Girl Half Empty

//What an odd thing a diary is: the things you omit are more important than those you put in//
- Simone de Beauvoir
/June winner of the diary competition/


4. //’Cause with my mid-youth crisis all said and done I need to be youthfully felt 'cause, God, I never felt young//

June 1st

Today I am feeling so simultaneously young and old – so stereotypically and unwillingly teenage – so full of opposite directions.

When I was six I decided that I never wanted to grow up and each year I have tried to resist amassing more. The truth is that I think I’ve always been old because how withered do you have to be at six to have already cast aside the glory of growth? 

A few words about aging:

//I’ve lived about a decade and a half
So The Time Of My Life is just about due
But I walk home from school
Via the swing sets and roundabouts in the park
And watch the kids who’ve not yet learned
Why trees scrape back their leaves
And strangle themselves with gossamer nooses
In autumn
They fling like drunken spinning tops
And down their hysteria like shots
And I can’t help feeling old
I’m not a Young and Beautiful Love Affair
I’m a cast-aside leaf
Who’s only too aware that she’s thin as paper
Shrivelled as morning bed sheets
Grey as the cigarettes God’s smoking
I’ve started to wonder
Why these aren’t known as my Autumn Years
Because breathe me out
And watch me fall//

The response came back to me via HelloPoetry:

//Now // age - wise if you take your ____ decade and a half ______ and multiply it by 5 ///// that's me

So I hope you allow me to say some things


We know what you mean // physically // but the real Spiritual Beauty of the experience had been erased !

It is a moment of WONDER / of JOYOUS EXPLORATION / of true INDEPENDENCE FROM THE PHYSICAL ( which is obviously the opposite of what we are taught )


RITES DE PASSAGE (as they are called )

Where communal forces and individual force merge together /:/:/ it is a SHARED experience//

And I wished I could be old enough to understand what such an enormous reflection meant. I’m not old. I’m like a graveyard filled with infant mortalities because I seem to have passed my prime without having reached wisdom or maturity. I can almost feel the rot spread deeper and the soil clog around my bones and yet I am still too pathetically juvenile to be anything but a stationary object I learned about for Physics. The forces of age and youth are working on me with equally strength so that I go nowhere and reach nothing.

Only age is always the winner.

I still think of myself as young, too young to take up the yoke of exams and money and the adulthood that awaits me deceitfully, never as far away as it pretends. Yet today was the first day of my illogically placed exam study leave and I spent away my time and money scouring Sainsburys for noodles and sugar-snap peas.

Nothing could make me feel older than passing my old primary school on the way to the shops, in an anorak that’s seen more winters than I care to admit and a shopping bag that’s passed through my mother’s mottled hands too many times to feel fresh. I stood a while, staring at the gate, wondering when we’ll learn to time travel so that I can be younger if not less complicated. I stood at the gate and tried to practise osmosis and feel the voice of childhood fill me once more… only I’m not sure it ever did touch me.

I think that those who class themselves as adults would be surprised to find how old we are inside. Like when you crack open an apparently sound walnut to find it’s brown and small and unforgivingly shrivelled inside. That’s what my parents would think if I let them read my words: SHALL WE CHECK HER BIRTH CERTIFICATE?

Maybe we always imagine that our pasts were less complicated than our presents even when that’s not the case.
Or maybe I’m just falling into the trap of believing myself to be morose and soulful when I’m really just pretentious. I hope I’ll look back one day and see the simplicity in this tapestry I’m stitching myself into. I hope I’ll look back and think GOD, I WAS SUCH A TYPICAL TEENAGER. And I hope I’ll remember that I never wanted anything less than my thirteenth birthday and that being a just about a decade and a half years old is never what I wanted.

I return to Dumbledore for comfort because I devour childhood books like they're melted cheese Paninis that can give me back what I probably never owned:

//Youth cannot know how age thinks and feels. But old men are guilty if they forget what it was to be young//


And today it is June: I am 26 days away from being the age I was when I began this diary, I am four months older than the February I still feel close to, and I am nearly three years distant from the days that never stop re-carving me. Still writing about the ancient tragedy I've forgotten to leave behind me.

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