Here is my puffy, floral journal from 1994. I feel a little funny sharing it because the girl who wrote most of it doesn’t even really seem like me.
13 going on 14 is a strange time for most people, I guess. You’ve got the “teenager” label, and you think you’re really grown up but at the same time, you’re pretty much still a kid.
This journal is from kind of a weird time in my life. First of all, we moved out of the house that had grown up in, which was also the house that my father had grown up in. I felt like this was a huge insult, and spent a lot of time moaning about that in the journal.
The second “weird”” thing was that I was awkwardly obsessed with boys at this time. I saw awkwardly, because the one in particular that I was obsessed with was basically the only one available in my church group. I think it was more that I just wanted someone, ANYONE to be my boyfriend.
So without further ado, I present… deep thoughts from 1994.
April 15, 1994 4:49pm
I feel so weird. Today was my last day of school. I’m kind of glad. I made it through. I’ll never have to go back (see 1991 diary). I’m packing now. I am so confused. I don’t know where to start. I’ve cried already and now I’m losing my temper. What a mess. Well, tomorrow’s the big day. I am so sad I will probably cry myself to death.
Well, gotta go. Love, a very emotionally disturbed Heather.
April 16, 1994 10:09pm
I’m still alive!! I didn’t really cry today. I had tears in my eyes at times but I didn’t weep or wail. I’m like, emotionless. I guess it’s depression. I feel empty and lonely inside. I will see my old house again. I hate calling it my old house. It sounds like a piece of trash or something. I miss it.
Today was busy, I went wacko trying to 1. pack, 2. control my emotions, 3. unpack and make this place feel like home.
I miss my house.
There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.
Editors note: I drew a tiny pair of ruby slippers next to that sentiment.
Tuesday, April 19, 1994
Today we went home (our OLD house) to clean up. I cleaned John & Nick’s room and Kris & my room. I kept a lot of little things that I found. Someday I want to buy the house back or something.
It was like 80 degrees there today, and beautiful. It made me cry because I know once we are all done cleaning it, we’ll never see it again. I was standing there in John and Nick’s room, vacuum in hand, looking out the window at the baby leaves on the trees. I said to Mommy, “isn’t it so beautiful?” That made me start to cry. Tears welled up in my eyes. I fought them back because I knew if I started crying I would never stop. But when mom asked if I was ok, I began to cry. Amazingly it helped and I felt better from then on.
Gram was there with us. It must be so hard for her, since our grandfather built that house and they raised their family there. She didn’t cry in front of us. Or at least I don’t think so. I wanted to comfort her. It must be so hard for her. I mean I was like, crying every 5 minutes.
On Thursday we are going to come back up and bring the camera and I’ll make Mommy take pictures of EVERYTHING! I hope I never forget all the things that happened there. Here are some major events:
1. Birthdays 2. Holidays 3. My first period (seriously, this ranked #3) 4. Operations 5. Sleepovers 6. Swimming 7. BBQ’s and parties 8. Joanna & my umbrella escapade 9. Watching “A River Runs Through It” for the first time(s) 10. Bible Class and CYC 11. People 12. Our every day life
Apparently I was really into list-making during this time of my life. And super dramatic!
Let’s move on to the boy- craziness…
Sunday, May 1, 1994 9:54pm
Today was your average Sunday. We went to Sunday School and Meeting. I found out that Jimmy (sorry, “Jim”) likes me. I’m not sure. Last night Mom found his paper from CYC and at the bottom he had written my name really fancy. The reason I thought it might be someone else was, maby someone at his school. I don’t know. It must have been me because I was sitting next to him last night.
He doesn’t act like it though. I mean he doesn’t follow me around or say anything. He is cute, (sort of), with his tan from Florida. He’s really not a bad guy, except for his foot fungus. (Personal joke.) I don’t know, it’s so confusing. I wish I could just know. Then I wouldn’t need to worry.
Wow, dude. I was really putting the pressure on myself over the mere idea that a guy might like me. I wish I could go back and tell myself to just chill and enjoy the thought and let things unfold in due time… but I guess that’s not how 13-year-old love goes.
Every summer, we had bible school for a week in July. Our church group rented dorm rooms, lecture halls and other rooms at Shippensburg University for this event. It was pretty much all my CYC friends and I ever talked about. It was like our lives orbited around that one week in the summer.
As a young kid, I enjoyed bible school because it was basically summer camp and I got to spend lots of time playing with friends that I’d only see once or twice a year. When I got to be a teenager, it was all about the boys.
Sunday, June 26, 1994
Yesterday we went to Jim’s graduation party. Susie and I hung around. Jay wasn’t there. We swam and talked about Shippensburg. When it came time for the cake, everyone sand “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” and then they sang “Happy Birthday” to me. I was embarrassed.
After cake, we went swimming. Jim came in too. You see, here’s why I’m confused. He’s always showing off around me, like in the pool, I was just standing there and he looked over at me real quick to see if I was watching and then he did a fancy little thing and swam across the pool. I wouldn’t think much of that except he did similar things twenty five million times that night. Like, we were playing Marco Polo and I was standing on the deck with my foot in the water. He was it. He went “Fish out of water” and I didn’t move because my foot was in the water. He KNEW I was there, that’s why he said it! Then he used MY towel to dry himself off. I don’t know whether to like him or not!
Can I just mention that this guy that I’m talking about here had just graduated from high school. I had just graduated from 8th grade. Even if he DID want to date me, that’s kinda messed up.
In July, I wrote all about my week at Shippensburg. I’ll spare you the vast detail that I went into, describing what room number each of my friends resided in, and what hymns were sung at what times, and what outfits I wore (in case I ever wanted to recreate the experience in my future holodeck).
I will say that I did not mention Jim once in that account. Probably because I was hanging out with kids my own age and he was hanging out with older people. Or maybe he didn’t even go.
July 15, 1994
Today Joanna was here. She slept over last night. We had a CYC get together last night. It was OK. Jim flirted with Joanna SO bad it was discusting. (In case you haven’t noticed, I DON’T like him anymore.) I can’t believe I ever liked him. I must have been eating something bad.
And so ended my brief obsession with Jim…
The rest of 1994 passed without any major imaginary love affairs. In August that year we went to visit my grandmother in Canada, which was an exciting trip at the time. In the fall, I started high school. I really didn’t write much about that. I think I was a little shy about sharing my actual feelings in this journal because I would often share it with Joanna when she visited, so I didn’t want to write anything too vulnerable. But let me tell you, I was pretty scared about high school most days. It was so huge and full of angsty teenagers, it was just not a happy place for me.
In closing, here is a lovely self-portrait I drew in my journal late one night: