strengths and weaknesses is pretty fair, if incomplete, and I’m sure that most teenagers could produce something similar. I’m quite impressed with my fifteen-year-old self for standing up to the stereotype of teenagers being utterly self-centred and having no perspective on their own problems. In my experience of working with teenagers in this age bracket, they are often very self-reflective and ironic, so I don’t think that I was in any way unusual in this respect, though most probably wouldn’t write such a long diary entry proving it.

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