diary featured july 17

July 17, 2013


I look at the little analog clock on the corner of the computer screen. I have been in summer school for 1.5 hours. That’s exactly half a day. Our days are short, which is good because I have friends as of this year, and even a boyfriend, and I love all those people a lot. I kinda have it all, in that regard at least. For now.

I am going to be a sophomore in high school after summer school is over. Then I’ll be 16. That is the age you think of when you think of teenagers. It’s where the kids from Glee started (R.I.P. Cory), the age of Jeremy from Zits, the age of all the characters on that stupid show Victorious or Victory or whatever. It’s the age of this cool girl at my school who had a shaved head and cool makeup and boots. I think Lindsay Weir was 16, but I can’t remember. I’m pretty sure Kim Possible is, too. It’s like the default age for teens. By 16 you are a sophomore or a junior and you look like an adult and act like an adult and you drive and are all grown up.

Maybe that’s just in my head and none of it is correct.

This entire year flew by in a blur and so will next year and the next one and the one after that. And I’ll be in the real world. I don’t care about being alone in the world. I am just scared that I won’t know what to do so I’ll do nothing.

Realistically, I’m not going to go to a good college. I always thought about going to an Ivy League, or maybe McGill. I don’t know why, but in middle school I thought I would continue being smart and successful forever. Maybe I’ll go to Bennington, if I can get in, because writing is the only thing I have going for me. It’s the only class I don’t fail miserably in. It’s the only subject I can enjoy and the only one I have real experience in. My mom went to Bennington for her master’s degree. I was at her graduation. I was proud of her, and I think if I graduated she would have been proud of me, even if I went to a shit school.

So maybe I’ll end up at community college, which I’ve been taught to think is pathetic, or maybe a really hippie one that doesn’t have real grades. I won’t get into any decent school in New York, so that’s pretty much off the table even though Brooklyn is my dream.

Then I’ll get a mediocre job, be a failing writer in a competitive world, and hate my teenage self for blowing my chances and wasting my life trying to survive instead of living.

This isn’t a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is realism. I know I’m not going to do well.

This is why I don’t want to grow up. I’m destined to have a mediocre life, and there’s no way I’m starting a family just to make them deal with that.

The only thing I can ever have is the present. Sixteen is the default, and it’s when you are still sheltered but you can learn and experience everything. I think it will be the best year of my life. ♦

Published by

Caitlin Hazell

Caitlin Hazell gets easily obsessed, likes to time her music to fit situations, and enjoys looking out for the small things in life people usually miss. She doesn't mean to give people angry looks but does mean to get glitter in her eyebrows. She lives in a tiny, remote place in England and mainly blogs over here to interact with the outside world.

24 thoughts on “July 17, 2013”

  1. Katherine, I hate when people say things like that. You are you, pale or tan, smiles or no smiles. Ruby, I know how you feel. In my opinion, your writing is amazing, and I highly doubt that you will fail as a writer. Really. And as always, I love your artwork, Caitlin!

  2. I was you. And I did have to go to community college and it did feel pathetic and it made me stall completely for a long time. I finally was able to get back in gear (sorry for the prolonged car metaphor here) and transfer to a not-unfortunate but nothing-to-shout-about university, where I was able to thrive, graduate cum laude, and go to graduate school. I’m now in a pretty good PhD program in my chosen field and more or less back on the track I thought I’d take.

    If you can stick it out, the long road can get you where you want to go. Brooklyn is not off the table. I promise.

  3. Katherine- I hate it when people think it’s all right for them to provide unsolicited commentary on one’s appearance. Ughhhh.
    Ruby- I totally agree with Britney, you’re a fantastic writer. Please don’t give up.
    Britney- I’m glad your birthday was fun and I’m glad you met Lula. I hope you two can help each other through the grief of losing a loved one.


  4. Ruby, many people judge others’ lives (as well as their own) based solely on their career, but this is a silly way of thinking. Life is defined by the little things, not just one big one. Being a kick-ass bestfriend isn’t mediocre. Being an awesome lover isn’t mediocre. Being a caring mother isn’t mediocre. You know what is mediocre? Giving up before you start. As long as you stay passionate about who and what you love, your life will never mediocre.

  5. Katherine; Yesterday i was walking down the streets in shorts and all of a sudden, two strangers i was passing started talking about my ‘ugly legs’…normally i would have shouted at them, but i just couldn’t and quickly walked away…i mean, WHY DO OTHER PEOPLE EVEN CARE ABOUT HOW WE LOOK FOR F*CKS SAKE?????

  6. Katherine – I feel you. This is exactly how I feel much of the time. I have a grandmother who is very keen on my being as feminine as possible which is…not my style. Keep rocking your autonomy and standing up for yourself.

    Ruby – I turned seventeen last week, moving out of the so-called golden age of being sixteen. There were good times, but it was actually on the whole pretty shit. I spent it dealing with the aftermath of a bad breakup, and later, with unrequited-then-requited feelings for someone else who turned out to be a bit of a douchebag. Add in some other stresses, and it was a bad time. I was pretty depressed. And I felt like you did about the future. That’s not to say there wasn’t good, though, as well. But that didn’t end upon turning seventeen. Actually, things are looking up. They will for you as well. I’m a firm believer that how you do in school, whether you get into a good uni – these are not indicators that your life will be mediocre. At fifteen, your writing is brilliant. If nothing else, you won’t lose that. It can’t be taken from you. There is so much more to life than school and uni/college and jobs and careers, and there is so much you will have. And be fair to yourself – you’ve had a rough time of it of late. There’s no reason to say that school won’t pick up again. But if it doesn’t, it doesn’t matter, and it doesn’t define you.

    Britney – all I can say is that this is one of the most beautiful things I’ve read of yours. I hope the two of you can help each other.

    And Caitlin, as always, your artwork is beautiful.

  7. Katherine, people say things like that to me too and I don’t know what to respond to that. It’s kinda hard to politely tell them to piss off I guess since I don’t have the right amount of sass.
    And Britney, this was very heartbreakingly beautiful. Brilliant.


  8. Probably one of my favorite features on rookie are your diaries. You are all such great writers! What I was wondering though, do you keep such a thorough diary on paper as well? Are these entries straight out of your diaries or do you write these especially for rookie? I’m just curious, because I myself have never been good at keeping a diary. I always quit after one page (scared to ruin the paper).

    Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts/lives every week, I love reading them!

  9. actually it’s “cory” not “corey”
    it’s kinda make me sad :(
    any chance to correct the typo?
    thank you guys!

  10. ruby, your words are lovely.
    i’m fifteen still, but i’m already calling myself sixteen somehow habitually. i kinda miss feeling my age.

  11. Ruby, I feel you.

    I’m turning sixteen in exactly 9 days, which is the strangest. I’ll be a senior. And I’ll try way too hard to be a normal teenager once again – which I’ve done for over years. But it feels more real, because, SIXTEEN. It also feels so mature. And it’s strange, because people tell me I’m mature, but I’m not sure if I want to be. Maybe I just want to be a teenager, but I can’t. Too much responsibilities. (I mean, teenagers have sleepovers and drink too much and I can’t drink because of my medication, and I get all anxious when I sleepover.)

    The idea of having to look into colleges scares the hell out of me. Meh. Ugh. Sigh.

  12. Katherine – I know how you feel. The people at my old school had zero interest in fashion, so whenever I wore something slightly unusual they’d be like “OMG why are you wearing it’s so ugly you look like a grandma”. Once a guy even told me “You should wear flats instead of combat boots, your boyfriend would like it more.” There’s not much you can do about this except giving them your best bitchface and moving on.

    Ruby – I used to watch movies and TV shows about teenagers and think that my life from 15 onward would be one long party and that I’d magically become this perfect person who has it all figured out, but when the time came I still felt the same as I always had. I had a lot of great experiences but also a lot of shitty ones, and it’s only now, at 17, that I’m beginning to look back at the past couple of years nostalgically and really appreciate all the good bits. So I guess my point is – don’t expect the year to feel amazing as a whole, just enjoy the individual experiences.


  13. @Ruby I just finished being 16. Coincidentally it was the only year I had any issues whatsoever relating to boys, but besides that it was just another year. 16 is over glorified. I was still the same sack of meat and bones. I’m in the process of picking a college and major and I strayed away from the liberal arts bc I have the same worries as you. But you are already talented and successful so yeah go for it.

  14. Britney- wooowowowowowow, that story is so magical in a sad way. But seriously it’s kind of interesting and cool that you guys met:)

  15. somehow it feels so strange to read your diary entries – i mean, so much stuff happens to you and like if not all the time, at least sometimes. And if nothing happens you find something from the emptiness. nothing happens to me and i’ve tried to make my life more interesting but it’s just, really, really boring.

  16. Ruby, college really does not define you.
    I went to a super elite hippie school with no grades (?) and was kicked out for well, not caring enough.
    I moved in with my boyfriend, squatted on a roof of an apartment building with only an air mattress (ala jim morrison and pam). I moved to Berlin and dated a norwegian porn star. I rented an apartment in paris and met alexa chung.
    Life is amazing, and it’s all about circumstances. Interesting things happen to interesting people. I’m in community college now and transferring to mcgill in the fall, and I’m sad because it will be way more boring than my normal life.
    Point is, you will have adventures. You will be amazing. Life is amazing, no matter how bleak 16 is.

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