When I was a senior in high school, after off-and-on keeping a journal, and dreaming of being the next Carrie Bradshaw, asking — and maybe sometimes answering — life’s big questions, I began blogging.
It needed to be a space where I could anonymously share my inner world. And so I created Vered, a pseudonym to hide my true identity, and I gave the other major characters in my life really weird covers too.
And I wrote this blog for four years, documenting my transition from high school to college, and from terrified of wanting to feel male touch to entering my second ‘serious’ relationship.
Facebook’s On This Day feature brought me back to the blog — which still exists at veredthepennyjar.blogspot.com — and as I poured over the posts, especially from that first year when I was 17-turning-18, I realized again and with stunning clarity just how much I was always meant for the path I’m on.
Then, as I do now, I documented my exploration of self + world. I captured my curiosities, passions, and discoveries. I charted my growth.
I offered up my most embarrassing and challenging thoughts and experiences, seeking to make sense of them, and opening up to different. Always, focused on becoming the best version of me.
Some of the writing is seriously cringe-worthy to me, and other bits feel like I wrote them just this morning.
Here, I’m sharing highlights from 2009, that first year of Vered’s insights.
February 21, 2009: “I hate these mind games that I feel so much the victim of. I am a beautiful, intelligent girl who should be worshiped and adored by a million guys and my ego is seriously wounded that I am not worshiped and adored, let alone that I never get the guys I want. I don’t even want a serious, till-death commitment. I’m not looking for marriage. I really just want a friend I can have fun with and kiss and the fact that I even want or need this much from a guy scares me.”
February 22, 2009: “I am frank and I want to explore things and I refuse to be apologetic anymore… Just some thoughts.”
July 20, 2009: “I often live the role of best friend. I give advice to everyone and work to fix others’ problems, but no one offers me help. Hell, I don’t even have problems… at least not in my ‘friends’ minds. People think everything is handed to me and yet I’ve worked all my life for anything I’ve ever wanted…
“I’m just a person in transition like everyone else. I just know I’m tired of not being the leading lady.”
September 3, 2009: “As I think forming your own belief system is part of growing up, I have been thinking lately about my own. Among the things in which I believe are the following:
“Life is gorgeous and inexplicable.
“I can only be me. Those who don’t like it, don’t matter.
“Don’t rush it. When the beautiful moments come, the suffering will have been well worth it.
“Take the shot, have stugots. If you don’t try, you may never win.
“One of the greatest pleasures in life is to read.
“Kissing is good for the soul.
“Believing in yourself is most important. You can’t fly until you believe in your wings.
“The best collection in the world is one of experiences, not material possessions.
“You should always decide what’s right for you; follow no one else’s moral code.
“The human experience is universal.”
September 9, 2009: “he thing that I’ve realized is even if your soulmate lives next door, it won’t (or at least shouldn’t) work out until you work on yourself…. We ought to work on being better people. That’s the problem. People seem to believe that being a good person isn’t something you do, but rather something that happens to you because other people do the work. I think movies and books — different kinds of media — have fed into this belief; made us think ‘I’ll be complete when I find him/her.’ It’s bullshit though. No one is going to make you a better person. You’ve got to do it yourself.”
September 10, 2009: “I believe I now know why the past year has been so challenging. For one thing, it spurred a personal growth the likes of which I have never experienced before. Secondly, this growth, I believe, has led me a little bit closer to the person I want to be and so now I seem to have found the person I always wanted by my side.”
September 11, 2009: “Apparently, every time I go on Facebook, I see something that in my mind warrants my doling out advice. I should start charging for this stuff.”
September 18, 2009: “Why is it so difficult to let past transgressions go, especially when they could be hurting our chances with someone new? I find it so difficult to watch a friend struggle with trusting someone new because of old hurts. Lately, it is the very situation I have been finding myself in…. I can’t help but trust people. Even when I want to put walls up, I can’t help but tear them down–or let someone else do the work–but usually the walls don’t get but waist-high before I let someone in.”
October 12, 2009: I counseled a stressed out classmate. Told her to, “take three deep breaths. scream out loud. listen to a Gwen Stefani song or two. take a drink of water. shut your eyes for 30 seconds and tell yourself it will be ok. then plunge back in. doctor’s orders.”
October 20, 2009: “I spend a lot of time inside my head. I agonize over things no one else might. I think things over and over and over. Granted the things I don’t think that hard about — whether to take a nap or to go to a certain place for dinner — may be the moments that shape and define my life as opposed to the ones I think so hard about. Maybe that is how the importance or affect of a decision is determined; maybe the more you think about it the less impact it will ultimately have.”
I found the bits from September 11 and October 12 funny. I hadn’t guessed then that I’d make money by continuing to document my growth. That others would read my most personal revelations, share their support in comments and even hire me as a result.
As I’d chosen to believe in 2009, life IS gorgeous. And, while I’ve given up much of my association with the tragic life of Sylvia Plath, I continue to share her belief that writing justifies my life.
With love, Rosella