Dear Diary

May 16, 2012

Like LiveJournal, but more readable.


Last week I went on “holiday” for the first time in around three years. It was more like a little break—two days and two nights—but I slept away from my bed, my bedroom, the same view and feelings I’ve had for years. It was weird. My little head was confused. It couldn’t decide whether this meant I could relax completely or my anxiety should go into overdrive. I did a little of both.

Me and mum stayed in this little cottage on the edge of a wood, in a deep valley, in a little village, down a long winding road. The quiet was loud; I walked into the woods on a muddy morning and could only hear my footsteps. So I paused… nothing. Occasionally I would catch the sound of the stream, or birdsong. It was an unnatural feeling for me, a suburban girl. At home, true silence is a rare and precious thing. Usually I can hear cars and people and the like, and have to put on my headphones to block out all the noise. At the cottage, listening to music felt almost rude. I want to go back.

Our town is a small town, but it’s nothing like the country. People in the little villages in the English countryside are not like me and my family. They are kind of intimidating. They vote Conservative, and they can be hostile to outsiders. I suppose they feel just as odd and intimidated, though, when visiting cities and suburbs.

I used to think I was secretly a country person, having always felt a deep connection to nature. But I would miss the strangers and the art of the street, the hardened layer you develop as protection in a city that would be interpreted as rudeness in an isolated village. It’s not as cleansing as you might think it would be, being away from traffic, from the internet, from litter on the street. I suppose, as this was my first time away from home in so long, I was a little confused. But if I can go there, after so much time not being able to go anywhere at all, think of all the other places I can go to and form opinions about. The world is so great. You have to leave home sometimes to see how you adapt and cope, to see what parts of your personality come out. To know whether something you have with you at home is an illusion, or will follow you wherever you go. ♦


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  • EmilyJn May 16th, 2012 7:29 PM

    I think the diary section might be the best thing to come out of Rookie, or at least the most moving and relatable. thanks

  • May 16th, 2012 7:38 PM

    Ruby- your piece was beautiful and incredibly moving, thank you for sharing your story with all us rookies

  • back2thepast May 16th, 2012 7:51 PM

    Ruby, I had no idea. So beautifully written, it’s extremely strong of you to write about something so recent. Much much love

  • KinuKinu May 16th, 2012 8:04 PM

    Ruby- You write so beautifully.I hope you’re coping well♥

  • Mayabett May 16th, 2012 8:11 PM

    Ruby, that was such a moving piece. Thank you so much for being willing to share that with the Rookie audience. I’m sure it took bravery on your part to summon up that courage.

    Katherine, never fear! I’m often in the same situation, but in the times I’m not I’ve learned some things about navigating parties:
    -Wear a killer outfit that makes you feel fabulous. Because if you feel fabulous and show it, everyone will see you as fabulous (or just be jealous because you’re more fabulous than them).
    -Sometimes music sucks, but don’t let it get in your way. It serves as a backdrop and often the actual song isn’t important. It’s setting the mood for jamming out, a great ice breaker!
    -This is totally the time to utilize Rookie’s “Fake it till you Make It” piece. Act like a fabulously confident girl and you will be one! (Bonus, everyone gravitates to that confidence!)
    -Accept the awkward moments. They’ll happen; they happen to everyone. Laugh it off and forget about it, because it won’t matter in 24 hours.
    -Be yourself and people you’ll want to be around (and who appreciate who you are) will come your way. Submit to pressure and you’ll gather the wrong crowd for you.

    Let me know how it goes!


  • Abby May 16th, 2012 8:25 PM

    Ruby, I’m praying for you. I don’t know what I believe anymore, or even to whom or what I am praying, but I’m praying for you. For you, your family, and your mom.

  • NotReallyChristian May 16th, 2012 8:42 PM

    Dear Naomi,

    I’m a person from a small village in the English Countryside, and I welcome you on behalf of us all!

    My village has been Liberal for years, but actually this year they lost by two votes (!) to a slightly weird Independent who used to present the sheepdog trials on the telly. I voted Green.

    I’m sorry they were unwelcoming where you were. I guess we just get used to each other; We swim together in the river in summer and sledge together on the hill in winter. We went to school together, and now we’re apart at university and don’t see each other that much but the holidays are the same.

    I live in town now to be at my college and it’s ok, but it’s not the country. I can’t bike to my favourite meadow when I get stressed. I can’t swim in the river without risking Lyme Disease, or climb on mountains of haybales; I miss watching different crops come into season and never get to hear owls. Most of all the sky is wrong – my part of the world is totally flat so we have so much sky, and in town the buildings hide it from me. And at night I can’t see the stars! It’s weird, and I’m in possibly Britain’s most ‘rural’ city (Cambridge) so how would I survive in London?!

    Also ….. everyone I know here in town is Conservative. None of my home friends are.

    I guess in summary – we’re normal people! We’re all different, and that means some of us are nasty scary people and some of us are Rookie readers and some of us are in between. Please don’t say mean stuff about us!


    • rosaline May 17th, 2012 2:58 AM

      I also live in a tiny farm village in the English countryside (yorkshire to be more precise).
      We basically all voted Green, we have the friendliest pub that welcomes anybody and we are the type of village that helps each other out.

      I partly live in London now to do my degree, and I adore the juxtaposition of middle of nowhere with the middle of a busy city. I like being able to go home and hear nothing but birds, and see nothing but sky, stars and fields. I also like having everything that london has to offer on my doorstep when I’m at university.
      Also Boris just got reelected..

      Just don’t view every village and part of the countryside as the same, just as every city isn’t the same, and hopefully next time you go on holiday, it will be a better experience!

    • Naomi May 17th, 2012 5:59 AM

      i didn’t mean to sound mean at all. i didn’t originally put that they all voted conservative! because how could i possible know. i know they don’t. and there were some nice people. i just meant to get across how different i felt so far out in the countryside i suppose and it didn’t come across exactly how i wanted it to so sorry!! i love you and the countryside and english villages!!! the place where you live sounds so beautiful. it’s just i felt a direct contrast between there and where i live, that is what i meant to say. i don’t think i wrote it that well.

      • NotReallyChristian May 17th, 2012 9:04 PM

        No worries, thanks for replying. Come visit the Fens sometime, we have great sky! :)

  • MissKnowItAll May 16th, 2012 9:01 PM

    I think this is the first time I’ve actually cried while reading one of these diary entries. I can’t say that I’ve had as big of a loss as you have Ruby. I’m not going to say that I’ve been in your shoes. But I do know the feeling. Last year, my grandmother died. She was the most amazing woman I knew. I’m not the kind of person who can love others so easily. But I truly loved her. She dealt with all my crap and she just had a way of making every one round her happy. When we found out, I cried for 3 weeks straight. Especially when I would walk past her house and realized that it was empty. I’m hindu so we went to India for the funeral ceremony. I felt so miserable when I saw her sisters and cousins sobbing at the airport. It didn’t feel right. She was such a happy person. She hated to see me cry. And on the day of the ceremony, I didn’t cry. I didn’t smile. I just looked around and sighed. She always talked about going to school as a young girl and buying mangos from street vendors. So when the ceremony ended, I went to the street vendor and bought the ripest mango I saw. I peeled it, and ate it. I savored every bite and when I was done, I dried the peel and went to the river that ran alongside the village. And I let it float on the water. And for some odd reason, i felt at peace

    • May 17th, 2012 7:17 AM

      that was a beautiful story, I’m so sorry for your loss

  • cleobea May 16th, 2012 9:19 PM

    Ruby that was so touching and moving. Especially the last line. Again, I’m so sorry.

    And Katherine, that is exactly how I felt last Friday!! So bad at that

  • GlitterKitty May 16th, 2012 9:34 PM

    The diaries were all so amazing this week! Naomi: as a hard core city girl I totally understand. I like the feel of naturey stuff but actually being right in it freaks me out. And Katherine, as sad as your diaries are sometimes they’re great because they’re so relatable. You are not the only one. And Ruby, this is amazing. You’re such a great writer. I wish my writing was as fab as yours. And now I feel like I’ve left Dylan out…love ya too Dylan!

  • Kristen May 16th, 2012 10:35 PM

    Ruby, your writing and the emotions in it are always beautiful. I feel the need to say something like “My thoughts are with you” for real, but I’m sure you’ve already heard that so many times that it doesn’t mean anything anymore.

    Naomi, I can’t wait to go places and form opinions about them too :) Life is pretty exciting, sometimes I forget.

  • anisarose May 16th, 2012 10:39 PM

    Katherine: I think I read Rookie to sometimes feel like I’m not alone. Never before have I heard anyone say that they feel uncomfortable dancing to songs that are offensive or degrading and it feels nice to read this and know that when I’m standing in a sea of horny teenagers this Saturday at my junior prom, I can know that somewhere there are other girls who don’t want rub on on their classmates to a song about boobs.

  • teenager May 16th, 2012 10:40 PM

    I adore how relatable you girls are every time you write c:
    Ruby, your piece was beautiful. keeping you in my thoughts <3 <3

  • Ruby B. May 16th, 2012 11:09 PM

    Ugh, Katherine. That sounds like a suckish party. (I think this is a good place to apply that “Fake It Til You Make It” article.)

  • ivoire May 17th, 2012 2:22 AM

    That guy is the ultimate boobface Katherine. Ruby is such a poet also. I hope that didn’t sound trivial.

  • Naomi May 17th, 2012 6:01 AM

    ruby, you did so well. lots of love <3

  • bird May 17th, 2012 9:43 AM

    Dylan! I am so jealous of you right now!
    Also, about your parents, look on the bright side. My parents are divorced and I sure as hell know my dad is contributing absolutely zit. He wouldn’t even buy me something for lunch today!

  • violetlilies May 17th, 2012 3:35 PM

    I think its so great that you took the time to let us all know you were okay, Ruby. The last line was so beautiful. Just remeber to keep going because it will get better.
    Oh, and much love to Naomi, I live in South England and I used to feel out of place in the town, but now the country seems spookily quiet….
    Rookie diary posts are always the highlight of my internet time on a Wednesday.

  • bethne May 17th, 2012 4:41 PM

    Ruby, your writing is so beautiful and your mom was SO PROUD of you for it. Parents’ friends are a weird thing aren’t they? They know so much about you, but you have no idea who they are, and in the end it’s not really important :)
    Please apologize for me to Wolfie and Celia. I have to admit to being one of those people who kind of skipped over them. Not because they are less important than you, but because you were the one who I held as a baby the most and remember most vividly as being an extension of your mom. Thank you for letting it go, I’m sorry it bothered you.
    Your dad did do a beautiful job talking about your mom.

  • taste test May 17th, 2012 5:48 PM

    dylan, naomi, katherine, ruby, minna- you are all amazing. seriously. I wish I could give you all a hug. (I mean that in the least creepy way possible.)

  • Pashupati May 17th, 2012 6:23 PM

    Ruby, your text is such a great homage. Keep going <3

  • RockHatesMiriam May 18th, 2012 10:33 AM

    Naomi- I totally feel ya on the weird English country village thang. Perfect strangers talk to you in the street and you normally panic and don’t say anything so they think you’re  rude! 
    Also watching midsummer murders has completely put me off the traditional close knit village community idea. I always suspect there’s something kinky going on or they’re going to kill me or something…

  • Jenn May 18th, 2012 12:20 PM

    I couldn’t relate more, Dylan! I had a lot of the same “divorced parents problems” lately while getting ready for prom and my parents just got divorced a few months ago, so I wasn’t sure how to navigate it! (Thankfully, like for you, everything turned out pretty much okay despite some disappointment).
    Katherine- I just about fell off the couch when I read your description of Rack City “a song about a city of boobs?” “[It] was also hard because dancing to a song about a ‘bitch’ from some terrifying place called ‘rack city’ is upsetting and against my constitution” Hopefully since I’ll be attending the grad parties of one of my closer friends (with better music taste) I won’t encounter that problem.
    Finally, Ruby I can sincerely say I am so SO sorry for your loss, and I’m glad that the funeral went in such a way that your mom would have been pleased (as for those who skipped over your younger brother, more power to the both of you for letting it go!) I’m totally believe you when you say your father’s speech was beautiful, because I could only imagine his way with words as I read your excellent writing. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us at Rookie.

  • Teachsomeone May 21st, 2012 9:10 PM

    Dear Ruby,

    I am one of those distant cousins. Sorry to make you feel awkward. I also felt awkward. It’s hard to know what to do. I just want to know you and your siblings better. I always have. Reading your blog, I feel I do.

    I grew up with your mom. I idolized her. She was magical to me. She seemed like she had it all. I wish I could share those memories with you. Please keep writing. It helps you feel better and it helps me too…

    Love, Shannon