Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

A Reflection This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
I am not sentimental. I look at childhood photographs with indifference. I am incredulous as to why people preserve torn and useless childhood toys. And yet as I hold the thick, silver journal from my childhood, I feel a certain tenderness as I touch the creased pages which know me and how I have changed through the years; perhaps even better than I do myself.

11-19-2001: "Dear, Diry. I got this diry because I have so many things to tell! I cant beleev how many things I have to tell yoo! I wanted to say that sometimes I lie! But I told Mom, and she said I am ok, but not to do it again."
I lost the value of truth. Lying now is not a choice, is it an unavoidable factor of our life. I have lied to friends. Someone asking for advice no longer wants to hear the the entirely honest opinion as one would have heedlessly given as five year old who had not yet what is acceptable in society. I have lied to myself. I have given myself goals and standards that are unrealistic but pursue them because that is what is expected of me. Adversely, I tell myself I cannot achieve something because I am scared of failing or frightened of how other's will perceive and judge it. I have lied to parents and administrators. The truth now is tentatively handed in the form of a green note due to a contrived excuse, for the actual verity no longer matters. I have lied for selfish reasons, and I have lied to help out and protect the feelings of others. Nevertheless, when I was five, there were no reasons or vindications; the truth was the only thing I had known.

6-34-2002: "I went rollaskating with Rebecca and dad. I had leperd pads. I got comix books. Boy! Was that day fun or not!"
I lost the value of simplicity. Cliche, I know, but it is impossible to evade the aberration of this diary entry. One has to take a moment to contemplate the differences in one's life if reading comic books made a day memorable. One also has to contemplate how I just instinctually replaced the word fun with memorable. When I was five, a day was not required to be exciting and monumental to be considered "fun" and enjoyable. In fact, a day did not have to be anything. I had no expectations, thus I was never disappointed. Now, burdened with responsibilities that I realize are only going to increase as I get older, I no longer have the mental freedom nor time to sit down and appreciate simplicity the way I used to. Technically, I have more theoretical freedom to do what I please; but what pleased me as a five year old did not require independence. I was not missing out on anything, for I was satisfied with what was given to me.

1-3-2004: "Dear Diary, today was really fun! I had a playdate with Mindy. We played "Box" and I pretended I was on a spaceship! It was so cool! Mindy pretended she was a giraffe-but I still think Mars is way way way cooler!"
I lost the value of my imagination. I have not just lost its value, I have ensconced my imagination in the back of my mind and buried it under a layer of realism. I know to much now about history, scientific facts, and the bleak reality of life to pretend I live on Mars; an impossible scenario. I know too much now to be the same, fearless eight year old who believed she could take over the world by putting on a superman costume. History of others has taught me what the course of my life shall mostly likely follow. The only history I had known then was the one I created myself.

12-21-2007: "Winter Break, finally! I finished this semester pretty well I guess-97.79% average. Hellooo Harvard!"
I have gained the value of perspective. This revelation did not come to me while sitting in math class one day in high school, it was a culmination of many events and emotions that lead me to understanding that life is not merely about the name of the college I go to, nor is life defined by any one thing for that matter. Naturally, entering an Orthodox Jewish high school, in sixth grade after living in Georgia my entire childhood was a drastic change. My complete cluelessness as how to socialize with the New York City kids was made even more difficult when my school's infamous double curriculum workload of both secular and Judaic subjects made its grand appearance. Since I was slightly socially inept, I decided that work would be the area I would try to excel in, and for the next four years, "Hello Harvard" it was. However, when I entered high school, as expected, the workload greatly increased and my results no longer matched my effort as it easily did in middle school. I was faced with a choice. I could torment myself with the impression that an Ivy League college is the only acceptable option, but something I did not have before changed my mind; perspective. I found a balance in my life, between friends and work, between myself and others, between what I want and my requirements.I still make extensive review sheets before finals, albeit less color coded. I still have traces of the neurotic twelve year old who cried over an 88% on a geography quiz. It is impossible to erase who we were in the past, but through gaining perspective I have modified it.. I may always set high expectations for myself, but unlike when I was twelve, I have realized that there is no event nor goal that is everything.

9-13-2008: "Great, 8th grade's looking promising. Everyone's just as cliquey as before. I don't get it, it's so stupid. Why are some ppl cooler or more popular? Not that I care, I mean I do but whatever."
I have gained the value of self acceptance. I have found the separation between what I think of myself and what others think of me. I have discovered which one is more important. I am not going to try to prove a canard that there are no longer any cliques in high school. Simply, it just their value and effect on my life has subsided compared greatly in comparison to my younger years. Although the stereotype generously given to us teenagers is that this is the age where all we seem to care about is others' opinions; I can honestly say this is the age where I have finally began to find worth in own view, despite what others' think. During our early childhood, television shows shows have molded our minds to believe that it is the pretty, obnoxious cheerleader that everyone is envious of and what we should strive to be. In middle schools, girls took after their television role models to to try to usurp each other in pointless popularity contests for we could not fathom the possibility that we should all be friends and accept each others' uniqueness. In many ways, sixteen is most unstable and uncertain age of our lives; not a kid, not yet an adult. However, it is also when our personalities and decisions begin to take a form not completely influenced by our parents, friends, and media; but rather from ourselves.

9-20-2009: "Yah yah the fight I know I was gonna write bout it. Whatever we figured it out-I'm still annoyed but its not worth it. I've got btr things to do, like not fail school or eat coffee ice cream or something. It just wasnt worth it to start a fight, no good was gonna come out of it."
I have gained the value of time. Perhaps it is more precise to say I have understand the concept of lack of time. I am only sixteen, so I can see how foolish this may appear in an adult's eyes. After all, I have had such little experience to fully understand the value of time and relationships with others. Nevertheless, I still stand by my opinion. Only now do I understand that other people's feelings have as much worth as my own and that I can no longer allow the selfish, childish side of me determine my actions. I understand that life is short, thus every decision made has consequences and second chances are never guaranteed. I understand that there is far too little time to spend it having petty arguments. When I was five, I would give anything to finally be 5 and three quarters. Now, I would do anything to make time go by a little slower. Despite the work, responsibilities, and all the other things I have lost growing up; I have gained so much. I have gained freedom, my own mind, personalities, views, and memories. Again, I am only sixteen, and I know I have immense amount left to learn and lot more to experience in life, and I will certainly do my best to enjoy every second of it.

I still do not consider myself sentimental. I just saw the heart shaped necklace I wore for the first nine years of my life, and no soft smile of recognition spread on my face.

I gently put back the silver notebook into the drawer , closing it carefully as not dent it, and begin a new journal.





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback