In 1989, I started writing a diary. The first entry is as follows:

"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)
Age: 11
Birth: July 17, 1980
Home: [address removed, per mother's request] Toronto, Ontario, Canada, North America
School: St. Alphonsus C.S.
Grade: 7
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

I was on the MTV After Show again last night (not sure how many times that makes now) and in addition to being engaged in yet another discussion of my age - "you're 28?! You do not look that old!" - and my "ethnicity" - "I thought you were, like, Latina!" - I was also told for the first time that I bear an uncanny resemblance to American Fererra. That's right, webheads. Ugly. Betty.

Now, to be fair, the After Show Friends who made this connection were talking more about how I sound than how I look, and they were talking about America the actress, not Betty the character, but still. I'm not sure I liked it.

Don't get me wrong. America Fererra is beautiful. And she doesn't seem like an idiot, so I don't think anyone was trying to insult me. But still. I guess I'm just a bit tired of this "you know who you remind me of?" thing. Am I really such a doppleganger? Am I not me? Am I not unique? People are always mistaking me for someone else, or telling me I look like so-and-so or "that girl from the teevee." (Though these days, that could mean I actually look like... me, couldn't it?)

Here's the latest list of people I apparently remind other people of (celebrity version):

America Fererra
Neve Campbell
Michelle Rodriquez
Eva Mendes
Pocahontas (seriously)

Shall we play that old Sesame Street game? One of these things is not like the others? One of these things just isn't the same? Too obvious?

The first four are flattering, I know. I should be so lucky. As for the last one, all I can say is that someone seriously told me that. That I reminded them of Poca-fucking-hontas. What does one say to that? Actually, what does one say to any of this? I mean, thanks. Thanks for telling me what Not-Quite-White means to you? Thanks, guys.

But back to the America thing. What do you think? Here's a few clips of her in interviews, so you can listen for that uncanny vocal resemblance, at least:

On Ellen.

On Jimmy Kimmel.

On Letterman.

What does this mean? I have no idea. Maybe I can be America's voice double. Maybe dubbing for The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants sequels is in my future. Maybe. I guess the bottom line is that I AM AMERICA. (But wait - wouldn't that make me Stephen Colbert?)

Peace Out, Homies,
America! (Jen!)
I've decided something. It's about winter. It's about winter and snow and you're not going to like it. It's about how I love winter and snow and about how you should too.

(You might want to stop reading now. This is just going to get worse.)

Know what else is only going to get worse? Winter. This is just the beginning, people. This is still fall. What's coming is months and months and months of much much worse. And if you can't like it, if you can't try to love it, in fact (in the way you might love a little sibling you're not sure you really wanted) I think you'd better move. Because this is it.This is just something you're going to have to accept. It's an inalienable thing. It's time to embrace the winter. To revert to smart seasonal dressing. (Think snowsuits. Think balaclavas.) To take advantage of the toboggan. To look up and out instead of in and down.

I didn't always love the winter. It crept up on me, this feeling. But it's here now and I'm in it. All the best things happen in winter, I've decided. All the most delicious moments and most memorable memories. And the snow! The snow, guys! Everyone complains and complains about it, but snow is actually amazing. I mean juvenile poets have been using it as a primary image for ... I dunno, centuries? Those sort of cliches happen for a reason.

In the winter, Toronto is a city transformed. And when it's snowing, it generally isn't so cold. Really. Put on galoshes and go for a walk. You'll see what I mean. I'm not being naive here. I know it isn't always going to be easy, this loving the winter thing. That's not how love works. It's going to be really hard sometimes. It's going to feel like it's always winter, never Christmas. Valentine's Day is going to roll around and break your fragile, February heart. It's going to wear you down. But you should stick with it, this hard and heavy love. It's going to make you so much happier, I promise. I know these things. I'm wise. I'm wise nearly in keeping with my years.

I am Lorelai Gilmore. I am Bumbles. I am Jane Frost.

If you're cold, you can slip your hands inside my pockets. If you need to.


P.S. Search strings that have brought visitors to my site since December 1st include but are not limited to:

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If that's not comedy, I don't know what is.
So, I'm a big fan of Post Secret. It's old news, and it's one of those things that I sometimes forget I like, and stop looking at for months at a time. And then when I remember it exists, there's always lots to read and see, which makes it ever-better and sort of extra delicious, which is a nice thing.

But I'm busy. I forget things. And one of the big things I forgot in relation to Post Secret. was that I actually submitted several secrets of my own to the project back in 2006. This completely slipped my mind for over a year, until a few weeks ago when I was at a friend's baby shower and saw a copy of the latest Post Secret book, A Lifetime of Secrets, on the host's shelf. And guess what was in it?


Well, one of my secrets, anyway. I sent about four, and the truth is, I only have a vague recollection of exactly what I wrote, but I remember the styling, the gist of things, and how I was feeling at the time (terrible, truly) and the fact that I went all out in some respects and really unburdened myself. I also TRIED to get published, so I crafted my secrets carefully, and some of them were pretty ... contrived. In a bad way.

I cannot, of course, tell you which of the secrets in A Lifetime of Secrets is mine, but I can tell you this: Frank chose the best one. The one that was the least contrived and the most true and ultimately, the most me. Which makes me think he's better at his job than I initially gave him credit for. Stupid me. I am so full of myself sometimes.

Anyway, it gave me a thrill. Seeing my little secret printed for the world to see in the book. It's nothing amazing. Nothing truly shocking. Just something small and sad and true written in a moment when I was feeling small and sad and true. And I'm glad. I'm glad I made it into the book. Even if I can't (won't?) tell you which one it was.

The thing about secrets is this: if something is really secret, (really, truly, fundamentally secret) you can't tell anyone about it. Not even one person. You have to keep it to yourself. I know that, and have many many little things that I've never spoken of as a result. It's hard sometimes. To hold onto things like that. When you really can't share things, you sort of have to put them out of your mind entirely to deal with them. Except with Post Secret, you don't. With Post Secret, you can tell everybody and nobody at the same time.

It feels good. Really good. I feel good.

I love December this year.

Your secret spilling blah-og friend,