Dear Diary

June 13, 2012

Milestones, memories, and makeovers.

Dylan

People say that smell is the sense most connected to memory, but I think music is more powerful than anything smelly (unless it’s that weird bread-air at Subway and I think JUNIOR HIGH FIELD TRIP!!). I’ve been listening to Van Morrison a lot this week, while hermiting out for the first time in a while. My parents listened to a lot of Van Morrison when I was a kid—Moondance brings me to my childhood and its maudlin imagery: pictures of moments when parents were together and we lived in houses I loved and I felt wrapped in comfort. Wah wah, I used to be happy in a family. I hate myself for being sentimental about it, but I really did have a great childhood. My parents entertained at home all the time, and to this day the most comforting feeling is falling asleep to the hum of people gathered downstairs…usually with this song playing.

I’ve never really felt too sad about my parents not being together, because I know their divorce was for the best. I don’t really know why I’m doing it now, when things are getting more tense between my parents—probably because of new money concerns and the palpable discomfort of my dad’s knowing about my mom’s serious boyfriend. Writing this entry is probably the first time I’ve really cried about the fact that I don’t have happily married parents. Logic usually prevents tears: I reason that many people these days have divorced parents; I know none of us were really happy when my family was all together; and it was just one of those inevitable things in life. It’s easy to reason myself out of feeling sad, until I think about all the good times I had growing up, being the only child of married parents. I wrap myself up in the memories and realize that those times are worth something to me.

So when I talk about being homesick, it’s about more than missing my physical home. I’m remembering my childhood, and my family the way it used to be, before the divorce. And when I talk about growing up, that’s what I’m growing away from. I’m deserting all these perfect memories to do my own thing, become my own person. I’m ditching my childhood.

I know my memories of my childhood are more golden than the real events that created them. But those recollections are so crucial to my understanding of life, and my first experiences of happiness, that growing away from them leaves me feeling somewhat…empty.

Then, though, I remember that that Golden Era ended when I was 12, when my parents separated. They finally divorced when I was 15, I think. I’m not leaving anything behind. Those golden times already ditched me.

My mom’s constantly apologizing to me for “what happened,” as if you can just sum it up like that. The “what” she’s referring to is still happening—the consequences of divorce. The money quarrels, my confusion, navigating ex-marital minefields and needless complexities. I usually avoid having feelings about any of this, just so I can get through life day to day. Besides, what’s the point of dreaming of alternatives, of should-have-beens and expired wishes? They don’t exist. My parents are divorced for this and that reason, and so I have to deal with these and those results. Realizing that the good parts ended before I decided to grow up makes it a lot easier to grow up now. I just have to remember that the memories I love stopped production seven years ago. ♦

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28 Comments

  • meels June 13th, 2012 7:37 PM

    woohoo, this is literally my favourite thing in rookie, i sit till about 1am waiting for here in london every week.

    Dylan-i totally feel like that sometimes, my parents divorced about 8 years ago and i do still think what if and all that. it’s a funny thing

    Naomi-that is probably the thing i think about most in my odd little brain, i’m always thinking about what my future self would think and how i would judge my 8 year old self in my 16 year old mind. age is definitely a weird thing

  • sherbert June 13th, 2012 7:43 PM

    dylan’s post- i’m one to cry about my parents divorce either, but just today i got sad about it anyway, and your piece really sounded with me. sometimes i think its the hardest to believe our childhood memories are so golden when we get older and we really see our parents. that they’re not as funny or smart or as perfect as we remember

  • sherbert June 13th, 2012 7:45 PM

    dylan- also i think your post had just enough sentimentality, nothing too syrupy

  • WitchesRave June 13th, 2012 8:03 PM

    Katherine – It was totally worth having your scalp feel like the underworld for a few hours because it meant we got this great diary entry, YAY!

    witches-rave.tumblr.com

  • pinnedtothepage June 13th, 2012 8:14 PM

    really enjoyed that last paragraph/those last lines, naomi!

  • Dylan June 13th, 2012 8:28 PM

    Minna, your collage makes my heart sing

  • rroseselavy June 13th, 2012 8:48 PM

    Naomi- Your entry is really wonderful. Just a few days ago I was having the same feelings, reading parts of my journal from just a year ago, even 2 months ago, and it scares me, actually. It scares me how quickly I change, like I have nothing to hold on to. Just fleeting from moment to moment. It frightens me, because I know I have to make decisions soon. I wish I could hold everything at once, too.

  • Abby June 13th, 2012 8:58 PM

    Oh, Katherine… I am so sorry ha. I don’t like my hair color that much, but I won’t dye it because it scares the poop out of me.

  • puffytoad June 13th, 2012 9:00 PM

    I’ve thought some of the same stuff that Naomi was thinking. Recently I’ve started to play around with telling myself that I really am a totally different person than I used to be. I don’t see the relation between the two (or more) versions of me because we could basically be completely different beings… Like really, what does fretting about what I’m going to do for a career and being a crazy liberal have to do with my dorky apolitical/republican self? Anyway, all the cells in your body by the time seven years passes, so… You could totally be killed and replaced by a clone of yourself with all your memories and it would be exactly the same thing!!!! OMG that is so scary okbye.

    • puffytoad June 13th, 2012 9:01 PM

      *formerly apolitical and such okay

  • lilylaughs June 13th, 2012 10:04 PM

    ok ruby this is really creepy. i also go to a all girls summer camp with a brother camp, play ukulele at camp, and this will be my fourth year :) we are not doing avpm but still… and also i get what you mean about school because i don’t like my school. its not like i don’t have friends or it’s a dangerous school or the education sucks, so i feel obnoxious for saying i don’t like it.

  • Kathryn June 13th, 2012 10:42 PM

    I think I get what Naomi is talking about. Sometimes I feel almost like I’m living in a flashback of my future self. I’m always thinking about what I will think of myself now when I’m older.

  • SweetThangVintage June 14th, 2012 12:01 AM

    AVPM <3

  • Pashupati June 14th, 2012 1:14 AM

    Katherine – I’m so sorry it happened, but I still find that funny, and I’ve decided to never ever bleach my hair. Thanks to you lot of persons will avoid doing the same mistake! I didn’t even knew it was possible for it to go so bad. God I’m sorry it must have hurt so much.

  • Tara June 14th, 2012 2:16 AM

    so in love with minna’s collage. the ‘greetings from california’ reminds me of the postcards she bought on our visit together and the collage diary is over all wonderful.

    katherine-so sorry about your hair but I second the remark about it making a good story
    naomi-I really relate to your ideas about looking back at the past and an old ‘you’. it’s crazy isn’t it?? also I get being both old and young at age eighteen. sometimes our brains work in similar ways dear naomi

  • KatGirl June 14th, 2012 2:27 AM

    Ruby: Girl’s camps are awesome!!! I’m going to a camp this year where they have green pancakes. I hope you have a really good time :)

  • saltwater June 14th, 2012 5:25 AM

    naomi, i can relate to everything you’ve written here. especially since i’m starting university in september, i’ve been getting so nostalgic for the present and it’s a weird sensation.
    dylan, your entry is so sweet this week and the van morrison mention struck a chord because brown-eyed-girl makes me nostalgic for having my young parents all to myself.
    katherines entry has convinced me not to dye my hair blonde this summer because i was totally tempted to, and ruby’s entry is the second thing in two days to make me wish i were going to a summer camp this year (the first thing was seeing moonrise kingdom).

  • GlitterKitty June 14th, 2012 11:18 AM

    This may be a bit out there but I think these were the best set of diaries yet.

  • Mom June 14th, 2012 8:33 PM

    I know what you mean–even with all the heartache of the last few years, I miss that family feeling and I love the memories of those moments. I cherish you Dylan.

  • Dylan June 14th, 2012 10:56 PM

    BLONDE KATHERINE 4EVER

  • Lizmaster3000 June 14th, 2012 11:30 PM

    Katherine I LOVE you. you look fabulous even in meth-addict-orange hair. with some cat-eye, of course. lol and HEATHERS. I still have it on amazon. what was that one thing they said? like a catch-phrase type thing? i’m going to watch it again to see. it was so hip. i also amend my statement to you *are* fabulous and look… uniquely beautiful… with orange hair. love ya, fart face.

  • Miss Erin June 15th, 2012 2:24 AM

    Dylan, I relate to your entry so much. Thanks for putting it into words. Virtual hugs~~~

  • ebbab June 15th, 2012 12:50 PM

    I’m very happy I noticed Dylan’s text, I relly feel the same sometimes.

  • Lucille June 16th, 2012 11:12 AM

    Ruby, hope you’ll have much fun!

    http://fashion-babel.blogspot.com

  • Sorcha June 20th, 2012 12:07 AM

    Katherine honey, just put a cool color on it now

  • guiltfreedonut June 28th, 2012 12:44 AM

    Dylan, I don’t think that “growing up” means your ditching your childhood, and I don’t think that the memories have stopped because you have grown up.

    When I was 12 my parents got divorced and we moved across the country away from my childhood home and memories. Anytime that someone mentioned my hometown I felt a surge of sadness and longing. Four years later and I still miss it more than anything. But I’ve learned that I’m able to appreciate having it even more.

    If I had that picture perfect-ness all along I don’t know if I would be able to look back at my younger years with such fond memories.

    It’s up to you to create new ones. You’re never to old!

    http://www.guiltfreedonut.com

    • guiltfreedonut June 28th, 2012 12:44 AM

      too* old, sorry. ugh.