Dear Diary

August 1, 2012

Chronically stoked.

Naomi

I love the Olympics. It’s like a two-week Christmas that comes around only once every four years. It’s something to eat breakfast in front of, to watch while lacing up shoes and right before bed.

The furthest back I can remember is Sydney 2000—I was young, but I remember how much I loved watching Ian Thorpe swimming (I still love Ian Thorpe). My family watched Matthew Pinsent win his fourth gold medal on a tiny TV in a Scottish B&B in 2004. In 2008, I was getting over jet lag after coming back from America and watched a ridiculous amount of Olympics coverage while trying to recover—that was when I really fell in love with the Games. It amazes me how much I’ve grown in the four years hence, and how much has changed for me. But this time it’s special (and surreal) because it’s at HOME.

Because this year’s Olympics are in Britain, it’s the first time I have felt an obligation to watch the opening ceremony from start to finish. I knew it would be great the minute I heard that Danny Boyle would be directing. But I didn’t know the Queen would say “Good evening, Mr. Bond” and my heart would leap over itself. I didn’t know I’d get so excited by lit-up trampoline beds spelling out NHS to celebrate our national health service—one of the things I am most proud of. I didn’t know I would swell with pride at our amazing music history and amazing music now—Dizzee Rascal and the Arctic Monkeys were such good live choices, while Paul McCartney actually managed to direct a whole Olympic stadium sing-song of “Hey Jude.” I didn’t know I’d get genuinely emotional when the Great Britain athletes trouped out last to the tune of David Bowie’s “Heroes.” Gosh, there are so many other things I could say I loved about it. It was British; it wasn’t too serious, it wasn’t trying to live up to Beijing’s spectacle, it did manage to reflect some of the best bits of this country, and it did involve the most amazing volunteers—normal people, who fitted in just as well as Shakespeare and Brunel and the Queen.

Britain is my home. We have lived here, in my home, for four Olympics now. But next time we won’t be here. Dad will have most likely retired, and we’ll move out of the house that the church he works for owns. My brother will have finished university. Who knows where I’ll be the next time round. This has been on my mind lately. In four years’ time, I would like to be out of Birmingham. I would like to maybe be out of Britain. I could be anywhere, and the Olympics could be a touchstone for my nostalgia, and my support of Team GB may be my way to nurse homesickness.

For now though, I am here. I can waste two weeks on the sofa. I can spend all my time watching crazy sports I’d never usually watch and having a novel patriotism play as constant background noise. I’ll be thinking about now and the future. This house and this country. I wish this house, this home, could always be here to come back to for the rest of my life. It won’t be, of course. But at least the Olympics will come back every four years, like clockwork. ♦

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36 Comments

  • bird August 1st, 2012 7:16 PM

    This is going to sound crazy but… I LOVE THE SUMMER. You guys are all having good times, my friends and I are having a good time – there are just such good vibes EVERYWHERE. Please can September just never arrive!
    Enjoy the rest of the summer everyone!

  • Kathryn August 1st, 2012 7:44 PM

    Such a great set of diary entries this week. I especially liked Katherine’s. That sounds so insanely fun!

  • readyfortofade August 1st, 2012 7:57 PM

    In response to Katherine: It’s funny how there are those moments or experiences that change everything.

    I remember coming home from my first visit to the college I’ll be starting in the fall. I had found my people, so to speak. They had stories and thoughts and looked at me like I meant something, too.

    I remember sitting next to the window on the train, eating avocado sushi from the co-op, drinking from an old-fashioned glass bottle of Orangina. I felt so removed from myself, I was almost shaking. I hadn’t yet clicked back into my old self, that costume.

    I kept looking at myself in the window – my hair was sticking up from a long night of being held and sitting on a warm roof.

    I was thinking: Everything is different.

    Can that feeling be sustained? I guess I’ll find out in a few weeks.

  • Tyknos93 August 1st, 2012 8:04 PM

    Katherine your entry was really top notch today! I feel like I know exactly the feeling and experience you are describing, but I haven’t felt it for a long time. Places like the W Hotel make me feel really itchy and super anxious…

    Quirks of Blazoning Pens

  • Tara August 1st, 2012 8:32 PM

    aw katherine your diary makes me want to cry. happiness is so beautiful and I love how you described our crazy sleepover night and your week and rookie! I know what you mean about feeling a part of the community.

    and dylan, so glad you enjoyed LA this time around. time can be weird and it’s interesting how you experienced the city in a different way this time around.

    ruby you are the sweetest.

  • Jillheartsmusic August 1st, 2012 8:40 PM

    Yay Katherine!!

  • Aubrey August 1st, 2012 8:56 PM

    Katherine, your piece made me bawl. And then like, glow with joy. And then send it to four of my friends. And then glow with joy some more. Thank you.

    - aubrey
    http://www.lifeofmagicalthinking.blogspot.com

    • Anaheed August 1st, 2012 8:58 PM

      This was basically my exact reaction as well.

      • hollysh August 4th, 2012 3:13 AM

        Me too. I’m about to ride off to work bawling. Katherine, I’m so happy for you!

  • Mayabett August 1st, 2012 9:34 PM

    Katherine, that story was literally everything I wish I could have in a teenage adventure. I wish I knew people who were up to doing such crazy shenanigans and having a BLAST doing it.

    Don’t worry about not having a first kiss story because when your time comes it will be worth waiting for!
    “I brush my teeth, I swear!”
    ^ Best line.

  • Megann16 August 1st, 2012 10:23 PM

    THE OLYMPICS.
    literally the best thing ever.

    I go for all the teams from all the places because its more fun that way and it makes me feel all the feelings.
    Like its so great that we all come together for an event and share culture, particularly the one of the host country. But its sad that some countries have so few athletes because their government doesn’t even really afford to keep its people alive and healthy, let alone invest in sport. And it’s both inspiring and heart wrenching that people dedicate their entire lives to this thing that just may or may not pan out on the day. But mostly it gives me so much hope that the world can come together for a while and create an event which is so spirited and happy and united rather than sad. The glory and the dissappointment and the just getting there and the Mr Bean in the opening ceremony. ALL the feelings.

    That said, yayyyy Australia!

    • Megann16 August 1st, 2012 10:27 PM

      also all the entries were really nice this week. I wanted to say that but got distracted by THE OLYMPICS

  • bawlingbrother August 1st, 2012 10:34 PM

    way 2 make me cry sis xoxo ur smelly brother

    • Dylan August 1st, 2012 10:45 PM

      Katherine just screamed @ that

  • Sue Denim August 1st, 2012 11:07 PM

    Hooray for the Stephen Fry reference!
    Everyone should read ‘Moab is my washpot’ it is a brilliant book filled!

  • Adrienne August 1st, 2012 11:47 PM

    I love the Olympics so much! That opening ceremony was pretty amazing.. my favorite part was definitely Rowan Atkinson’s bit!! Oh and that 100 ft Voldemort haha. My only complaint was that huge creepy baby thing… heehe :)

    http://theaverageasiangirl.blogspot.com

    • Adrienne August 1st, 2012 11:49 PM

      Oh and also I’ve stayed at the W hotel… the whole place feels like a giant dance club! The lobby is all dark and the only source of light is from the garishly neon colored light fixtures!

  • Eryn August 2nd, 2012 12:04 AM

    “…my love is difficult to collect and organize, all over the place like glitter that’s hard to sweep up.”
    THIS TOTALLY RESONATES.
    Such great entries… <3

  • ladiesfirst August 2nd, 2012 12:21 AM

    This is so sweet!

    Also, Buenos Aires makes me think of my new favorite song (and fervent obsession):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJ3fdiHu3Mw

    http://politicizenow.wordpress.com/

  • ivoire August 2nd, 2012 12:34 AM

    idk bout u guys but i cant access the last article. the one that comes out 11pm EST? isnt it midnight there already?

  • Hannah. August 2nd, 2012 2:04 AM

    Ian Thorpe. Represent.

  • guiltfreedonut August 2nd, 2012 2:21 AM

    Katherine your piece was beautiful. You completely captured the essence of love and happiness and … living! I haven’t felt that sense of absolute happiness and comfort in a while, but this article really reminded me that it’s out there. That was probably my favorite piece on Rookie, ever. Thank you so much!

  • julalondon August 2nd, 2012 5:20 AM

    Aaaah this is all so amazing! I love summer, i love sun, i love meeting interessting people, i love reading rookie and i’m freaking out because i’m gonna go on holiday later on today! Katherine basically sum up all of my feelings and made me even more happy! <– don't know if that made sense or not BUT I'M JUST SO FREAKIN HAPPY RIGHT NOW!!!

  • violetlilies August 2nd, 2012 6:35 AM

    yay olympics!! Rowan Atkinson was awesome as ever, just makes me proud to be British!

  • Emilie August 2nd, 2012 1:37 PM

    Naomi. You are the greatest.

  • ashleylynn August 2nd, 2012 3:20 PM

    Katherine, I just wanted to say that I think your piece is amazing. It felt like I was there. Thank you for sharing it :) (And A+ for the Stephen Fry reference!)

  • Luisa August 2nd, 2012 6:01 PM

    Minna your illustration this week-!!!!!! 8D

  • mloxe4210 August 2nd, 2012 6:37 PM

    KATHERINE I know that exact feeling! I wish I’d been able to go to a rookie event though :’( for me I feel like that when I get to meet people that I get, and that get me – when I feel like I fit in with them for once and don’t feel all awkward and self conscious and bleh… hope I find that once I get to college cause I certainly won’t in my high school. So jealous of you and just wanted to say you are so awesome :)

  • Dylan August 2nd, 2012 6:55 PM

    I’m a floaty pro, it’s not a big deal. KATHERINE I would have done anything 4 u to come on that trip (kidnapping, bribery, etc) so I’m glad that you got to come because otherwise…WTF WTF I can’t even think about OTHERWISE.

  • Naomi August 2nd, 2012 7:13 PM

    it was an amazing race: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_m5VQnXBg0

  • Mom August 2nd, 2012 7:48 PM

    Katherine

    the ability to be happy is lifegiving. I’m glad you and Dylan got to hang together in LA and SF!!! sounds divine

  • Lucille August 3rd, 2012 9:35 AM

    Ruby, hey!Bumpa, gooosh, love it!
    How little things can make you smile, it’s so magical.
    I love being with my grandparents and talk with them about history and stuff.
    when’ll you be back from camp?I kinda miss your posts on your blogggg

    http://fashion-babel.blogspot.com

  • Alicynthia August 4th, 2012 10:25 PM

    Katherine! Oh my god, I am a freak, I almost added you as a friend on Facebook because I couldn’t think of any other way to tell you how MUCH I loved your entry. Then I realized I could just comment on the post. Okay, I went on a trip recently and I couldn’t quite put it into words how I felt, and wow your words just work so much better. I am smiling and inspired and hey, I might still add you as a friend on Facebook. Thank you! :)