I’ve been doing a series on tiktok (encouraged by my mom, who is doing something similar) where I read from my high school livejournal. It’s not really supposed to garner views or follows, although that would be fun. Instead, it’s something I can do and look forward to every day, a nostalgic look at my teenage self.
While reading these first posts in my LJ, it’s really interesting to see how much I’ve changed; but even more interesting to me is the ways I’ve stayed the same. For one, I still write all the time, whether it’s in a journal or twitter or an unseen manuscript in the making. I’m so proud of myself for sticking with writing, for not giving up on or setting aside one of the core parts of who I am. I think 16-year-old me would be so proud of me, and so happy to see that I’m actually finishing books for once. It’s been over 20 years in the making.
Teen Meg was also very sensitive, and very prone to escapism. The real world has never been interesting to me, and I’d much rather spend time in my own head, in a story, or swept up in a song. I’m far more grounded now than I was as a teenager, but not so much that I read those entries from 2002 and feel a massive disconnect. I see myself in that teen, and I have a lot of love for her.
It’s easy to make fun of my past self, to laugh at how ridiculous I was and how everything seemed like the end of the world. But I also look back at that girl with a lot of empathy. I wish I could go back in time and give myself a hug and tell teen Meg it will all be okay, that the things keeping me up at night didn’t matter, that they would all pass just like everything else. I wish I could myself “you’re doing amazing, sweetie.”
That teenage nerd, the girl who obsessed over Liberty’s Kids and thought a D in chemistry was the end of the world… she made me who I am, and I actually really like that person.