Calling it a ‘diary’ is probably a bit of a stretch. I’m no Anne Frank; I was never organised or committed enough to keep a proper diary. Most of my writing as a teenager was sporadic scribbling on bits of paper or copybooks at moments of extreme frustration. I may not have been orderly about it, but my method makes any entries more interesting to read now.
Reading back over one A4 pad in particular is both enlightening and cringe-worthy and there are parts that really struck me while reading through it. Over a decade later, I was right back in my teenage skin, feeling confused, detached, frustrated and ugly all over again. I won’t share this whole entry or I will die of shame, but I will share some particularly embarrassing excerpts that I feel we can all identify with…
1. On my friends’ unhealthy obsession with designer labels
“They need badly to wake up and realise how many kids they could feed with the price of their gear. It’s also very pretentious. They all exaggerate about their bags… I’m always told not to bother my head about them, but the point is, I do, because it’s so hard not to.
Wow. I fancied myself as a bit of a Bob Geldof, it seems! In all seriousness, though, I’m glad I could see through all of this at that age – there is certainly more to life than designer labels. Oh, and for the record, ‘they’ totally did exaggerate about their bags and I am quite sure that they were all knock-offs.
2. On my hopes for the future
“I hope I have my own individual styles and tastes but it can be hard when you’re 14 and everyone’s trying to put you in a box – friends especially. When I’m older I’ll be nobody but myself. I’ll have a totally independent lifestyle and guys will like me for me. I hope.”
Talk about melodramatic. Although I did always have a strong personality, I definitely felt tugged in a few different directions at that age. Thankfully I am very much myself now; I like what I like, I don’t chase trends to a silly extent, and my boyfriend appreciates that – I think!
3. On my love life
“I LOVE X. I hope I never look back on this and cringe because I just wanna stay with him forever”.
Do I even need to discuss this?! I was basically a child. Needless to say, ‘he’ is but a distant memory. It’s amazing the strength at which emotions are felt when you’re a teenager.
You couldn’t pay me to return to this age, and I suppose the moral of this story is that growing up is hard, and that things always do get better. It does make me smile to think that if 14-year-old me could see herself in 2014, she’d be fairly happy, and perhaps a little more positive.
Deirdre Foley is a history grad, sceptic, wearer of red lipstick and self-confessed 'beauty maniac'. She is also the co-founder of fabulous Irish beauty blog, Viva Adonis.