Maggie Jankuloska
August 02, 2013 6:00 pm

It’s hard to believe that 2003 was ten years ago, despite the fact I always associate ‘ten years ago’ with the ‘90s. Wel,  back in 2003, I was a pretentious but insecure 15-year-old, growing and hoping and learning in a time before Lindsay Lohan arrests, sexting and hipsters. I have recently come across my teenage diary and I will enlighten you on just what things were like.

So back in 2003 – a time before Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Mean Girls and texting – I found pleasure in writing in my diary as a therapeutic outlet. Unlike most teens, I was late in acquiring a cell phone and ergo had to find my own means of coping with teen angst, teen love and the hustle and bustle of being in-between childhood and adulthood.

I was always an ambitious and self-assured girl, yet insecurities seeped through, as they do for most teenagers, but overall I bore my apparent non-conformity as a badge of honour. I did not listen to the likes of 50 Cent or Eminem like my ne’er-do-well peers. Instead I was into Norah Jones, Robbie Williams and Red Hot Chilli Peppers, who, looking back, are very mainstream. Back then, I felt like an alien listening to alien music. I would stay at home on Friday nights, listen to said music and write in my diary, while my peers were hooking up behind the mall or McDonald’s. I always saw my self-chosen exile as the higher road. I read for fun and Frida Kahlo was one of my heroines.

From entry to entry, I profess and then refute my apparent love for boys who were self-obsessed and dimwitted. I was a lonely child and I longed for a grand love. I wanted nothing but love and its acceptance during a time we all feel misunderstood. I even had a checklist for my ideal man, with some surprising adjectives as requirements. (I’m lucky to have met the man of my dreams without consulting that thing!) With that type of palpable longing, it’s not hard for a girl to make stupid mistakes and rush into things, but that’s a post for another day.

In place of Tumblr motivationals, I created my own uplifting quotes which were always full of bravado and sass: “We follow no one’s rules, we make rules up.”  I was proud of being different, an individual surrounded by sheep, someone who did not seek validation or convention- but I was a meek, straight A student with an inflated ego as armour.

While in 2013, I have finished writing my first novel and I am editing it like a demon, back in 2003 I had fervent hopes for writing and my numerous half-baked ideas and plots are scribbled down, together with poems and ‘songs’ which make me laugh now, although a lot of the stuff Rhianna sings is quite as bad.

Looking back today, I think the 15-year old me would be ecstatic to learn that I met a wonderful man whom I will marry next June and see Europe with him. I’m not sure how she would feel about the fact that I’m nowhere near 45 kgs anymore, although back then I wanted so desperately to be 40 kg.  She will be pleased to know that despite many challenges, I did not give up on writing, which still makes me tremendously happy. My younger self will surely love the fact that my taste in music is quite badass and that I have attended some stupendous concerts, which would have made her freak.

What were you doing in 2003?

Image- humangoods.net

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