Dear Diary

May 23, 2012

Some things end, other things begin.

Dylan

Do you ever wonder when adolescence ends? I think it happens when you visit home for a couple of weeks after you finish your first half of college, and for the first time you see that everything else is moving on without you. By that criterion, my adolescence is on its way out.

I just learned that both of my parents are planning to move this summer. I never spent much time at my dad’s house, but my mom and I lived in her current place for all of my high school years. We lived there longer than in anywhere else we’ve lived. We moved around a lot—eight different places in Seattle alone—so I never thought I’d grow attached to any particular house. But when my mother said she was moving, I started to feel…wistful. I appreciated anew how close her house is to the neighborhood that was my teenage social epicenter, how I threw my first parties there, how I had to learn how to tough it out a little bit before the neighborhood totally gentrified. A lot of me happened in that house—most of the important parts. Tonight is my last night in Seattle, and probably my last night in this house, forever. So, I’m sad. I can’t pretend this house doesn’t mean a lot to me.

I’m also noticing that my relationships with my parents are changing. My mother is dating a guy who I think is super great (plus his life goal is to be mentioned positively in one of my diary posts, so merry Christmas, dude!), and I’m really excited for her, but I’ll be real. I’ve spent the past five years of my life as an only child living with a single mom, so I’m used to having all her attention, getting to ramble on about my life and myself and everything else me me me listen listen! Now she has this busy social life with her boyfriend. She spend all of her free time with him, playing tennis and going to the market and eating dinner in restaurants. Sometimes they include me on these excursions, but I used to do all of these things with my mom, all the time, just me and her. So, changes! I’m glad, though, that she doesn’t have to do all that stuff alone when I’m away at school.

Things are sort of changing with my dad, too. A few days ago I went out to dinner with him and he suggested that I “consider” what it would be like if he cut off half the money he gives me every month to pay my rent and bills. He didn’t say he was definitely going to do that, but just wanted me to give it a little thought, because maybe!!! Just think about it!!

One of the biggest privileges I’ve had in life is that I get to go to college, and focus on college instead of having to work an extra 30 hours a week to support myself. I find ways to earn spending cash, but I’ve been well supported for the necessities of living away from my parents’ homes. So there’s another adolescent perk vanishing before my eyes—I no longer get to take for granted that I’ll be automatically fed and clothed and housed. But as much as I want to squirm and whine and proclaim, “DAD, I’m just a TEENAGER,” that won’t be true in three months, and he wants me to grow up and act like an adult, at least when it comes to money.

I’ve been hanging out with my old crew in Seattle, and that forced me to face the end of my teen years, too. My old friends were all a few years older than me, so now they’re in their 20s and talk about stuff we never concerned ourselves with before: the tribulations of starting their careers, decisions about whether to move in with their significant others, and other things that have me trembling in my teenage boots because I’ll be facing all that stuff in a few short years. Those are going to be my problems. And it’s not just me growing up—it’s everyone around me, too.

Adolescence lives in the place you grew up in, and next time I come home, everything is going to be different. It’s impossible go back to something that’s not there anymore. ♦

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34 Comments

  • Naomi May 23rd, 2012 7:10 PM

    I LOVE IGGY
    and minna, your college is extra wonderful this week <3

  • Lucy23 May 23rd, 2012 7:20 PM

    Asdfgh Katherine I totally get you. I used to go to a school that wasn’t specified as a religious school, but after I started there I discovered that going to the Chapel every day for religious teaching was required and if you didn’t go to it you would get in trouble. I’m an atheist and two of my best friends were Jewish and Muslim. It just made us feel really uncomfortable and we tried to talk to out teachers about not attending, but they didn’t even consider it >:(

  • kittenmix May 23rd, 2012 7:43 PM

    Katherine this might sound weird BUT you are the best person ever and i’m your biggest fan come to Australia let’s hang out (also we have the same name so there’s that)

  • mustachio May 23rd, 2012 7:50 PM

    Wow, I know exactly where you’re coming from. I go to a very religious school. I am a religious person, but my school’s views seem like they’re using God as a platform for hatred. Today in my Morality test and a question literally said “homosexual acts are wrong because…” I thought about standing up and walking out of the classroom in protest, but instead I just circled D) none of the above.

    Thank you so much, this was an amazing piece!

    • Mags May 24th, 2012 1:10 AM

      You are awesome.

      That is my main problem with most religions, the way they use God and “God’s word” as a justification for being hateful and cruel. I mean, come on!

      • mustachio May 31st, 2012 8:02 PM

        Exactly! It’s exactly like the Westboro Baptist Church who are protesting military funerals. They use God as a shield to spew their hatred.

  • lyrarose May 23rd, 2012 7:57 PM

    Katherine, I’d just like to say how I’m in the same situation you’re in. I have been for the past 4 years, and will be for the next 5 days.

    This might be weird to say, but I know how you feel exactly, and it’s nice to read that someone else has the same problem.
    I’ve been reprimanded by teachers for not making the sign of the cross during morning prayer (I’ll politely stand along with everyone else, but that’s it, just passively stand), for crushing the terrible arguments of a few dumb kids in my morning religion class (the ones who think that gays are evil, spirituality is the most important thing, and that sex is taboo at all time, always). Thankfully, I only have two or three people like this in these classes, but it still is hurtful to hear them say these things, or to say what they think atheists believe/don’t believe, generally with much error, and that the ideas of these ungodly humanists should be crushed (as I sit directly across from them, fuming).

    I just, it’s nice to read that I’m not alone.

  • Rosebud May 23rd, 2012 8:29 PM

    Katherine, I live in a totally different area..
    Where I live, a lot of people are atheists, and although most kids go to church, its “cool” not to be religious.. it’s great you are standing up for yourself and I hope people will appreciate YOUR beliefs wherever you go next

    yay

  • VintageAddict May 23rd, 2012 8:31 PM

    Ugh Katherine. I totally understand how you feel. I’m muslim (not strict at all; don’t wear hijab, don’t go to mosque etc.) but I go to a Lutheran school. I haven’t experienced much trouble with my teachers, but my peers are increasingly annoying about it. Just today, at lunch a teacher said a prayer and I didn’t bow my head or fold my hands, just looked down respectively, and my friend asks me “why don’t you pray?”. Maybe because it’s not my religion? “But we have the same God.” Yes, on basic terms, but I don’t pray in “the Lord’s name” because I don’t believe Jesus is the son of God, just a prophet. “You should still pray.” Ummm… WHAT?

    annoyed.

    And another girl enjoys bashing my friends religion (shes hindu) and one said, and I quote “But she goes to a Christian school, she knows her religion is wrong, she should convert.” Me: “Umm… hello? I’m not christian either, should I convert” Her: “No you believe in only one God, so you’re ok.” Her: “But you support gays, so that’s wrong too” Me: *angry outburst similar to Amy Rose’s growling thing*

    Needless to say, this was last year and that girl and I still aren’t too fond of eachother. I may have or may not have called her a homophobic bible thumping bigot…

    • marimba_girl May 23rd, 2012 10:21 PM

      I’ll always remember that the first real fight I had with my best friend in elementary/middle school was over Dumbledore. She was not allowed to read the Harry Potter books (I know!!!) and I mentioned that it was really great that such an important character in the series is gay and she flipped shit. However, this also happened when I told her I was considering converting to Buddhism. Needless to say we are not friends anymore and no way am I telling her I am pagan :)

      • TheGreatandPowerfulRandini May 26th, 2012 12:36 PM

        Being denied Harry Potter? Poor girl.

    • violetlilies May 24th, 2012 12:47 PM

      Totally feel for you. Last year my friend and I had a huge (we didn’t talk for 2 months) over the fact that Freddie Mercury (<3) was bisexual. She is a very devout Christian, except she's never been to church so I didn't think it would upset her that much. In the end she came out that she believed that the world was 5000 years old and I was going to burn in hell.
      I felt awful but curious, so for an experement I told her I thought I might be gay. She ignored me for two weeks, then started sending me pictures of boys she thought i might find fit. When I asked her why, she said it was her duty to god to "convert" me. Then I may have yelled at her, and we didn't speak for two months.

      How can we have fallen out of this?

  • Abby May 23rd, 2012 8:38 PM

    Katherine, I feel you. I don’t go to a religious school, but this is how EVERYBODY at my church is. If anything even remotely not okay happens (i.e., anything from my dad being unconscious in the ICU to me getting a paper cut), they’re all like, “CAN I PRAY WITH YOU?????” Ummmm…. NO. And they all are just absolutely crazy about gay people and atheists and people who would DARE even THINK about getting an abortion and anyone who even questions God. It’s so terrible. I think it’s going to disappoint my parents when I don’t go to church in college, but they can suck it up, because until I find an open-minded one, I won’t sit through mean religious lectures.

  • 3LL3NH May 23rd, 2012 9:00 PM

    Naomi, I quite liked your entry. My mom used to doodle in the corners of the phone message pad, and I would constantly look at it and be amazed that she had something so much a part of her that had nothing to do with me; I loved the fact that even though I wasn’t included in it, I could appreciate it. This happens all the time with my friends now, knowing that they’re involved in things like band and swimming that don’t have the same meaning for me, but they share it with me still, and I feel a weird sense of wonder it at. So I liked that…..

    I also wanted to add: “It’s impossible go back to something that’s not there anymore” Good line Dylan, great ending…..

  • espressoslut May 23rd, 2012 9:18 PM

    Katherine, I so look forward to reading your diary every week because I feel like we GET eachother- I, too, go to a “Christian” school in the South and have all the high school dogma to wade through everyday. I’ve actually never told anyone that I don’t believe in God, so I applaud you for living in honesty! Keep on truckin’- I see college being even better because of the more stifling high school experience!

  • Kristen May 23rd, 2012 10:24 PM

    Naomi, you put the whole creating a tiny world thing into words so well. I’m obsessed with your writing!

  • TopazOwl May 23rd, 2012 11:37 PM

    Katherine, at my Catholic school we were assigned a project called “My Spirtual Journey” and if we didn’t believe in a god the teacher wanted us to justify our lack of belief. The other kids just had to make a drawing of a tree and say”the roots represent baptism, because that began my journey toward God…” but I had to tell some people who weren’t aware that I was athiest exactly why I had my viewpoints. It was kind of brutal.

  • Ruby B. May 23rd, 2012 11:40 PM

    Oh, Katherine! Just READING that made me extremely angry. I have very little experience with that sort of thing because for most of my life (or at least the part in which I could understand religion as a concept) I have been in diverse international schools.
    At least you get to graduate soon!

  • erin May 24th, 2012 12:05 AM

    I dig the sparkles on this weeks illustration! Also, Katherine, I feel your pain! I don’t go to a religious affiliated school, but there is a seminary building that isn’t technically associated with the school, but it really is. I’m not religious at all, and pretty much everyone else is. Recently, when I was getting my schedule for next year sorted, the secretary tried to bully me into taking seminary. We get missionaries (part of the Mormon faith) sent to our house all the time, asking us if we “have the lord in our lives”. I congratulate you on getting out!

  • Caden May 24th, 2012 12:39 AM

    Yesterday I found a beautiful doggy who looked just like Iggy :). She was lost but luckily we found her home after a bit of hunting. Maybe she was Iggy’s Australian twin!

    Caden x
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/pinkpoppies1991

  • Mags May 24th, 2012 1:06 AM

    Katherine, I don’t believe in God either. I try to keep my beliefs to myself because I don’t want to offend others, and I strongly believe in not imposing my views on others. I have learned that people can be extremely cruel to you when they find out you don’t believe in any type of deity, which is hilarious and ironic (but mostly just sad) when their religion is supposed to be one of tolerance. ANYWAY, I mostly just wanted to tell you that you are brave. Keep being you.

  • Sea goddess May 24th, 2012 1:26 AM

    Aww dylan, im also kinda freaked out about all these things growing up comes with :s with everyone around me doing things and me just kind of stuck to my stuff is kind of exhausting sometimes

  • hazeleyedgirl May 24th, 2012 5:06 AM

    Wow Katherine, do you go to a very conservative Christian school? Because everyone sounds very… well, conservative.

    I’m glad you have never let that sort of pressure to change your beliefs. Everyone is free to believe what they want and shouldn’t try and press their beliefs onto anyone, especially if they are an authority figure like a teacher!
    I suppose they thought they were helping you though.

  • myownlittlerainbow May 24th, 2012 9:27 AM

    Well I think what you should keep in mind is that those teachers who tried to pitch in and help for YOUR best intentions. Not trying to sound all preachy here because I’ve been through this as well, but yeah.

    Reading this article actually makes me very sad for how much hate stems from Christians who are “homophobic Bible thumping bigots”, as VintageAddict said. As a Christian myself, it actually pains me to read about how some Christians successfully condemn their own religion by condemning others for their beliefs.

    It might be true that Christianity does not accept homophobia, but that gives NOBODY the right to damn anyone into hell. “Look at the log in your eye before pointing out the speck of dust in your sister’s eye.” is really what some of us need to follow.

    Anyway, Katherine, I hope you find your own guiding light as you run away.

  • FORESTER May 24th, 2012 12:31 PM

    Ruby, hopefully your dog will get over her habit soon. Our dog used to do that all the time, she didn’t want to ‘run away from us’ as such, but, as a stray, she just couldn’t understand that we lived in a fixed place (I mean what’s with that psh). Now she’s too cowardly to even venture on to the driveway by herself, damn she gets scared when we take her collar off! By the way, Iggy is super adorable. Lovely little dog.

  • Killjoy May 24th, 2012 7:58 PM

    Once she ate 200 renminbi (the Chinese equivalent of about $37.50) off the kitchen table.
    That’s hilarious haha!

    • Ruby B. May 24th, 2012 9:09 PM

      They were paper bills and she just ATE IT. Like, what dog EATS MONEY? She also does this with rocks and small coins. She’s crazy.

  • Lizmaster3000 May 24th, 2012 8:23 PM

    Katherine,
    #1 I love you, always will
    #2 You know me & I understand
    #3 “You have no right to doubt the faith of your fathers!”

  • SweetThangVintage May 26th, 2012 2:36 PM

    Dylan, I pretty much just read the dear diaries section because of you. I got hooked with crush boy. haha.
    I feel like growing up is such a scary thing, I just turned 18 and I’m already like “AHHHH!”
    But you are going to be just wonderful! So stick it out girlfriend!

  • TheGreatandPowerfulRandini May 26th, 2012 5:13 PM

    Katherine, I feel your pain. I live in a generally liberal community, but I just came out as a kind-of-atheist to my catholic mother. It will be over one day.

  • HeartPlant May 27th, 2012 6:21 AM

    Katherine, I have the inverse experience of yours. I was atheistic, surrounded by atheist friends and very much in a secular school. (Although Chapel every second Tuesday… guess you can’t really escape it…) We made fun of people who went to CU (we thought they were drips). But I’ve found a faith now, and I’m the one that asks to pray with people. Although I think that by having a new faith I’ve been able to take the experiences from my atheistic life and I think this makes me more tolerant and able to love others without a cloud of e.g. homophobia. Some of my friends think homosexuality is a sin, but really it’s a personal relationship with God that I treasure the most so they don’t have an impact on my belief. Anyway, you keep doing what you think is right, and as a Christian, I’ll support you in that.

  • Mom May 30th, 2012 6:31 PM

    wow dylan just saw this. I am wistful as well for hanging out together though you kinda ditched me this summer already. just sayin. from my view I wanted another summer hanging out with you being your MOM.