Dear Diary

January 22, 2014

Goodbye, Katherine, and welcome.

Naomi

Seconds after turning my light out, I thought about the pancakes me and my flatmates might make the next morning. Then I thought about the weed tea that a friend had mentioned in passing earlier. Then I thought about writing this. Then about his fingernails, because I had made a point in my head to write about his fingernails. For some reason, when we talked, our first serious sober discussion, I studied his fingernails. Very short and small, just a part of his hand, not a standalone feature. Stubby, for the strings of guitars and basses. I ran my fingertips over and around them. It was somewhere to look.

Our hands touched often during the two hours we spent holed up in my bedroom, an arcane sort of physical contact very unlike sex. I wanted to kiss him, even though I knew with all certainty that I couldn’t, and that was the worst. I wanted to kiss him, but the longer the discussion went on, the less I wanted to kiss him, and that felt even worse than the worst. The worst is knowing you can’t, but worse than the worst is realising you might not even want to. Or recognising that, as he pointed out, it would be better not to—that it would be “WRONG.” That drove me mad.

When I was young, I assumed that love was the simplest thing. I was brought up to regard Jesus’s love as the pinnacle, something to aspire to. The love of not just the Jesus you see painted in that nauseatingly soft light, but also the Jesus who knocked over tables in a temple out of pure seething anger. In amongst the feelings of love that make me float like a cloud, lord knows I’ve felt that sort of fury, too. I threw my ex’s mug out of the flat window just to see it shatter. That feeling has validity. But love felt more important. Love overrode everything. Nothing else mattered—not the complications, not the illness, not the sadness. I knew that Jesus forgave before there was even anything to forgive, so I did that too.

Some part of me still believes that the Bible is right and the world is wrong. It is a simplified idea of love that really only belongs in a child’s lullaby. Maybe that echo of belief is the only thing that soothes me into not giving up on basic human interaction. But the world is fucking complicated. No, not the world—the world pretty much runs like clockwork: rain falling, poles spinning, plants growing. It’s the people that are complicated.

Jesus cried and Jesus laughed and Jesus starved. I’ve cried to the point of puffy eyes, laughed within the same hour, and eaten absolute crap (not comparable to starving but near enough) within the last day. But Jesus didn’t have to survive a boy who remains stubbornly in close proximity for most of his waking and sleeping life. Maybe that means it’s not important.

I’m beginning to think my feelings are wrong. I am worried that if people knew about my feelings—if they knew how much I feel about one single person, that I still want more, that I am writing this much about it—they would think less of me.

I feel like my whole fucking life is founded in love, so what does anyone expect me to do? I can’t help that I grew up in a cross-section of worlds: one religious, which taught me that love is the most important thing; and then this society, which teaches me that love is where I find my worth. I am figuring out the most complicated facet of human existence; I should be allowed to cry and wallow and walk around in a daze.

I saw a small baby on the Overground the other day. It looked tiny and peaceful, , asleep without a thought, completely unaware of the cruelty of the world. I thought about how that little existence was a rare patch of uncomplicated space.

I turned off my light again and tried to think about pancakes. I tried not to hear the footsteps passing my door. I tried not to know who they belonged to. ♦

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40 Comments

  • mscorgancobain January 22nd, 2014 7:52 PM

    Wow, all the diaries were super beautiful this week, as always. Sending my good luck vibes your way Britney! Are you accepting applications for new diarists? If so, what are the qualifications, and how do you apply?

    • Anaheed January 22nd, 2014 8:04 PM

      Hi there! We don’t take applications for writers — if you’re interested in writing for us, submit something!

      • Kirthi January 23rd, 2014 4:52 AM

        I sent some stuff through gmail. How do I know you guys saw it?

        • Anaheed January 23rd, 2014 11:30 PM

          Did you get an auto-reply message?

  • loopdeshor January 22nd, 2014 8:08 PM

    I looove the artwork for this.

    http://delightfuldreaming.blogspot.com

  • weetzie January 22nd, 2014 8:21 PM

    I remember when Britney first joined the team of diarists, and we were both mature, sensible young women slammed into the dirty gyms and dusty floors of middle school. I’ve been reading her diaries since the start and I feel as though together, we’ve survived grade 8, graduated, felt listless through the summer, excited and then let down by high school; it’s so odd how completely in sync I feel to someone I have never met. Lately, swamped with school, I haven’t been digesting the diaries as voraciously as before, but I always skip right to hers. A few lines of text a week and it’s like she’s my twin in a parallel universe. I don’t even know if this makes sense, but good luck on your finals. Solidarity!

  • Lola January 22nd, 2014 8:46 PM

    katherine, reading this last entry was like holding two lit sparklers til they burnt down to my hands and still not wanting to let go. thank you for it & all the other weeks. so glad we get to keep you.

  • droppingdaisies January 22nd, 2014 8:57 PM

    i feel u britney i rlly do

  • graceyourpresence January 22nd, 2014 9:02 PM

    Hey Katherine, I just wanted to let you know how much your diary entries have meant to me. I go to a Christian private school in Nashville and ever since high school I have felt unable to relate to anyone. This year I have spent a lot of time isolated and have had to deal with my family and my own perceptions of that isolation. It’s often felt like I will never connect with anyone but you have given me hope that things will get better and that I can change and push myself. So yeah, thank you and I will miss your entries.

  • 9ql January 22nd, 2014 9:02 PM

    hey Katherine, that was really beautiful and makes me wish we were friends. I’m gonna miss your diaries.

  • Chorvelynne January 22nd, 2014 9:10 PM

    There’s really something good and unexplainable when you connect with someone going through the same things.

  • actressgirl January 22nd, 2014 9:24 PM

    Ruby, if you’re reading this I want you to know that you are an amazing writer and interesting person. Often your diaries are the best thing I read on Rookie all week. I don’t know what is going on but I hope that you get better soon, and find happiness. We will be waiting for you when you get back.

  • bugaleeto January 22nd, 2014 9:26 PM

    Katherine,
    I just want you to know that your diary entries every week have helped me so much in figuring myself out. I go back to your diaries all the time, and I’m going to miss them so much. You are an amazing person and an excellent writer, and thank you so much for being so honest and open in your writing. <33333

  • Amy Rose January 22nd, 2014 9:51 PM

    Katherine, I am gonna miss hearing from you every week so much, but am elated to read you in other ways really soon. <3 <3 <3

  • peace.love.music.grows January 22nd, 2014 10:04 PM

    The beginning sentiment is so true and lovely.

  • rhymeswithorange January 22nd, 2014 11:10 PM

    Sad to see the end of your diaries, Katherine! I could relate a lot to your trying-to-break-out-of-isolationism. You’re a really great writer and I look forward to reading your other stuff.

  • Julianne January 23rd, 2014 12:44 AM

    Seriously, Katherine, that was so wonderfully written and at the risk at being corny, was such an inspirational reminder to live with abandon. It was a beautiful way to say “see you later,” then jump into the deep end with a brave face. <3 U MY DUDE! What a writer you are.

  • dragonfly January 23rd, 2014 1:15 AM

    Aw Katherine I’m going to miss your diaries :’( <3 <3 <3

  • peppermintmoo January 23rd, 2014 1:36 AM

    Katherine, I am so grateful that this isn’t the last we’ll be hearing from you. Sometimes I reread your diaries out loud just so I can feel everything all over again. Thank you.

  • Dylan January 23rd, 2014 2:39 AM

    I LOVE you, brilliant Katherine

  • junebug January 23rd, 2014 3:22 AM

    The diaries will always be the best things on Rookie. Katherine, yours have been my favorite since Dylan stopped writing them. Keep diarying (is that a verb?). You have such a beautiful voice and you have this introspection that makes me shiver it’s so fantastic. I’m sure your other pieces will be great but goddamn it’ll be hard not seeing you week after week when you don’t have to have some sort of concrete idea, you just have yourself.

  • devonlea January 23rd, 2014 4:10 AM

    Katherine, that was so beautiful. Thank you.

    (And Ruby, I miss you)

  • Lillypod January 23rd, 2014 5:29 AM

    katherine, your grandma sounds rad.

  • honorarygilmoregal January 23rd, 2014 7:24 AM

    This last diary entry of yours, Katherine, was amazing. Looking forward to seeing the other pieces you write for Rookie in the future.

  • Sorcha M January 23rd, 2014 2:44 PM

    Katherine I’m going to miss your diary entries so much. I don’t want to say much more otherwise I may start crying and gushing.

  • GlitterKitty January 23rd, 2014 4:07 PM

    I’m going to miss Katherine’s diaries a lot. They were very relatable and I really enjoyed reading them. I’m glad she’s going to keep writing although I’m going to miss the random stories from her life. Such a great writer.

  • Naomi January 23rd, 2014 6:22 PM

    i am going to miss your diaries so much katherine, my diary buddy from the beginning xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  • Monq January 23rd, 2014 11:11 PM

    Simply perfection, ladies!

    xoox

  • hannahandyes January 24th, 2014 2:03 AM

    Katherine, your diaries have always been something I felt and needed to feel and loved and had when I felt like no one else could possibly know or understand what I needed them to. Thanks for being someone who has shown me, through beautifully written words, that I am not alone and someone knows what I’m going through. I will miss your diaries so much.

  • Danielle January 24th, 2014 2:21 AM

    Katherine, that was as gorgeous as you are brave. I can’t wait for what’s next.

  • giov January 24th, 2014 5:01 AM

    katherine, woah, I’m going to miss your diaries. As an older teen (like, in my mid 20′s), I related to you the most, and your writing rocks and I wish you all the best and thank you again, thanks.

  • elliesandpancakes January 24th, 2014 8:30 AM

    Wow, Naomi, I’m bowled over, thank you so much for writing.

  • spitcurl January 24th, 2014 9:19 AM

    I will miss you Katherine! This last entry gave me chills..I wish you the best..

    & Ruby wherever you are, hugs & hope you read more from you soon.

  • orthopedicsaddleshoes January 24th, 2014 5:44 PM

    Katherine, you are a darling angel and you made me bawl my eyes out. I wish you everything good in this good in this world, and if anyone should ever replace Tavi, I will be rooting for you and Arabelle.

    KEEP WRITING S2.

  • Laurataur January 25th, 2014 5:47 AM

    Katherine- Thank you so much for sharing your personal thoughts with us every week. I too didn’t like the first college I attended so I really related to your feelings of disconnection. Also, you are SO BRAVE for revealing private stuff on here! As someone with about the same amount of sexual experience as you, and also the same age, thanks for making me feel less alone. I’ll miss reading your diaries.

  • kingofcarrotflowers January 25th, 2014 7:18 PM

    ‘a kind of hope that is a fevered knowledge of impossibility’

    Katherine, this captures that feeling precisely.
    I super like a girl who has a boyfriend. ugh.

    That girl sounds fab though, go for it. the ankle-tapping might be the beginning of something!

  • Caley January 26th, 2014 9:27 PM

    Naomi, I know it’s hard to believe people when they say ‘I understand’, but your diary this week summed up so much of what I’ve been feeling.

    Jesus, boys, finding worth in Love or being in love.
    All of it. Thank you.

  • Serena Head January 28th, 2014 5:10 AM

    Katherine. I feel like I could have written like 99% of what you wrote. Well actually no not at all, because your writing is so unique and astonishing and perfect. But I identify with you so much. SO MUCH. Thank you so much for the miracle that was your diary entries.

    http://coveredwithfeathersblog.wordpress.com/

  • Berries January 28th, 2014 9:48 AM

    Naomi,

    - I’ve been there. BEEN THERE. LITERALLY. LITERALLY EXACTLY PRECISELY THE SAME EFFING THING.

    Please. Don’t. Go. There.

    Really. I know it’s tempting, but the chances are so small that things will work out fine. I’m sorry, but I don’t want you to experience what I went through.

    The location – it was, and is, just too close, woman. If you’re anything like me you can’t ”just see how it goes”, but instead you want CLARITY and OH MY GOD WHAT WILL HAPPEN I CAN’T STAND IT *silent scream*

    I can sum up all the things that went completely wrong in my situation, but I don’t think I need to because you can imagine them.

    The footsteps really got me. I feel you, girl. I really do. *hug*

  • anoziram January 28th, 2014 12:51 PM

    Naomi-
    your entry was stunning and really resonated with me in every way.
    I’ve grown up as a Christian, and I’m still trying to reconcile my beliefs with what society says and is (or is it the other way around?)
    I would say, “you’ll get through this,” but being in love is the sort of feeling one’s never really through.
    best wishes and prayers.