I Was an Emo 19 Year Old…

…at least in my diary.

A few days ago I tried to sit down and write a diary entry but holding the pen for so long felt weird. I couldn’t get my hand to rest on the page at the right angle and my penmanship seemed much uglier than I remembered it being in my old diaries.

“I used to do this for hours,” I thought, and immediately reached down into the bowels of my desk to extract some of my early diaries. I think they go as far back as 2001 or something…and taper off in depth and length around the same time I started blogging. But here’s a sad story: I kept a diary starting back in elementary school. It all began with this rose-covered notebook my aunt gave all my girl cousins for Christmas one year, saying that keeping a diary was a good thing to do. Impressionable and obedient (to a point), I wrote in it, and bigger, thicker volumes all the way up until I was sixteen. Then suddenly some crazy nihilistic version of myself jumped out and said, “Dude, throw that crap away. It’s embarrassing.”

I did. I threw out all my diaries written before the age of sixteen which is why, if you ask me now, life and vivid memories kind of begin at sixteen because whatever came before that is about as clear as the bottom of a beer bottle. With beer. I didn’t acknowledge then the weakness of my memory and how the older I (and most people, actually) become, the more distant and fuzzy the past seems. Even those things you think you remember clearly, if you kept a diary and returned to the written record, they’d probably be a lot different from how you remembered it. More removed does not always equal more accurate.

Anyway, on Instagram people do this thing called #throwbackThursdays where they dig up old grainy photos of themselves or of their families so you get a taste of where they come from, how they were. I doubt I’ll remember even doing this next week never mind make it a weekly thing (though it’s not a bad idea…), but this particular entry I came across, written just four days after I turned 19, is one I found mildly amusing because I don’t remember ever feeling paranoid or writing about suicide, but that’s the gift of time.

May 13, 2005 

Maybe my paranoia is creeping up again, maybe not. Last night I watched an old episode of CSI and one of the characters, upon finding a woman who had been buried alive, said, “It never ceases to amaze me what people do to each other.” 

This morning I read an article about an investigator who was found shot dead in his home along with his children, wife and mother. The article stated the man had actually killed his family before taking his own life. 

An author who was interviewed in the article stated that crimes like these are not about hate and revenge but about love. The man, so depressed and tormented by what he saw in the world thought it better to take his family with him than to leave them here. 

Is that really selfish? 

It depends, I guess.

Abstractly, people say, “My family is my life.” So in committing suicide, one must take all that is encompassed underneath LIFE…but every individual’s dictionary is different. Suicide is merely the ending of self. To take anything beyond that is homicide. It’s greedy and selfish. 

This man was obviously ill, but as a society we have to wonder how a seemingly healthy mind and a warm heart could breed such thoughts that would lead to multiple deaths. The rub (I learned this in high school after reading “Hamlet” and used it ad nauseum in my own writing) is I think many members of society understand the man’s thinking, but no one is stupid enough to draw that sort of attention to themselves. 

I watched CIF mixed finals yesterday, uncomfortably I might add. I never know what to say or how to act anymore. My life is becoming a series of awkward moments. 

I met, or remet several old classmates and it just made me nervous. I kept smiling like an idiot. 

Anyway, things got dull so I walked to the back where X was preparing to run on the treadmill, and struck up a conversation with him. I told him that I had received depression medication on my birthday and that I was debating whether to take it. 

He told me he was on Effexor. 

I can’t say I was surprised. 

For the record, I did not take the antidepressants though I wish I wrote down too, what the hell I was reading at the time. Still a fan of CSI though.

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One thought on “I Was an Emo 19 Year Old…

  1. this reminded me of two things. one was some article i read in the last year or so about how some study had just determined that the more we remember something, the less accurate the memory becomes. the inaccuracies that get mixed in along the way become facts with the next recalling, and in this way, many of our favorite memories are among our least accurate ones. i can't remember where i read that article anymore. in any case, keeping a journal seems like a good way to fact check yourself.

    the other thing that came to mind was, as it often is, a joan didion piece about keeping a notebook. http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/11/19/joan-didion-on-keeping-a-notebook/

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