I found my teenage diaries in the box of stuff I retrieved from my parents. Two notebooks covering the end of year 11, up to around my 18th birthday. Reading them it’s difficult to believe that I’m the same person.
In my head, obviously I am exactly the same as I was when I was 17, with the same rationale, values and critical thinking skills. On paper, I’m a bit of a silly romantic, slightly overdramatic, a little scared, and fairly dogmatic. I’m not sure I like me that much, so it’s fairly incredible and particularly to think that there are people who have known me from then until now, and still like me.
In among the pages of my diaries, and also in the box, are various identity cards I’ve carried over the years. If you look at the image on my sixth form bus pass, I bear no resemblance to that girl. Well, barely any resemblance. I’m hoping you think I’ve got better hair even if I’ve still got a MASSIVE forehead…
But if you line up all the cards from the first to the last, there’s a continuum of change in my appearance from schoolgirl to woman. The transformation from my sixth form bus pass to my masters degree university card and beyond obviously wasn’t just skin-deep, as my diaries remind me. It’s encouraging to see that with growing older comes greater confidence and a more solid sense of self. And better hair.