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My Notebook This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


I sit on my bed, thumbing through the dog-eared black notebook that contains my soul in written form. This brings me back to the many times in my life when I was full of pain and felt alone. My past is haunted by memories of rejection and hurt others inflicted on me, and at those times I found solace in the impartial nature of written words.

I am what I have written.

Growing up can be a very cruel experience. The drama that accompanies the teenage years is unavoidable. The struggle to be accepted by one's peers is arduous and never-ending. Some are lucky and get promoted to an almost god-like status while others, like me, are considered inferior and weird. Sadly, many young people who feel like I do lose sight of their self-worth and become utterly hopeless.

I lost myself for a period of time …

School was where it all began. My struggle for acceptance was nothing new, merely a work in progress that simply was making no progress. I tried hard to fit in, but still felt alone. The everyday sight of giggling girls followed by a flock of adorable boys came to be something I envied.

Why can't I be like them? How am I so different?

Lunchtime was the worst. Everyone sat with friends, excitedly engaging in meaningful conversations, laughing like they didn't have a care in the world. I sat at a table with a random mix of people from my grade who had nowhere else to sit. As I stared at the food in front of me, the out-of-place feeling that continued to eat away at my sanity was enough to make me lose my appetite. When classmates asked why I wasn't eating, I would tell them that I had had a large breakfast and was not hungry.

My weary eyelids were unable to stop the pain I felt trickling down my face.

The final bell at the end of the school day was a relief. It meant that I could go home and submerge myself in the wonderfully distracting world of books. I would lose myself in fictional tales of knights in shining armor and lost, love-hungry souls finding their happy ending. Reading these stories gave me hope, for the moment, that maybe my future would not be spent alone.

Some days, the sugary sweet stories I read were not enough to rid me of the aching loneliness I felt. On those days, my black notebook became my best friend. I would spend hours pouring my soul into it. The melancholy music blasting from my CD player both soothed and saddened me, each woeful word sending chills up my spine. Each page in my tattered notebook reminded me of the innocence that had been cruelly stolen by the scorn of my peers.

My tears flowed freely as I wrote, often splashing onto the words, blurring them into an unreadable mess. Anger distorted my words in other ways, making them large, sloppy, and unwilling to stay within the confines of my notebook. The saltiness of my tears provided perfect contrast to the bitterness of my defeat.

That black dog-eared notebook, though filled with anger and despair, saved me from losing myself forever. For fear of rejection and disdain, I didn't dare express the hopelessness I felt out loud. During those times, my notebook was willing to hear what I had to say, eager to feel the raw anger and frustration that threatened to tear me asunder.

I have come to realize that a person's best friend does not need to have life and breath; a best friend simply has to be willing to listen when you need to talk and remain unbiased when hurtful matters arise. I learned this – and finally found myself. My notebook, though filled with hurt, anger, and sadness, is my soul in written form. I am what I have written. My words are my own. No one can take that away from me.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 8 comments. Post your own!

YES!!!! said...
Aug. 18 at 6:42 pm:
That was so good. It felt like you were writing down what i went through. You took the words right out of my mouth.
 
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ACkYeFirstThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
May 6 at 10:01 pm:
Yes. Just yes. I'm like bookmouse; didn't really write until I got to my college, started putting more effort into writing, and realized that it was a release from the stress and the environment... I think we can all relate to this struggle in one way or another, whether it's through writing, or music, or drawing, or a sport... the list goes on. Thank you for sharing - keep that honest touch. I hope to see more of your work!
 
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bookmouseThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Mar. 27, 2013 at 10:29 pm:
I didn't discover writing until after, so it is interesting to hear the story of someone who wrote at the time of the worst of it.
 
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Evyfan111This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jun. 8, 2012 at 4:31 pm:
This piece of writing is practically the story of my life. Thank you for posting this. It sends a surge of hope through me, when I hear the story of another who has suffered through what I am going through and turned out great. 
 
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darleneO4 said...
Apr. 30, 2012 at 9:17 pm:
I absolutely love your piece. It was as if i was reading a part of my own life. I can 100% relate with this.
 
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This*Lit*Is*BananasThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 28, 2010 at 7:41 pm:
Wow, I love this. I can totally relate, both in the respect that I was pretty much a social pariah in middle school (i go to a weirdo arts school now, so different story there), and in the respect that words can be your best friend. I'm majoring in Literary Arts at said arts high school, and I've come to realize words are my best friends. Thank you for this article. I loved it :)
 
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Chenzira said...
Jan. 22, 2010 at 2:21 pm:
Wow! This is truly beautiful and inspiring. I can relate to this a little too much. Thanks!
 
LindsayMarie replied...
Jan. 22, 2010 at 4:53 pm :
I am the author of this work and I very much appreciate your compliment. The teenage years are the absolute worst time of life (at least they were for me). I am in college now, so things do get better eventually. Do remember, though, that at even at life's lowest points, things always can get better.
 
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