Dear Diary

July 18, 2012

The future and the past and the present.


Going to an all-girls school made me anything but enthusiastic about warm and fuzzy gatherings of females. There were a lot of “opportunities for sisterhood” that left me consistently uncomfortable and full of angst. For whatever reason, it made me really embarrassed to identify as a teenager and as a girl, both of which I happen to be. I never felt super teen-y, at least in my own mind. I think a big part of me is totally adolescent and will never grow up: my Hello Kitty collection, my love of pop music, the way I dress. Socially, though, I never felt entirely like the teen I am (at least for another month—panic attack). I just couldn’t relate to the “let’s have a slumber party and braid each other’s hair!” vibe that plagued my high school both in the classroom and in the cliques outside of it.

I guess it doesn’t feel genuine to me. Forced bonding? Want to dieeeeeee. I hated overnight CYO camp. We had yearly retreats in high school that were designed to make everyone communally spill their guts in a twisted, overly-emotional ritual of sentimentality concerning WOMANHOOD and COMMUNITY and JESUS. I am sorry, but again, I want to dieeeeee. That was my attitude, and so I did die a little bit every time I had to do something schmaltzy like retreats or camps or even, honestly, graduation. Where did this leave me for most of my life? It left me apathetic about being a girl, embarrassed about being a teenager, and fundamentally uncomfortable with myself, despite many of my very feminine and very adolescent interests. If this mushy version of community defined what it was like to have lots of teens or lots of girls in one place, I wasn’t buying it. I couldn’t think of anything less cool or sincere than forced, fake, female bonding. Mostly it’s the manufactured sentimentality that rubs me the wrong way. Don’t tell me what I’m supposed to love! I’ll hug you if I feel like it!

Last weekend, however, was different than all of the above. At the San Francisco Rookie meet-up, I was digging a whole new set of vibes. They pretty much eradicated any trace of cynicism in my JADED, JADED 19-year-old heart about gaggles of teen girls getting together and eating ice cream and hugging. OK, the way I phrased that is sending me back into my apathy zone again…but if you were there, or at any of the other meet-ups, I’m sure you can testify to how TRULY great the event was. Rookie in general has been a pretty affirming voice, even at the tail end of my adolescence, about how good it is to be young and to be a girl (or, even if you’re not, to be those things in your heart). (I’m barfing in my mouth as I’m typing this, who have I become?) Seeing the community manifest itself in Dolores Park, which is where I normally go to drink on weekends and pretend I’m cool, defied my negative connotations regarding large gatherings of women being awesome and in love with each other. It can be real, it can be cool, and I can get into it. Really into it. I was, like, really intensely into it.

I also want to mention that I finally had the chance to assault the Road Trip crew with hugs I’ve been saving for the past 10 months as I’ve gotten to know them in our Rookie Office in the Sky (the internet–they are not ghosts). I was pleasantly surprised by how weird they are. This website is made by total FREAKS. And I love them. My adolescence is on its deathbed, y’all, and I am glad that before I get to the crippling age of 20, I get to feel how awesome it all was, and is, and forever will be. Thanks for not sucking, everyone, I like you, and I hope to see you next week in L.A.! ♦


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  • Emmie July 18th, 2012 8:12 PM

    Hey Ruby, I hope this year coming up is really good to you, because you seem brilliant to me.

  • lylsoy July 18th, 2012 8:28 PM

    Oh Dylan, I love this post! I love Hello Kitty, too, but on the other hand, I feel grown up, because I am not one of the drama-queen-teens. :* Electronic hugs to everyone who loves rookie

  • Marguerite July 18th, 2012 8:34 PM

    i spend too much time in my head
    i plan things out, to see how i think people will react and what will happen after that

    but when the time comes, i get too scared to ask questions, buy things in case i will want to buy something more expensive later, i forget to live in the moment…
    and then once i miss my chance, i think about what would have happened if i didn’t overthink things

    • Emmie July 21st, 2012 8:57 PM

      it’s hard to overcome that shitty side of life sometimes. i hope you can. but i understand you, completely.

  • Cerise July 18th, 2012 11:08 PM

    Dylan, I know *exactly* what you’re talking about with the forced bonding thing. :P The school I went to in HS l basically thought that if we ever had some sort of event/retreat/trip, it was highly necessary for us to sit in circles and confess our deepest, darkest secrets and cry, never mind that we barely knew some of these people.

    And then I met these girls who are absolutely wonderful, who I can act all weird and emotional and crazy with. Being so open was really foreign to me at first, but then it just became this really cool and lovely thing. I think the key difference there is that with my friends, it’s entirely natural and sincere. You just can’t force that kind of connection.

  • Mayabett July 18th, 2012 11:56 PM

    Katherine, I wish I were you right now. I’m dying to go to an outdoor music festival. I absolutely HATE that I missed Governor’s Ball here in NYC. (And the parentals certainly didn’t want to even consider sending me to Lollapalooza, even after I explained that it wasn’t as wacky as the name suggested.)

    And Ruby, I feel the same way about school starting up again. I’m going to get a new ‘do, some cool new clothes…
    I kind of strongly dislike (i.e. hate) the majority of my grade (I have a tiny grade), but I’m more sure of myself this year, way more confident, and I may not like them but I feel awesome so whatever.

  • anotheryouth July 19th, 2012 12:00 AM

    I’ve read but never commented on rookie articles for a few months now. In fact, I had to make an account for the first time to comment here (which I was glad to do, if it makes me in some way more of the rookie family!) I just needed to say to Naomi, that was absolutely beautiful. I was having a really difficult night and somehow, just reading something that – though not directly related to my situation- felt as though it came from a perspective I can relate to so intensely did so much to make me feel less alone. Thank you for reading my mind and being here for me even though you had no idea you were!

    • Naomi Morris July 19th, 2012 5:52 PM

      thank you thank you thank you. this is the best comment i have ever received!

  • Narita July 19th, 2012 1:12 AM

    Yo Ruby, I’ve got some high school advice for you.

    - It’s better than middle school. Like, way better. Everyone suddenly thinks they’re grown-up, which they’re not, but at least they act a bit more sophisticated. (Beecuzz we’re high skool gurls now rite????)

    - Just be yourself. Really, you’ll find other people that are out of the ordinary as well. I’m spending most of my time with the alternative/emo-ish kids because they’re most tolerant and play the best music and at least have more to tell than how their fingernail snipped and/or how expensive their UGGs and Blackberries were.

    - I’ve heard that American high school isn’t too hard. In the Netherlands, we have several levels. Mine is the second hardest, but American high school is compared to the lowest level here. If I can handle the second hardest, you sure can handle the lowest.

    - Just act ‘normal’. Don’t make a huge deal out of being different, just dress the way you want, listen to what you want et cetera but if someone talks to you, try to talk back. Make a joke or something, it doesn’t really matter but DON’T STAY SILENT. They’ll think you feel to good for them, even if you just don’t want to talk to anyone, it’s just teen logic idk.

    - Don’t tell your whole story to everyone. My form teacher made that choice for me in freshman year, sent me out of the room and told everyone that my mom had died when I were 10, I had lived in foster families et cetera. Legally, she wasn’t even allowed to do that, but my class acted nice to me for three whole days and then told me to cry with my mom.

    Good luck, it’ll be ok!

  • Sea goddess July 19th, 2012 1:23 AM

    Naomi I get youuuuu alot!!!! I have reached happiness in my own world, where only I exist, I learned not to expect anything from anyone, and well so far I do things merely for ME, and not to show others, but to prove to me that I can do as I wish. I really like drawing and writing, but lately I have been feeling trapped in this everyday habitat, alot of noise and unpeaceful, I hope to find a quiet place where I can watch the sun at about 6 or 7 pm!! with paper and pencil in hand!♥

  • HarrietIsAPirate July 19th, 2012 5:23 AM

    Naomi, I love your entry today so much, you write beautifully! I can definitely relate to the feeling of everything being distant and happiness being eternally elusive.

    And Ruby, you are so awesome! I wish I’d been as cool and self-aware as you are when I was your age. I hope you are happy at high school, I’m sure you’ll do just fine!

  • meels July 19th, 2012 6:33 AM

    Katherine, im so jealous you got to go to pitchfork!! I watched the live streams on YouTube and it seemed so fun, im glad i could live vicariously through your post

  • bird July 19th, 2012 3:24 PM

    Naomi! I’m sorry to say this kind of randomly, but I know you are a fan… I saw Bruce Springsteen in Hyde Park and, at the end of the show, he introduced Paul McCartney and he came on and they dueted ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ and ‘Twist and Shout’!! Talk about happiness…

    • Naomi Morris July 19th, 2012 5:51 PM

      bruce is always relevant! i am happy it made you happy

  • Mom July 19th, 2012 3:48 PM

    those rookie girls are YOUR PEOPLE dylan

  • Aislinn July 19th, 2012 8:36 PM

    I love all the articles!!!!! <3

  • total slut July 19th, 2012 9:55 PM

    if the theme was punk why did they play screamo

  • raYchel July 20th, 2012 1:29 AM

    Naomi, what you said about the past was really true… So often I look back and think life was so great back then blah blah like a senior citizen. But I think the past seems that way because we can’t always remember what emotions we were feeling then, we just remember some event… Anyway, your writing style is really gorgeous… like poetry!

  • SamB July 24th, 2012 11:58 PM

    Katrine, come visit me. I haven’t seen you all summer! Plus, you haven’t told about any of this cool stuff in person, which is a problem. If I could put this comment in Comic Sans, I would (heh heh). Bottom line is, Fantasy misses Gorgeous…and Fantasy really misses Gorgeous’s cooking…and the delegation from Latvia needs to reunite.