life lessons from my middle school diary

I’ve kept some sort of written journal type deal from around second grade, on and off, until present day. All I have to say about this is: GOD BLESS. There is truly nothing more entertaining than reading your younger self’s thoughts and feelings about ridiculously petty stuff.

My elementary school diary is cute (I documented the unadulterated joy I felt after watching The Lizzie McGuire Movie for the first time, the trials and tribulations of playdates, my growing love for wolves) but my middle school diary is honestly a piece of modern art. I’ve decided to take some quotes from it and add some commentary. Maybe we can all learn a thing or two from cringey 13 year old Cara.


“I kind of procrastinate on homework, studying for tests, projects… okay, basically everything. He he… I’ve got to learn how not to or else I’ll be staying up till one in the morning, writing essays I’ve had for three weeks!!!” 

Look at this poor, naive angel. She thought she could change her time-wasting ways. You’ll embrace your procrastination in due time, Young Cara. You’ll learn that people work in different ways and even though your way maaay be the most stressful one, you’ll finish what you need to. Usually.

“For some reason a rumor got out that we said [redacted] turned GOTH when she went to her new school. We just said she changed!”

People may twist your words and it may become drama at your middle school dance. Do you really want your life to have the storyline of a low-budget teen movie? Don’t shit talk your friends dude, you have like three.

“I MIGHT be getting a phone like the Razor for my birthday! BUT two girls in my grade have it… [friend 1] says to get it, it just matters what I like. But [friend 2] says NOT to. I’m going to listen to [friend 1]’s advice and not let anyone else control my life!”

What a profound lesson. It doesn’t matter what other people think, get that metaphorical equivalent to my knock-off Razor of your life!!!!!!

“PAR-TAY! It’s all about parties this week! And WHO doesn’t love a good party? NO ONE, THAT’S WHO!” 

(I was talking about a middle school dance and a bat mitzvah. I was truly out of CONTROL.) Appreciate those rented swanky halls and the only-slightly-warm buffet food paid for by your friends’ parents when you can, because when you’re 21, the only things parties have to offer is shitty beer and misogyny.

“Sorry that it’s been a while but I’ve been SUPER busy! And a lot of things are changing … and are different.” 

Things change and become different. Can’t argue with that one.

“I even bought makeup and my friend showed me how to put it on. MAKEUP. Seriously. Last year I was making fun of people who wore it, now I’m wearing it. Last year I was all split ends, baggy T-shirts and sneakers. Now I’m makeup, babydoll shirts and ballet slippers.”

God. @YoungCara, why were you making fun of people for wearing makeup? Relax man, it’s really not that serious. You’ve fallen into the trap that society has set– equating femininity with inferiority. Putting black goop on your eyelashes doesn’t make you any worse or any better than anyone else, my friend.

“First of all, boys are stupid. So, I am sticking to NOT obsessing over one, when there MUCH more important things out there such a friends, homework, and dying whales.”

This speaks for itself. SAVE THE WHALES.

“Whatever, I don’t like drama. I have true friends. I don’t need her. Ha! She’s gonna end up marrying an old, rich man for his money and have an unhappy life!!!!!! She’s fake, all she ever talks about is stupid stuff like clothes and gossip.”

Okay. This is horrendous and reeks of internalized misogyny so I’m going to drag middle school Cara for a bit.

Let’s be honest– you loved “drama,” ya creep! You printed out pages and pages of yahoo emails between you and your best friend when y’all were fighting to show people at school. This method of problem-solving probably would not make Oprah’s ‘Top 10 Ways To Handle Conflict with Grace and Respect.’

And I know you’re upset about your good friend ignoring you, but calling her “fake” is not the way to deal with it. What does that even MEAN? It’s weird that you’re pretending you’re above “stupid stuff like clothes and gossip” but if you flip to ANY PAGE OF THIS ENTIRE JOURNAL, you’ll find that you discuss these two topics quite often. Which is FINE! Things that are traditionally thought of as feminine are not inherently bad or shallow! (I mean, gossip is questionable but don’t pretend your sketchy self didn’t partake.)

 The media forces women to care about how they look and what they wear but then in the same breath, shames them for doing so. You’ll learn that the only winning side to this battle is to do whatever you want and let others do the same.

“I love my mom. She puts up with me. I don’t think I would be able to if I was her… I can be a brat!”

Appreciate your mom, you are definitely a brat.

“Why do we call each other “Hot Shower” friends? Well, Caitlin’s mom said that good, true friends should make you feel like you just came out of a hot shower. You know: calm, relaxed, nice, just all around great.” 

Still true!!!!! Young Cara, you will not BELIEVE how much better having great friends will make your life.

Okay, I think that’s enough of the Cara archives for now. My last two posts ended with some dog-related content so I might as well keep that tradition going, eh? Here’s a video of a dog and a baby that my mom and I watched 20 times in a row after she discovered it during one of her viral video binges.


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