Diary from before it all
Sophie Lou Wilson
Winter 2010 - Summer 2011
"Obviously, Doctor, you've never been a 13-year-old girl" - Cecilia Lisbon, The Virgin Suicides
It was 2011. Our social lives revolved around sleepovers spent watching The Midnight Beast and Salad Fingers on YouTube, creating our own dance routines and staying up late talking to strange men on Omegle. We hadn’t started drinking with any seriousness yet, but some of my friends had boyfriends. Weekends were for shopping centres, awkward village hall parties and walking to the corner shop for sweets and trashy magazines. Amy Winehouse died that summer. I couldn’t wait for it to be over. It would be over so soon.
My best friend bought me a pink journal from Topshop for Christmas when I was 13. She wrote a note in the front referring to my aspirations to become a writer. I had been keeping notebooks for years, but this was my first proper journal that I dedicated myself to writing in regularly. It was my first teenage journal. I fell out with my best friend exactly a year later in such a dramatic way that it affected me for a long time afterwards.
Indeed, much of this journal is filled with tales of friend breakups. I went to an all-girls school and I couldn’t wait to leave. Escapism came through writing, and my motto of delusion to, “Live in the future until the future happens.” I also appear to love using the word “utterly." I guess it was a teenage affection for hyperbole.
Reading my 13-year-old journal brought back memories I don’t remember having. I cringed at times, but there are also moments of realisation where I felt like I had discovered something, like when I went to a party full of strangers and found out I could pretend to be whoever I wanted to be.
This was the time before; when you’re still closer to being a child than a teenager, before alcohol and sex and part-time jobs, before really becoming a person. Here are some extracts from that time.
16 December 2010
I have just got back from a Christmas party. It was rubbish to begin with because no one had ever heard of the music they were playing. H was showing off a lot, but I didn’t care because I probably was as well. The good thing about strangers and friends of friends you meet at parties is that you can pretend to be something you’re not and get away with it. I acted confident, and I think it might have actually been believable.
5 January 2011
I’m back at school now and I’m utterly fed up already. No matter how hard I try, my marks are bad. I hate my hair. We have to wear frumpy school uniform and I have to try to be nice, but I hardly have any real friends.
I’m feeling utterly depressed at the moment. Maybe it’s hormonal or maybe I just need to stop comparing myself to everyone else. I cried today, but thankfully no one noticed.
Promise to self: never give up. Live in the future until the future happens.
8 April 2011
I had my first ever Subway today.
11 April 2011
This morning I was doing homework and blogging when I got a text from J saying she was bored, so I invited her round. We watched YouTube videos (The Midnight Beast, the Duck song and Salad Fingers) then we attempted to make a music video to Kesha’s ‘We R Who We R’, but we gave up when we got blue glittery eye shadow on the carpet. We watched Eastenders and 90210 and went on Chat Roulette. We didn’t go to sleep until 3am. The convo before we went to sleep depressed me.
20 July 2011
If I had to sum up the party in one word, it would be shit. It was the worst party I’d ever been to. The music was turned off for most of the hour that we were there. Someone suggested games like musical chairs and sleeping lions... There was so much empty space in the huge hall and most people were sat on the chairs around the edges. At 6pm I told a few people that my mum had texted me that we had to leave, but that was really just an excuse to get out of the hell hole. Everyone who had already left had been given a forced “group hug”, but we barely even got a few goodbyes. As we shut the door behind us, L said, “Let the bitching begin.” “We didn’t even get a group hug,” I said, faking devastation.
When me and L got back to mine, we chatted for a bit and listened to music and watched videos on YouTube then learnt the dance to ‘Dance Routine’ by The Midnight Beast. L and my brother got along which was good because last time she stayed over we put peanut butter on his face while he was asleep, so he didn’t like her after that.
At half 11, we went to bed and L spoke to her boyfriend on the phone for ages which I thought was a bit rude, but I didn’t really mind. Afterwards, we went on Omegle and met some…interesting people. When they asked us to flash them, L pulled up her top and showed them her bra. We saw a guy with a micro-penis and spoke to a guy from America who said we only go on Omegle to watch guys wanking and we were like ew, no. Then I made friends with a 13-year-old boy from Spain, Carlos, and I added him on MSN. I spoke to a 25-year-old Turkish guy on Omegle too. I told him I was 18 and at uni studying journalism. I think I went to sleep around 3am. L left at 9 in the morning in her pyjamas.
25 July 2011
I played tennis on Saturday and when I got back, I opened the internet to be hit with some horrible news. Amy Winehouse had died. She was only 27. Sunday came and went. As did Monday.