Tag Archives: journaling

Throwback Thursday – Thoughts from a 25-Year-Old Me

It’s been a while since I did a TBT post. I pulled a random journal off the shelf to find something to share, and it just so happened to be one from exactly 10 years ago. At the time I wrote this, I had just left the religious group that I’d grown up in, lost my best friend in the process, and was about to quit a well-paying job to go back to school to finish my degree. My world was in turmoil!

I wrote this while I was spending a week in Vermont, watching my brothers while my mom took a trip to London.

Monday, July 11, 2005

I must remember to thank God every day for my awesome family and this amazing place we call home.

Tonight we had taco pie for dinner and then John went to a friend’s house. Nick practiced clarinet while I vacuumed my car (Dave reminded me to). Then we watched Dead Poet’s Society. That movie is so good. It makes me want to read poetry, write poetry and get out there and do a bunch of stuff before life passes by.

I was looking at pictures of Mom and Dad when they were teenagers. It’s so weird to see them so young. I mean, I’m older now than they were in those pictures. They look so mischievous and silly and happy and have no idea what their futures hold. Maybe they thought they knew, but of course life has a way of happening differently than you plan.

There’s a picture of Mom and her friend in the room that would later become the nursery for Me, Kris, John and Nick. They’re sitting on a couch in front of the window and there’s a box of records on the floor beside the couch and a Yes poster on the wall where our crib would later be. Obviously it’s before any of us were even thoughts in their minds. It just blows me away. It is so weird how you can life live without someone (like a child or your significant other) and then once they enter your life you can’t imagine it without them.

Life moves so quickly, yet when you’re wondering about the future it can seem so slow. Sometimes I get frustrated that you can’t go back. Not necessarily go back and relive a moment, but just observe. Like in Our Town, when Emily dies and she goes back and is able to watch her parents without them seeing her. Maybe that’s too painful. I’d like to rewind sometimes and see certain events again. Actually, what I’d most like to see would just be normal, everyday life from different perspectives.

I don’t want to grow old and have my life end. I know it’s a cycle, but where is the lesson? When do we say, “Aha, now I understand!”?

That was deep, right?

Also, I kept having crazy dreams about my ex-best friend… here’s a couple of excerpts:


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

I had this elaborate dream that Deb and Jason came to a theater where Dave and I were going to watch a movie. They sat behind us and made all these rude comments about how I shouldn’t be with Dave. Then we ended up at their house, but it was just Deb and I. She was really upset about something and started stabbing me with steak knives. In self defense, I overturned a huge, heavy table onto her and killed her. Then I called 911 and ran into the street with my stab wounds (which were all in my face). When the ambulance arrived, the paramedics weren’t worried about me at all but instead ran inside to tend to Debbie. Then somehow I ended up in the basement of their house, but it was a huge labyrinth with tons of weird little rooms and I couldn’t get out.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

I had another dream about Debbie. This time I was somewhere like a wedding or something. Debbie approached me very happily and was like, “Heather! It’s been so long! I’m so glad you came!” (or something along those lines). She started hugging me and I pushed her away and said, “Get off of me! How dare you act so happy to see me when it was YOU who pushed me away?” The look on her face went from joyful to angry and then we started fighting again. It wasn’t as exciting as the knife-stabbing, table throwing incident of a few days ago, but still, it kept me thinking of her during the day.

Moral of the story: Don’t get on my bad side! I may appear sweet and nice on the outside, but in my dreams I will kill you and verbally abuse you!

I’d also like to add a disclaimer here: I am pretty certain at this point, 10 years after the fact, that I have successfully completed the grieving process over my former best friend, and all of the other friends I lost when I tried to break away from the herd. I won’t lie that it wasn’t an easy process, and there were lots of dreams of rejection and hurt. After a few years, I even went to therapy, (which I probably should have done at the very beginning) and that helped me immensely. So don’t worry – while I may at one time have been filled with angst and rage that presented itself in murderous dreams, I have since healed and moved on. Hooray!

Throwback Thursday – Highlights from 1993

For today’s Throwback Thursday, we’ll take a little stroll back to 1993 by cracking open the pages of my padded, tropically-festooned journal.

Really a hideous cover. I thought so even then, but I wrote my name on it anyway.
Really a hideous cover. I thought so even then, but I wrote my name on it anyway.

I was 12 when I transcribed the following:

January 31, 1993 (talking about a youth weekend I had just been to)

… on the way back from lunch we had a snowball fight and were pushing each other into the snow. Jason knocked Jay over and dislocated his shoulder, or at least that’s what Jay acted like. We had to put up with Jay all the way home. At least he didn’t cry!

He was just writhing in pain the whole 3 hour drive. How annoying!

February 1, 1993

Well, well! Jay found out today that his shoulder IS broken! In that case he was pretty brave.

I lost my unicorn earring. John & Nick gave them to me. I am mad & sad for losing it!

Still not terribly sympathetic… also, Nick was literally an infant at this point so it wasn’t like he and John went shopping together for the unicorn earrings.

February 2, 1993

On 911 tonight a little girl got her foot stuck IN the toilet! It was SO funny!

Were we the only family who watched Rescue 911 for the hilarity?

Just looking at this image triggers the theme song in my head.
Just looking at this image triggers the theme song in my head.

April 22, 1993

I have a knee problem now. What next? Boy Oh Boy! It’s called something or other disease, but it’s really not a disease. My shinbone has been growing fast, but my ligaments haven’t. So I’m pulling the ligaments. I have exercises to do to help.

So I just looked up the “disease” and it’s called Osgood-Schlatter Disease. I grew out of it, but totally milked it for all it was worth. No, I can’t participate in gym class today, my shins are acting up!

Oddly, I didn’t feel compelled to write about the fact that the doctor we went to diagnose my leg issues was the orthopedist that did my foot surgery when I was little. He was psyched to see me and he had me take off my shoe so he could look at my foot and see how well I was doing. I also remember that when the were taking an x-ray of my legs, the technician asked if I could possibly be pregnant. I was 12 and definitely not getting any action so I was kind of horrified to realize that technically I was old enough to get knocked up.

July 14, 1993

We watched A River Runs Through It. I liked it alot. Brad Pitt is so gorgeous. The end was sad because Paul (Brad Pitt) gets killed. Waaa.

Well I just finished making the worst batch of cookies that I’ve ever made. I have piano tonight. I haven’t practiced in 2 weeks. 

Brad Pitt
No words.

I’d had movie crushes before, but Brad Pitt stirred feelings in me like no other.

October 20, 1993

Tonight I went food shopping with Mom. In the bookstore I got two more Avonlea books. I also read a little book about Brad Pitt. His birthday is December 18, 1963. That makes him 30 years old! WOA!!! Excuse me I just had a major heart attack. I hope that is a mistake. Wait until I tell Joanna! She’ll freak!

Disregard the ugly shirt and look at that man cleavage.
Disregard the ugly shirt and look at that man cleavage.

Grocery shopping with Mom meant that I hung out in the bookstore next door until she was done. I wish grocery shopping was like that now.

30 years old is positively ancient to a 13-year-old. Reality hit me hard. Brad and I didn’t have a chance. My feelings for him are still strong though, as evidenced by my uncontrollable weeping after watching him in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

December 10. 1993

Today was my first day of home ec.(this year). It was ok. We had to stand up and say our names and stuff. I had a heart attack when I said that I hated to eat fish and I looked around and Bryan was glaring at me. He looked so weird! I guess he likes fish. Everyone had a cow when I said I had a Siberian Husky with blue eyes. 

I didn’t write much about school in this journal. I was too busy obsessing over Brad Pitt, or writing about whatever drama was going on with my friends outside of school. I did stick my report card in here though. Check out the comments. I always thought “Takes Pride in Achievement” was a weird one. What does that mean? I hang up my work on the fridge so everyone can see it?

Not exactly rocking the boat.
7th grade report card. Not exactly rocking the boat.

And that, in a nutshell was my life in 1993. It was a pretty calm year for me. I didn’t have any major surgeries, though I had a bunch of teeth pulled and was going through a lot of dental work to prepare for the next surgery (which wouldn’t be for another year and change.) Life was good!

Throwback Thursday – Thanksgiving 1991

Happy Thanksgiving!! I hope all of you reading this are having a lovely day with the people you care about most. Here’s a little flashback to 1991, when we lived in PA and always had a bunch of people over for Thanksgiving dinners. But I didn’t really describe much of that here. IMG_2550

What was I doing while the whole family gathered around? Playing Nintendo, of course!

Thursday November 28, 1991

Today was nice, I helped Mommy make stuffing, coleslaw, carrots. it was fun. Then around four o’clock the Mayocks came, then the Fausts and Uncle Jim, Aunt Boo, Lindsay and Jackie and Drew + Jane + Karen. Also Gram and Aunt Evelyn. Jay and I played Nintendo all night.

I had to include the next day’s entry too because I can’t stop laughing at the ridiculous self portrait I drew.

Friday November 29, 1991

Today was okay we had no school so we played outside today. I had fun. Tonight we watched TGIF. (Perfect Strangers, Full House and Family Matters, anyone? Whatever, I was 11!)

Anyway, check out what I imagined myself looking like “in at least 5 years”


It looks like I have a butt growing out of my chest. Much to my disappointment, I did not have anything resembling cantaloupes in my shirt 5 years later (or ever), but I did succeed in growing my hair very long and getting a nice set of teeth. I was pretty happy about that!

Kristina and me
Late 90’s. Still waiting for my melons to sprout.

Dear Diary, Thanks for keeping all my secrets. Love, Heather


When I was 10 years old I was given this little pink diary for Christmas. I had no idea then just how significant a role this little book (and the dozens more that would follow) would play in my life. As a 10-year-old, I wasn’t even really sure how to keep a diary. All the books I’d read about diaries usually involved extreme situations and I was no Anne Frank. Often times I would just write “It’s late, I gotta go!” as I climbed in bed for the night. But it got me into the habit of writing and before long, I was spilling my guts onto the pages. Through the years I relied on my journal as a place where I could vent my frustrations, share my ideas and express myself without worrying about anyone else’s reaction.


My journals are one of my treasured possessions because they are like little time-machines that transport me to different moments in my life. Some of the things I’ve written bring back happy memories, and other things fill me with angst. Sometimes it even seems like I’m reading the thoughts of a stranger. It makes me realize how much people can change as they go through life, and how various experiences can alter your attitude or opinion about things.

I plan on sharing some excerpts from my journals because I think they can give a more accurate picture of how I was feeling or managing things at the time. Like this one, where I was kinda freaking out about my upcoming bone graft surgery.

Tuesday, January 29th 1991

A week from today I will be in the hospital. By now (10:07pm) I should be out of the operation room maby even out of pain! I could only dream! Im sort of looking forward to it but I’m worried about the pain mostly. Do you think I’m crazy or not because I am looking forward to it?  Mommy bought a bunch of valentines decorations for me to make while recovering. I hope I will be on the seventh floor with the older kids but on the sixth floor I’ll only have to stay 2 days. If I go on the 7th floor I’ll have to stay longer. I might think about staying on the 7th floor for 2 days or more but I am hoping to come home early so I will get to feel better with my family.

I read this now and find it sort of funny how I was obsessing over which floor I was going to be on. It wasn’t like I had a choice. As if they’d wake me up after the operation and say “Hey, you want to be on the 6th floor with the babies or the 7th floor with the cool kids?” According to my diary, I got to come home after 2 days. I didn’t write anything about what floor I was on (it’s unlikely I was even aware at the time anyway). Because my mom got me supplies (paper doilies, red and pink paper, stickers and metallic heart confetti, to be specific) to make Valentines while I rested, I’ve since associated Valentine’s day with that sluggish post-surgery recovery feeling. How romantic.

I’ll leave you with a more typical diary entry from my 11-year-old self: