At the moment this website is like a new notebook and I don't want to start writing because well let's be real here the only thing I've produced today is a poem about a goldfish I saw trailing a poopline in a public aquarium. And while that's fine enough, it's definitely not the kind of fine-enough that belongs on the first page of a brand new journal, and would better fit entry #230, posted on a Wednesday night, 1:15 AM.
So maybe let's beeline that and I'll just get this first-page fear out of the way with a list of all the journals I've had over the years:
- So when we moved to the Netherlands we moved to a city that had a total of 1.5 Jewish families and one reluctant synagogue that seemed to be going through a dying-its-hair-blonde period. I was the 'first Jewish person I ever met!!!' girl for many neighbourhood kids, and because the only other Jewish girl my age they could identify was Anne Frank I became, for them, Anne Frank. Literally, not figuratively, these kids would not know my name, would call me 'Anne Frank' and when I say call I mean shout across the hallway. I went through two phases as a reaction to this: preteen fury (said nothing at school then spent long showers winning imaginary arguments), and full teen overcompensation. If they wanted Anne Frank, yep, that's right, this sentence is gonna end exactly as you think it will: they can get Anne Frank. So I dressed like her, wore my hair like her, and. Well. Started a diary. I decorated it with shells and filled--I think--a total of 20 pages where I wrote about that t-shirt I wanted and anti-semitism and a crush I had and how I hated school, all with exactly the same level earnest. Or maybe with some extra emphasis on the crush. I don't remember stopping, but I do remember a year later a friend of mine found it under a pile of papers and read a few pages and laughed. What's funny, I wanted to know, and she said: "This is like every diary of every girl ever."
- So okay so all of my friends are some kind of nerd, and this is because I pick 'm like that and because I wanna be lectured on the history of the microwave meal for at least two hours on any given Wednesday evening. And even though every one of my friends occupies a very specific kind of knowledge, for some odd reason, none--and I mean none--of these nerds seems to be very fluent in early 00s internet blogging culture. Which means I don't get to talk about this often. But I'm still adding this to the list, because it's important and because maybe you, reader, are a different kind of nerd, and will immediately know what I mean when I say: my first blog was a Xanga blog that was half self-insert Radiohead fanfic, half pure and undulated (yaaasss teenager) angst. 'Karma Police' would play on repeat on the main page. I closed it down after a girl I knew from a Harry Potter fan forum got upset with me for using the word 'fuck' in one of my entries.
- Now I'm not super certain I had a geocities website but I definitely tried something weird at one point because I received Yahoo reminders for years. I just put them in spam. Didn't question it. It's like I accidentally murdered some asshole one night and buried him in my sisters' garden and then pretended not to see when his daemon ghost kept on appearing in the rose bush. Can everything in life be reduced to a Sandra Bullock movie ref? Yes. It can.
- Rose to minor fame on livejournal for a few months under an alias, spent next year trying to reclaim that fame. Wrote hundreds of entries in capslock, primarily on minor human interactions I had on public transportation. It was the late naughts, and I was doing badly taking classes at night school. I didn't sleep much and spent most days writing reviews for Ron/Hermione fanfics.
- Picked up paper journaling again. I bought a beautiful bound book for this, and tried to avoid starting on the first page by starting one-third in. Changed my mind halfway in, and started writing from the back to front. Changed my mind again and skipped to the first page, finally, 2 years after the first entry. I found this one again a few years ago, and it reads exactly like what that period of depression felt like: blurry, sad, and unwilling to start at any one point. Many entries I ripped out (no memory of doing this), or scratched over with marker so you can't read what I wrote. One entry I spent paragraphs imagining a future where I'm alone and unloved. A later me went back and, still hateful, crossed through the words, and wrote over them with a huge, "SELF PITY!!!"
- Last year I decided to continue writing in this old diary. I went back to those entries and sent the sweetest messages I could manage to myself in the past. I drew hearts, and filled the margins responding to myself, explaining what will be good, and what will remain the same, and how even that was okay.
- I did not know how to write a diary, or maybe--probably, more likely--was afraid of what I'd write, both if it was too sad or too flat. I was also afraid of writing like I was writing for someone else. So on a hot evening in my grandmother's living room--the house I grew up in, in Ramat Gam--I began a different way of journalling: list making. My first list, dated Dec. 8th, 2015, is titled, "I want:", and under it there's four bullet points. Coffe, food, beach, almond oil. I don't remember the context now, but I remember it felt like a relief. Second one, "Ideas for a More Ethically Ok Makeover Show." Then, "Favourite Smells," and, "Fun Historical Facts," and, "Movie Aesthetics That Make Me Feel At Peace." January 11, 2016: "Questions to Self, Seriously Tho." February 1, 2016, "Weird Dreams I had." February 22, 2016: "Remember?" ("that tunnel under the basketball field that you thought was the entrance to hell," "the first time you tried to speak during a debate tournament," "that poem you wrote at age 9 about a divorced woman missing her kids.")
- I decided that if I'd be writing my diary as if I'm writing it for someone else might as well make myself that someone else. Began a diary at two ends of the book: one end I'd be writing to future me, telling her what's good, what's not. Hoping she's having a grand time as well. Other end, writing to my past self, letting her know what's good, what's not, making sure she'd know she'll be having a grand time--soon.
- So the aquarium was embedded in the wall
Under a bridge, next to a church,
someone had played sims city on this corner,
I bet no one visits this buddy I said and sure enough
the goldfish seemed startled by the company
eyes bigger than its body
dragging a pooping line as it swam to hide
behind a floating piece