"This is the first time I ever wrote a diary so I should tell you about myself. First my name is Jenny Selk, I'm 9 years old and I think I'm pretty smart (just kidding). I really don't know what to write because this is my first time writing a diary. I have nothing else to say today so goodbye. From: Jenny Selk"
I kept it up, on and off, for the next few years. On my 10th birthday, I wrote this:
"Happy Birthday to me! Happy Birthday to me! I just got the best present in my life. Me and my sister are going to florida with my grand parents and NO parents!!! It will be fun fun fun in the sun, swimming and everything. That's all, bye. Yip! Yip! Yay! From: Jenny Selk."
Around Christmas 1990, I wrote this:
"Today is little susanne's birthday. She is my cousin and is five years old now and getting to be a little time bomb. SUSANNE THE TERROR!!! She is learning to read. This is how she writes her name ~SuSaNNe. But she is only little and she is getting better. Got to run. Bye! From: Jenny Selk."
It's sad to see how things developed. How I got more and more self conscious as time went on, and more and more consumed with who I should "like."
"Halloween, 1991: Halloween! I can't believe it's Halloween! This year I got so much candy! We also had our first dance. ****** is a really big geek, but she thinks she's cool. She danced with all the wierds! ****** was the first person who asked me to dance so I did. He dances so close! Then, the next slow song, *****, *****, ***** and ***** asked me, but I did not really want to dance so I said no. Then at the very last dance ***** asked me and I danced because it was the last song and you have to. He put his hands on my but so I stepped on his foot HARD, but he didn't move. Boys! From: Jenny Selk."
"Nov. 1991: Dear Diary, Every Sunday, I go skating at Phil White Arena and today I went with Christina. (Amy and Eva came too.) And Doug was there with his brother and also Filippo was there. It was half-time rest and I turned around and there was Fil standing right beside Doug and they didn't even know that the other was alive! It was weird because when I danced with Doug in the summer I was supposed to like him a lot but when I danced with Fil on Halloween I was supposed to like him a lot too! (Don't think I like ALL the people I dance with, tho!!!) So I don't know what's going on! Doug never even said hi! But neither did Fil. Theyre both the same kind pf person (SHY) !!! But I saw them and I knew I had to decide, but I can't. I don't want to be a teenager. It's so dumb. Goodbye. From: Jenny Selk."
Between all this are lines scrawled in the margins, like "NO BLOOD FOR OIL! PEACE + LOVE FOREVER!!!!" (because of the Gulf War, I suppose) and lines like "I AM NOW SINGLE!!! I DON'T LIKE ANY MORE BOYS. THEY ARE ALL SLOBS!!! BOYS ARE SO IDIOTIC! GOD MADE THE WORST MISTAKE WHEN HE CREATED BOYS THEY ARE SO VERY VERY VERY VERY DUM!!!
I guess I just wanted to remember things. On the last pages, I wrote:
"Dear Diary, This is the last day before 1992. The year went fast. This diary is almost finished and it has taken many years to fill you up. New Year is coming and soon I will be back at school with my friends. I think I am going to put something about me on this page so I don't forget:
Name: Jennifer O. Selk (Jenny)
Birth: July 17, 1980
Home: [address removed, per mother's request] Toronto, Ontario, Canada, North America
School: St. Alphonsus C.S.
Teacher: Mr. Jon Bourke (He is nice.)
Family: Mom = Xxxxxx O., Dad = Xxxxx M., Sis = Amanda Xxxxxxxxx (Squirt!)
Principal: Mr. J. Healy
Priminister: Brian Mulroney
Diary, this is the last page of this book and the last day of the year. You have travelled through my life for a few years now and helped me alot. I started you as a friend to talk to and listen. You have done well. You have done real well. But now I have to go. I pray that you keep my secrets and confidements always. Thankyou and happy new year and GOODBYE FOREVER old year. Love from: Jennifer Olivia Selk, Age 11."
In the mid 1990s, I started up again in a different volume, but the tone over those sporadic entries is distinctly different. Much sadder, much more anxious. I write things like "I can't believe I am 15. I don't want to be 15. I hate this so much. Everything is too hard."
I wanted to stay a little kid forever. Still do, I guess.
Happy Christmas Eve, Eve, internets.
Jenny Selk, Age (wouldn't you like to know?)
* After posting this, my mother learned how to Google. She has asked me to remove some of the more specific details, hence the stuff that's xed