Friday, December 03, 2010

It was cold and it rained so I felt like an actor

I had an odd experience yesterday. While looking for some family history information, I found a diary that I updated infrequently between 1990 and 1992.

It was a mortifying read. Just like most teenagers, the 18-year old me was a frightfully self-centred, hormonal bore. What was bizarre was that the Big Event of 1990, the death of my father, was never mentioned. Not wanting to be doomy on the page? Or a brazen attempt to shut it out entirely? The latter, I think. No wonder it took me so long to come to terms with it. On the plus side, there was a mention of a couple of friends who remain friends to this day (they are still around, and one even reads this from time to time).

I look back at the time I've spent writing this blog and I hope that I don't return to it in 20 years and want to curl into a ball at what I've said on here. Although it's inevitable that I will.

Let's face it, writing a diary is an essentially solipsistic pursuit. You can't help but reflect on yourself, because you can't get into anyone else's head to report what they are thinking. We get older, we move on, we change, and we don't like to be reminded that we were gauche, silly or had poor judgment. Not that I can say that I have ever completely stopped being gauche and silly, and as for my judgment...I have my moments.

In the past I've spoken on this blog about editing myself carefully here, which was something I didn't manage back then. And if that ain't the biggest signifier of growing up, I don't know what is.



At 12:48 pm, Blogger Cressida said...

Hey, one of them is me! Hah, I thought you were really cool when I met you - you introduced me to riot grrl! I don't recognise this embarrassing person you speak of! I used to love writing long letters to you and receiving them back. Don't edit yourself too much H.!

At 2:15 pm, Blogger deafdisco said...

ah, but i hit my stride *after* i left devon, i think. the diary stops the day before i leave.

the entries are full of 'poor me' bullshit about being snubbed by various people, etc, alongside some quite bizarre crushes. i can't go into those, obviously!

one thing i noticed was there's a sadness evident, a feeling that i'm never going to make it out. god knows what i'd have done if i hadn't have achieved the results i needed. by that point i had done three years of A levels and i don't think i could have coped with another.

having said the above, i think we were both very lucky to have a seriously good group of people to amuse ourselves with, i must say!

with the editing myself thing, i mainly mean when i am speaking about other people. not sure if i told you but i found a pic that ron had put on fb, and some young lady who shan't be named here is commenting away about me. thing is, i don't even remember her. my view is - don't say anything online that you might regret...

At 2:21 pm, Blogger deafdisco said...

ps thank you for your very kind words re coolness. the letters i received from you and a couple of other notables are still tucked away in a shoebox somewhere. the art of correspondence is pretty much dead now - very sad.

At 9:03 pm, Blogger Cressida said...

Hmm, what's she saying? Bit weird that you don't remember her?

At 11:33 am, Blogger deafdisco said...

i had a look back at the pic and comments. she's commenting about that word appearance. fair enough really, that's public property. there is one mention of somebody in my diary with a similar name, and if it's her, she didn't exactly know me, but she moved in the same circles.

we've all done it. it's easy to forget that the people that we dismiss out of hand (or whatever) on a random page of the internet are actual human people rather than a series of pixels and numbers.


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