Volume 23: Just Words

Welcome to the twenty-third installment of Open Book. If it’s your first time here, click here for a little background.

Dearest readers, I want to start by asking you a question: What words would you use to describe yourself?

Maybe you’d poke fun at a few of your less-than-stellar qualities and call yourself geeky or perpetually late or such a hot mess right now lol. But you probably wouldn’t be outright mean to yourself. Right?

Volume 7: Self-Image

Welcome to the seventh installment of Open Book. If it’s your first visit, click here for a little background.

Lately I’ve been thinking about self-image. And by lately, I mean the past ten years or so, during which time I have partaken in adolescence’s most disturbing pastime: criticizing every part of my body that doesn’t look like it was lopped off a supermodel. Many young men and women are familiar with this damaging song-and-dance. We stare at ourselves in the mirror, bemoaning cellulite, acne, a big nose, a pudgy stomach, the wrong amount of hair in the wrong places, thighs that won’t stop touching each other, arms that look more like vermicelli than arms (as mine unfortunately do).

Volume 2: Love/Hating the Former You

Welcome to the second installment of Open Book. If it’s your first visit, click here for a little background.

One of the things I love most about revisiting my diaries is getting to simultaneously praise and ridicule my former self. Like most people, I am my own best cheerleader and worst critic—and with good reason. Take for example, the following entry, tucked into the broken binding of a neon-dolphin-adorned Lisa Frank notebook, dated November 4, 2002. The scene is sixth grade, and the “top story” is that a classmate named John wants to ask me out (which means, of course, that he wants to ask his friend to ask my friend to ask me out. As is customary).