Maybe Now I've Conquered All My Adolescent Fears And I'll Do It Better In My Next 15 Years

Yo Blogstalkers.  I've been having a bit of the writer's block lately both on this blog and other places so today I thought I would let things I've written in the past do the talking for me.

Have I ever told you all that I'm an extensive chronicler?  As in I write in a journal every day of my life pretty much.  Even if it's only two or three sentences.  I've been doing this since I was like 13 so I have a giant box of journals in my closet.  I pulled them out today and I now give you excerpts from this month-ish in Lauren's life for the past 15 years.

I started the journals after I first read Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl so I followed her lead of writing in my journal as if I was writing to an old friend.  And yep, chose the name Anne.  I still write to Anne.   Also, I am paraphrasing entries here, so some of this stuff will sound like a younger version of me and some will sound like normal me.  Haha, normal me.  That's not a thing.*

*(OHMYGOD I am turning into Ryan.)

1997 - 13 Year Old Lauren 

Dear Anne,

I went to Kathi's house for her baby shower today.  I didn't want to go because I got yelled at yesterday in the pool when she told me that swimming made you feel weightless while pregnant and I said "Huh, I'd think it would be the opposite."  But then my mom said I could wear a pair of her low pumps so I went.

1998 - 14 Year Old Lauren

Dear Anne,

My germ crazy father went on a cleaning spree again this morning.  He decided microwaving the kitchen sponge would rid it of disease but really what happened is that the sponge exploded and now the entire house smells like sour fish and my dad is freaking out about the microwave being covered in salmonella.  I'm so glad it's a school day.  If I come home and he's put my toothbrush in the dishwasher again I am going to be so pissed.

Note: My dad is not totally insane about germs but he does create his own bleach-based cleaning products and he goes on a bit of a rampage whenever my mom is using raw chicken for dinner.  And yes he did regularly wash our toothbrushes in the dishwasher.

1999 - 15 Year Old Lauren

Dear Anne,

I have a feeling that being a member of Science Olympiad, Scholastic Bowl and the Debate team is not going to get me any boyfriends any time soon.  Which is FINE WITH ME.

Note: It was most assuredly not fine.  All I wanted was for someone to hold my hand at the movie theater.  Which is weird because although Ryan was not the first boy I kissed, he was the first one to hold my hand at the movies.  And he still does.  He's so sweet.  Except one time he told me that he loves going to movies because it's the only time he can be sure I'll be quiet for two hours all at once.

2000 - 16 Year Old Lauren

Dear Anne,

Today I got kicked off the Debate team for being "sexually inappropriate" on a tournament trip.

Note: OK yes this happened but it was a large misunderstanding.  Basically I was rooming with my friend Girl* and we were hanging out in our room reading when my other friend Guy* and one of his roommates knocked on the door.  It turns out their other roommate had accidentally locked them out and then fallen asleep.  So yeah they spent the night in our room.  But there were two beds and absolutely nothing untoward occurred.  Try explaining that to people in high school though.  My reputation was slightly marred. 

*Names changed to protect the, and I stress this, INNOCENT.

2001 - 17 Year Old Lauren

Dear Anne,

I read 122 books last year!  In unrelated news, I still do not have a boyfriend.

2002 - 18 Year Old Lauren

Dear Anne,

Ryan Gallagher!  This feels like a weird dream but I know that it's not because in my dreams I've graduated out of training bras and I know that the correct way to get into a train on a date to the city is not by tripping on the door and falling in wearing a dress.  Sometimes I hate my life.  Right now I love it.

2003 - 19 Year Old Lauren

Dear Anne,

(to the tune of Yankee Doodle Dandy)

I'm a Kappa Beta Gamma,
Kappa Beta til I die!
And if I couldn't be a KBG,
I'd want to sit down and cry.
I came all the way to college,
Just to have a social world.
Kappa Beta came to college just to have a party,
I am a Kappa Beta Girl!

Are you as disgusted as I am?  Yeah.  Now if you'll excuse me I have to go choreograph a dance to Baby Got Back by the distinguished Sir Mixalot so that I can then perform said dance in front of large numbers of disgusting frat boys.

Note: Yes some of the sorority stuff I endured was kind of ridiculous and degrading and honestly I dropped out junior year because I was too busy but I did come out of it with some of my current best friends including Vanessa and Oma (on the left in the picture below.)  Also, I still know all the words to Baby Got Back and remember the dance so there's that.


Oma, Me, Taylor

2004 - 20 Year Old Lauren

Dear Anne,

I ate 17 Chicken McNuggets for dinner yesterday.  New personal best.  OJ was horrified.  Ryan was unfazed.  



2005 - 21 Year Old Lauren

Dear Anne,

As of midnight two nights ago I'm finally 21.  Sorry for not writing you about this momentous occasion sooner, I was still recovering from having one too many birthday shots and then making Ryan and OJ carry me (feet on OJ's shoulders, chest on Ryan's) home from the bar because apparently "Every girl should fly through the streets like an angel once in her life."  WTF LAURENRAE?

2006 - 22 Year Old Lauren

Dear Anne,

Ryan and I are graduating from college this year.  I wonder if he will propose soon?

2007 - 23 Year Old Lauren

Dear Anne,

Ryan recently decided he wanted to run a marathon and then I remembered about how Disney hosts a marathon each year in February.  So now I'm totally going to do it too.  Anything to get me back into Aladdin's arms.

Notes: We did both start training for the marathon that spring but that summer I fractured my left leg (while running) and so alas the Disney marathon was a no-go.  Ryan finished his training though and as I've mentioned before, ran the Chicago marathon in October 2007.




2008 - 24 Year Old Lauren

Dear Anne,

Ryan took me skiing for our sixth year anniversary.  I took lessons yesterday.  Then today my instructor deemed me ready for the slopes.  Actually he said, "There's not much more I can do here, be careful with her," to Ryan, but I feel that is much the same thing.  Wish me luck today!

Later: Turns out I am not expert ski person.  I swear I tried but I fell about thirty times in the first five minutes and my ski kept falling off and my goggles were stuck to my face from all the crying so eventually I just gave Ryan my skis and sticks and he skied them down the hill while I scooted down on my butt.  Then Ryan and I got into a fight about how he had taken me on way too difficult of a hill and that was why I failed.  He swears it was some sort of green or blue hill, whatever that means, but I can't imagine that's true.  I mean, there was a tree.  Sounds like a dangerous professional hill to me.

Note: Sticks=poles I'm sure.  I've not gone skiing since.  Unless you count Wii skiing.  Which I do. 

2009 - 25 Year Old Lauren

Dear Anne,

I just turned 25, that's old enough to get married right?

2010 - 26 Year Old Lauren

Dear Anne,

While eating breakfast this morning I found an unnaturally large fruit loop.  So, obviously I put it on my ring finger and pretended I was engaged for the rest of the morning.  People at work don't even blink any longer.  Then I saved the fruit loop and took it home and gave it to Ryan and told him it was my exact ring size and that he could take it to the jewelry shops with him.  He told me he would propose right that second if he could do it with the fruit loop.

Note: I know this story seems a little out there but it's actually true.  Vanessa will probably remember me telling her this story a couple of years ago.  My ring finger is tiny (my rings are a size 4) so it's not super rare that an applejack or something fits on it.  Ryan proposed approximately two months later.  He did not bring the fruit loop with him to the jewelry store.

2011 - 27 Year Old Lauren

Dear Anne,

Sorry I've neglected you so badly these last weeks.  I'm a married lady now with hardly any time for friends that NEVER WRITE ME BACK.

2012 - 28 Year Old Lauren

Dear Anne,

In an odd mishap, while eating snowcaps and cleaning out my wallet, I swallowed a dime today.  My doctor says I should be fine.

So ummm that's all for today, sorry this entry was dumb.  Seriously seriously have writer's block.  Now I'm off to make Lemon Zucchini Muffins, Salmon Burgers and Roasted Pineapple Milkshakes!

Do any of you keep a journal?  Or have you read your old journals and found something hilarious?  (Once my sister and I found her journal from when she was like nine and gave boys code names and the boy she had a crush on was named The Lion King.)

70 comments:

  1. Wow. Just - wow. I cannot believe the awesomeness that are those entries. The last one just topped it off beautifully, although I have to give props to both the angel and the skiing. 17 nuggets?

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    1. Yeah in college I was one of those lucky girls with a metabolism that NEVER STOPPED so I could eat huge amounts of food and I never gained weight. Plus I was always hungry. Then I got older and that stopped being a thing.

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  2. Anonymous1/16/2013

    Ha! your journal entries are much better than mine! I had a diary- complete with lock and key- in elementary school that mainly consisted of "today I got up, ate went to school, came home ate and went to bed." Good thing it came with a lock- wouldn't want that info to fall into the wrong hands!! ;)
    ~nicole

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    1. Most of my entries are really boring, just about school stuff and looking for a job and being an adult but every couple of weeks there's something a bit different. I was a very nice girl though so there's nothing I would be terrified to let my parents read in like the six years of my journals.

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  3. Love the flying through the air....wish I had thought of that for my 21st, instead, my BF, who I am still BF's with 22 years later, let me chock on a hot dog and I had to preform the heimlich on myself on a car door....needless to say I wasn't happy as she sat laughing in the passenger seat, she was drunk....I wasn't....

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    1. Oh that's like my worst fear - choking. Yikes, that sounds awful!

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  4. My brother, at age 3 or so, swallowed a dime and a marble. He told our mom that it would be fine because he went pee right away, so it's all out. Sorry , the snow caps reminded me of that.

    I attempted to journal, but it never worked out. I try to blog, but that is a bit haphazard as well. Our family blog does get some attention, as my kids are hilarious... Usually.

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    1. I love reading about the ridiculous things kids do and say, am going to have to check out your blog!

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  5. I used to keep journals in high school. They were 99% "School suuuuuuucks! When can I go home? Why don't boys like me? Waaaaaaah." The other 1% were doodles of hearts, flowers, and tapeworms. Yours are markedly more entertaining.

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    1. Oh there was quite a bit of that in there as well. There was a lot of "still don't have a boyfriend, just like yesterday."

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  6. I kept a journal from the time I was 9 until I was 18. At that point I would sporadically write entries but not nearly as often. I do go back and read them and get great pleasure from reminding myself that yes my parents were that bad and I'm not just being dramatic! (I had a rough childhood coping with a mother with Epilepsy & mental illness). Best thing in the world to be able to read about my first job, my first love, I have a lot of compassion for my younger self because of it. :)

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    1. I too love going back through my journals, there's a period of about three weeks during my first ever young heartbreak that the pages were spotted with tears and I wrote things like "I'm never going to feel alright ever again." I should hate those entries but I sort of love them since I know things worked out in the end.

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  7. I think my favorite part of all of this is your dad being horrified that the inside of the microwave was covered in salmonella, which seems like it could be easily remedied by, you know, RUNNING THE MICROWAVE, LAUREN'S DAD!

    I have had a LiveJournal since 2001. Sometimes I play the "This day in history" game. I'm always depressed come January when I have to wait until April to go back to 2001 again.

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    1. Haha right? He's so weird about germs.

      I love reading my old journals. It makes me remember so many things that I think I would have otherwise forgotten.

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    2. There was also a point in time where my BFF and I were together all day every day. We went to school together, registered for the same classes, got jobs together, where we had to work the same schedule cause I drove and she didn't... I pretty much lived at her parents' house for like a year.

      During this time we used to write tiny little catch phrases of what happened every day in Chick Fil A calendars. We're talking like 2000/2001/2002. We look back at those now and laugh a LOT, but a lot of it makes no sense anymore, either.

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    3. I totally get it! My friend K and I had this weird inside joke in college that involved the words "chicken" and "pickle" but that's all we can remember about it. And we thought it was HILARIOUS at the time. I wish I remembered. And I have a card from junior high from a friend that says "These cats are totally ruining the experiment, Love, Your Wheelie Buddy" and I SORT of remember part of that but...yeah...

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  8. That was awesome! I tried so hard to keep journals. I even tried in my 20's. It just never stuck!

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    1. Thanks!

      I just made myself a promise that I would write every single day at least one sentence a day. It was easier to keep up with that way. And some days I would write for pages while others yeah, one sentence. There's actually a really cool 5-Year journal sold at Paper Source where you just write one sentence every day for five years.

      All of that being said, there are random two month gaps in my journals where like, I moved and didn't unpack it or was depressed or something.

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    2. I have no idea if we have a Paper Source in Oklahoma but that sounds like something I could do! And it would be neat if my kids did something interesting that day and then I actually wrote it down! Haha!

      You may have just fixed my problem! Thanks!

      And I have no doubt that even with that I'd have much missing myself. Too many kids equals too little brain cells!

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    1. Thanks! Glad you liked it.

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  10. I threw out all my old high school journals, probably sometime in late college, when I was old enough to be mortified by what I'd written, but not old enough to laugh at myself. I actually did transcribe some of it onto the computer at one point -- basically all the stuff involving my boyfriend (now husband) -- but it's a shame I don't have the rest because I'd be really interested to read it now. I also started a LiveJournal at some point in college, which I haven't looked at in ages.

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    1. Oh go look at it! I'll bet it would be so interesting to read. I used to write a lot of poetry. Sometime in college I reread through the stuff and was like "No, Just No" and tossed my notebook, I always regret that. Not because the poetry was any good, but just because I would like to have it now.

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  11. I used to keep a journal when I was younger - it's in my house somewhere. When I was still in college, I switched to Livejournal and stopped with the paper journals.

    The Disney races are the main reason I'm training to run a 5K - I really want to go to one of the Disney 5K's next year.

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    1. I SO want to do the Disney Princess half marathon at some point, but my leg is super bummy now. Hope you get there and have an amazing time!

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  12. I rarely laugh out loud to stuff on the computer, even if it's really funny, but that line about the dime got me...

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    1. Haha! So glad I made you laugh. Still not entirely thrilled with myself for swallowing a dime, but whatev.

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  13. No journals, but I have all the letters my now-husband sent me while he was in the Navy. They're kinda like a journal and I do like to go back and read them occasionally.

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    1. That is the sweetest thing ever! Ryan has written me zero letters ever.

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    2. I once told Jason that all I wanted for our anniversary was a letter because he has never given me one. He didn't give me one then, either.

      Nicole's husband gets all the points.

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    3. Actually I take that back, Ryan wrote me one letter/email thing when we were broken up in college. It wasn't very romantic though. It was all "I just want to be partying with my friends but all I can do is think of you," and I was like, "Gee thanks."

      I just tell Ryan that I want a card for every birthday/anniversary. He remembers the card about 50% of the time.

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    4. He will be thrilled to get all the points! However, there really was no other way for us to communicate as e-mail from submarines was in its infancy. It was a great habit to get into, though! I still do get cards with actual writing, and not just a signature, for birthdays and anniversaries.

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  14. I tried so hard to keep journals through elementary and middle school. And then I saw "The Butterfly Effect" with Ashton Kutcher, where he used his journals to travel back in time and I was like "I really need to keep a journal in case I need to do that someday."

    Yeah, that worked out for about 2 weeks.

    The blogging thing is better for me because I type faster than I write, so it doesn't feel as time consuming.

    I always tell Troy that I'm big-boned (because I am) and he makes fun of me. A fruit loop wouldn't fit around my pinky. my knuckles are huge. The plus side is, I had a bone scan done when I was in college to help out the PA school with radiology and I will NEVER be at risk for osteoporosis or osteopenia. YES! Big bones for the win. Although the fact that ring pops never fit me (even on my pinky) is super sad :(

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    1. The Butterfly Effect thing cracks me up.

      And girl, you're tiny! If you can have big bones and not get osteoporosis and still look that lovely I'd count that as a win, who cares about ring pops.

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  15. I want to go back and be friends with you for my whole life

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    1. You would probably take that back if I posted pictures of me in junior high. Ick.

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  16. I wish I had saved all my journals. But in a moment of feeling so grown up and horrified that I could have even been so....immature....stupid....annoying....I uncerimoniously burned them on the backyard charcoal BBQ. Plus, I didn't want my mom or nosey siblings to find them and blast my deepest, darkest secrets to the world. I haven't kept a journal since. I really do miss journaling...I should start again...

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    1. Totally start again! I find it has a weird calming effect at the end of the day.

      I pretty much never let my journals out of my sight otherwise I would have had to burn them. I took my box to my tiny little dorm room freshman year of college. There was no room for them.

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  17. I found my old journal the other day but have not been brave enough to open it yet.

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    1. Do it! I promise it'll be fun.

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  18. Emily Mo.1/16/2013

    Ok, for some reason I love the fact that Ryan has a Michelob Ultra cup in one hand and a banana in the other in the pic after his marathon :)

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    1. Yep! That's what they hand out after the Chicago Marathon, beer and bananas, supposed to help with getting you the appropriate nutrients while also having a pain-killing effect. Haha.

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  19. I had code names in my journal for my crushes too since I had two nosy little brothers. One of of my crushes was nicknamed Roo... cause his real name was Joey... get it? Baby kangaroo... Joey... yeahhhhh... it made sense to me back then.

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    1. It totally makes sense! I didn't have code names in my journal but my friends and I would write notes with code names. One of my fake junior high boyfriends was James Dean.

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  20. You could make a book out of selected journal entries and it would sell like hotcakes! Mmmm hotcakes. Also, just your quick mention of what you are having for dinner tonight made my mouth overflow with saliva. I know that sounds icky, but it felt like heaven. Please post recipes for salmon burgers and roasted pineapple drinks!

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    1. I'm actually photographing tonight's meal for my first entry on the cooking blog, so it'll be up soon!

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  21. The only I entry I remember from my childhood journals is the one that makes me a little sad--"Today Mom told me I am a pretty girl." That was so unusual that I had to journal it? Wow. Although now, when I wake up and look in the mirror at the sags and bags and hair completely sticking up on one side, I make sure to say "You're a pretty girl."

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  22. A few months ago while purging some stuff (I have a paper problem) - my husband found a daily planner from Middle school where I religiously without fail chronicled whether or not I spoke to a certain boy on the phone that day or not. Or if I saw him. and how long, etc. I was mortified.

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    1. Haha, my 8th grade yearbook (which was high school) has my crush for each older grade carefully marked in red. When I became friends with one of them later... let's just say that was awkward.

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  23. I want to fly through the streets like an angel.


    And I broke my tailbone taking a snowboarding lesson- after "skiing" twice ever, one time ending in us being the last people off the lift before the mountain was closed for high winds and the Ski Patrol followed us down the mountain. It took me 42 minutes APPARENTLY, according to the "supportive" skier circling me the entire time (my husband). Whatever. We all lived. I now prefer hot chocolate and moseying in my snow boots while my husband skis his heart out. I fall enough on my own. I don't need help.

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  24. I kept journals ever since I was about 9, but all paper journals have since been destroyed. I do have an online diary that I've had since about 2003 that I still write in. It feels good to write and look back on all the crazy shenanigans in my life.
    Also, I love this "fly through the streets like an angel". Can totally see me saying that.

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  25. Your 27 year old entry was the most hilarious. Just so you know, every single one of your entries makes me laugh and I'm so glad OJ introduced us to you!

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  26. OMG - 17-y.o. Lauren FTW! I haven't stopped laughing at that entry. :_) I guess I am easily amused.

    I wish i had journaled. I tired for a while but then realized that 1) I tended to write about really boring things and B) I did so in a very pretentious voice that annoyed even me. So I stopped. You're welcome, world.

    You know who else journals and has done so for decades? Oprah. Just sayin'.

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  27. I used to journal. I did all my best thinking and problem solving while journaling. Then my privacy was violated when someone close to me read my journal. So I burned them and haven't journaled since. I miss it so bad!

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  28. I kept a bunch of notes my friends and I wrote each other in class. You know, back before there was texting and we had to use pen and paper to tell each other how boring our Chem/Math/English class was. They are hilarious. We were insane in high school. I haven't read them in about 5 years, I should dig them out again!

    I kept all my diaries, but at some point I tore out all the pages that had stuff about boys on them, so that nobody would ever mock me for that. Only the boy pages mortified me lol.

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  29. I found some old journals recently after moving stuff out of my parents house. I had horrible spelling and liked to complain about people a lot. Years later, some things don't change,haha!

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  30. I love that you SCOLDED YOUR JOURNAL for not writing back. You are a piece of work. In a totally amusing way.

    Also, I once ripped out every page of my high school diary because I was afraid someone would read it. I have all the diaries that followed, even though they talk way too much about boys that weren't in love with me.

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  31. Love all your journal entries!!! and I have to say...I'm a little sad that I never flew home from the bars like an angel...

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  32. I'm so glad that i'm not the only one who wrote to "Anne". I did literally the exact same thing. I first read the Diary of Anne Frank when I was 11, and I started a journal right away that I wrote to her. It feels more...friendly when you're writing to someone else. She was one of my first personal heroes. Great post. :)

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  33. I wrote in my journal (6th grade) that my friends and I had a rubber band fight with some boys. However, I forgot the word "rubber" so it read "rubber fight". My snoopy mother read my journal, and I had some esplaining to do.

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  34. Lauren you never cease to amuse and delight me!!

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  35. You are such a goober. I just love that about you!

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  36. You are such a goober. I just love that about you!

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  37. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who swallows weird shit. I might be the only one who swallows imaginary shit though. Long story short: thought I swallowed a nail (as in, a nail that goes in the wall, not on the finger). Turns out I didn't, and the doctor asked me if I was drunk. I wasn't. I love your blog!

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  38. Anonymous1/17/2013

    17-year-old Lauren is TOTALLY 17-year old ME, hahaha! I started keeping journals when I was around 8 years old, and ended up shredding most of them a few years back because when I read back through them, the writing was just so painfully awful. You journals, however, I find much more entertaining :)

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  39. I journaled for years. I blog now because it makes me revisit things less often and I don't have to hide the blog lol. I have one journal I bought to start over with but after reading through the crazy stuff I wrote I said nah no more written evidence. I started journaling the year I turned 13 too. My first entry was full of cranky teenage angst and how my parents were ruining both my birthday AND Christmas (as they were so close together).

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  40. I LOVE your journals!! I have been a keeper of journals since I was 13 as well, and every now and again I drag the box out, flip through them, and laugh at myself. I also kept pregnancy journals, one for each of my kids, that I put in name lists and doctors appointment updates, big news and world events, as well as all those feelings and ideas I had when I was pregnant. I plan to give to them, either when they graduate or when they are expecting their first child. :)

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  41. I read this post right before I left work last night and didn't take a second to comment, because I was done with my yogurt (Chobani Greek blueberry by the way) and had to leave right that second before I'd lose my desire to drive to the gym instead of home. Anyway, I just have to say I love your blog so much. I'm convinced that we would be great friends if I lived in Chicago. Your complaint to Anne for never writing you back is exactly something that I would do if I could ever get past the first week or two of journal-writing before totally flaking out on it. I have kept journals off and on over the years and a post like this makes me really wish that I was better at sticking to it, because I'm sure that Future Me would find current/past Me hilarious. Thanks for writing!!

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  42. I don't keep a journal, but it's really because I don't want to read through it years later and read when I'm hyped off coffee or drunk. Or both (which has happened before). I did have a professor who made us keep journals and it was when my depression was at it's worse. It's interesting to me to read over those entries and realize where I was a year ago.

    Maybe I should start journaling...

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  43. Blog #3 - Anne Writes Back: A fictional account of what my imaginary Anne Frank would've written back had she survived the horrors of the holocaust and found all my teenage journals, which oddly enough, are addressed to her.

    I used to keep journals, but for some reason - possibly the cathartic burning of ex-factor items in a fireplace maybe - I torched them all. I think it would crack me up to read them now, so part of me is sad that I did that - but another part of me is glad b/c I'm sure part of them would do me no good at all. I started another set of them shortly before I met my husband (& after I torched the older ones). Those I still have, though I do get tempted to torch those too once in awhile. Maybe I just have issues with torching and not with the journals? Hmmm. Food for thought. Roasted marshmellows sound good...

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