Dear Diary

September 25, 2013

Life feels weird.


On Sunday morning, I tried to read the texts I’d received throughout the night, but my phone wouldn’t respond. I panicked, pushing all the buttons again and again, turned the phone on and off, pushed more buttons, and slowly resigned myself to the reality that all my phone will ever let me do anymore is scroll through my contacts. I emailed my parents, and they told me that since I’ve had my phone for so long, I can basically get a new iPhone for free.

The sales representative asked if I wanted to transfer my contacts while he pushed a bunch of keys on the new phone. I thought about the phone numbers I have written down on a notecard on my desk: It has all the numbers I dial a lot, plus a few I didn’t feel like I had the right to call but did anyway. If I said no to this transfer, all I’d have were the numbers on that card.

“Um, like, I don’t know—I, like, probably have what I need I guess. Sorry?”

“It’ll take no time at all.”

My mind started spiraling. Should I take the transfer? I wondered. Did I even want to talk to any of the other people on my contacts list? Most of them were people I only know because we did an English project together, or because they used their ID to get me a drink, or because we were friends in 10th grade, when I got the phone.

“Dude,” the guy says, “it’s not a big deal.”

“NO. I don’t want it…I don’t want to. I’m sorry.”

So now I have an iPhone, and my brother’s texts come in gray bubbles of varying sizes instead of uniform white boxes. When I read my brother’s texts on my old phone, I could hear his voice in my head, but I can’t do that with the gray bubbles. We haven’t texted as much since I got the new phone.

My world is small right now, and it feels weird. I feel unsure about how I act around people. Even though I should be freaking out that I’m still behind in my schoolwork and my mind feels like hot wet cotton from spending long stretches of time trying to speed-read books (and then using Spark Notes anyway because I read too fast to retain anything), I freaked out about the new phone more. It’s just this stupid, obvious metaphor for moving to a strange place and having to let go of your old life and the relationships that used to define you, and replacing them all with something new.

I hate that my family will read this and think that I’m a total negative bummer zone. This is just what being in a new place for the second year in a row feels like. Everything’s cool—it just takes time. ♦


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  • Ruby B. September 25th, 2013 7:37 PM

    Britney, I’m so glad you’re in a good place right now! :) It seems that the beginning of the school year is always really good or really bad.

    • Britney September 25th, 2013 8:03 PM

      Thank you so much, Ruby! I honestly thought my mind was going to EXPLODE but everything is so much better now. And yeah, it always seems to be either one, which sucks so much but I guess that’s just how it is.

  • Tiger September 25th, 2013 7:54 PM

    Ruby, wow! you write beautifully as always and such an amazing story

  • o-girl September 25th, 2013 7:58 PM

    Britney, THAT IS SO TERRIFIC. I am so happy for you! I’ve had a pretty horrible day and this diary entry has made me feel a lot better, actually–you really deserve to feel good about things.

    Ruby, really interesting entry. I’ve always wanted to be able to talk to people like them, just be straightforward and ask them their life story, but I’m kind of younger and my friends would never ask anyonw with me.

  • lilagrace September 25th, 2013 8:11 PM

    Ruby … I barely have words for your entry this week …
    It’s like “wow, this is how life really is – there are people who have a history that goes beyond my imagination“ – at the same time it kind of feels like a scene from a movie (don’t mean to undermine your experience!)
    How did you feel when he told you his story? (if I might ask)

  • flingsgotoofast September 25th, 2013 8:35 PM

    I really like your article Britney, even if its short and simple it still got the message across clearly. I don’t know if I am slowly working towards that point of clarity yet but I am finding myself becoming happier and more myself in school and not so reserved like I was previously. I envy those who have found themselves completely and can happily say their life isn’t a complete wreck!

  • Conana September 25th, 2013 9:24 PM

    Oh god! I remember feeling like Britney three years ago! I was so happy, and everyone could see it, people were telling me things such as “wow! now you’re speaking and laughing, and being friendly!” and I remember thinking “that’s because I feel so much better with myself now”, and all of that was because I stopped hanging with toxic people…

  • whyamidreamingwhenimstillawake September 25th, 2013 9:48 PM

    Naomi, i feel you about the thinking too much. I do that too. And I was going to try and talk about that, but you’ve articulated it so much better than i could in your diary, so I’m just gonna leave it at that. x

  • elliecp September 26th, 2013 2:13 AM

    I love the ‘dear diary’ articles…it’s so nice to hear about other people and makes me feel better about my own life <3

  • lotusmarina September 26th, 2013 3:43 AM

    This is post is beautiful, very heart-warming. Also, just a note to the Rookie team, I stumbled upon this online magazine a couple of days ago, and surfing its pages has become one of my favourite things to do – along with reading Aussie magazines ‘yen’ and ‘frankie’ and listening to Lisa Mitchell. I just would like to say thanks because you guys have really encouraged me to get all that jumble and mishmash of stuff in my head onto paper, or into music or into anything artsypartsy. I’ll be sticking around!!

    • Anaheed September 26th, 2013 8:28 AM

      Hi and welcome!

    • Zoe September 27th, 2013 9:10 AM

      They’re all my favourite things to do as well!

  • flocha September 26th, 2013 7:06 AM

    I’ve got to do a lot of things next week which are kind of scaring me, but the ‘I’ll handle it’ mantra looks like a really good way of coping with that kind of thing, so thanks Naomi :)

  • thelilacparadox September 26th, 2013 2:07 PM

    The diaries on Rookie are literally the best part of my week. I am so glad this is a part of the site, and I can’t wait until next week (obviously.)

  • unicornconnect September 26th, 2013 3:14 PM

    Ruby, wow. I can’t even believe that happened, it made me so sad. Normally people just freak out and assume people asking for change just want to buy drugs and alcohol and they have messed up their lives by being stupid.

    It seems so weird that a homeless guy just told you about his life when you asked, that’s cool, like I can never imagine it happening to me. Maybe I should be scared less.

  • Eileen September 29th, 2013 12:46 PM

    I swear to god, RUBY. I do this same people’s life guessing game with myself every time I’m in public. I wish I knew someone who could do this with me, I definitely don’t. Thank gob for rookiemag