Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Treasures from the past

I was rummaging through my old files and folders from ages ago, and uncovered an old folder of stories.

Reading some of them scared me a little to be honest. Most of them were from when I was 13, and now, as a supposedly mature and independent 19 year-old who's working her way to a university degree (and upon graduation, a job), I feel not only overwhelmed by the passion of my 13 year-old self but also of my lost ambition; of my unwavering conviction of who I was and what I was going to do with my life. I didn't let what other people think deter what I thought. There was so much bravado in my writing. So much melodrama and over emphasise and cliches, yet it's sad to say that I had so much more rhythm in my writing compared to now.

I remember when writing had been so effortless, typing up any random sentence on my mind on those old computers in the library after school, would lead me to somehow typing up an entire fantastical story that had to just spring out of the end of the first sentence unreasonably.

I remember when I honestly lived for writing, obsessed with the idea of fulfilling my dream of being a child author. Late nights spent lost in another world of my well-loved characters who'd gone through so many transformations over the years, yet still somehow remained familiar and true. And it's definitely difficult to forget the agony of having to trudge through the plot details, planning this, tweaking that to make sure what I had was fullproof and whole, before setting out to writing this masterpiece.

And what kills me the most is that I thought so much back then. I enjoyed thinking. I enjoyed challenging myself to doing things for me, intellectually stimulating things. Yet now, school and uni has taught me to fear work. To fear leisure activities that actually require some form of cognitive thinking. Everyone these days retreat to the so-called sanctuary of dry internet humour and the thoughtless hand spasming required to play facebook games.

Honestly, I can't believe I changed so much as to be one of the people my 13 year-old self would probably despise and snob. I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing.

I miss those days when a simple afternoon at the library can be spent typing away on Word with a few friends on a public access computer that had no internet at all, and still have so much fun. Cindy, if you're reading this, do you remember? I'm sure you do. And it's sad to say but it's been awhile since I've remembered.

In year 9 we had to write an auto-biography. My one had four chapters and an afterword (I realise now that my "afterword" should really have been an epilogue), and was a compilation of what I thought to be charming little tales of my rocky life in NZ so far. When I read the afterword today just then, my heart honestly gave a painful spasm. So young? So fresh? So green? So naive and hopeful and expectant of life, of the future. There had been no doubt in my mind that the future would be anything but bright and glamorous.

I'll include it here, just because some bits make me both cringe and laugh at the same time. My blatant honesty astounds me. This was after all only an English assignment..


My Future

My future is an extremely confusing place to go. On one hand, I’m ecstatic about it and all the opportunities, all the places that I could go, people that I could meet. On the other, I fill up with anxiety and woe about all the struggle and problems that face me.

Ever since I was an ignorant chubby 9-year-old, my dream was to become an author. Like I read Morris Gleitzman once said, it would be my greatest wish to walk into a library, and see my book on the shelf- written by me. And as long as I live, I will try to fulfil that dream

In 5 or so years time I’ll probably be waiting wilfully for a scholarship to a university in England, America or even Australia. In 10, I might be bragging snobbishly about an impressive degree in the designing arts or something a rather to distant relatives, and in 15 year’s time- very, very, very hopefully (after many rejections) I’d have published my very first novel and become a successful author one way or another- even it if means scraping the bottom of my back account. Add another 35 years and I’ll be old, withering and grey, sitting in a retirement home, laughing hysterically at my neighbour’s expression and have my nose buried in another preposterously thick book.

Yep…That’ll be me alright.


...Or will it?

Edit: Rofl I found an "about me" doc written at 12. Recall I used to regularly update those when I was a vain little kid (oops still am ><) but holy hell I sound so funny and naive. Gonna have to pull this out one day when I need a laugh..


  1. LOL omg 13 year old you sounds adorable! and very articulate. cant believe you could write like that when you were only 13 >_<

    Its not too late to fulfill your dreams though. you can still become an author. if you want it badly enough, you'll be able to do it.

  2. OMG YES you bet I remember!!! I myself still have a stash of all my handwritten scripts and poems somewhere at home dating all the way back to the pink diary you gave me when we were 8! ("How dare you call my son a mermaid, he doesn't even like fish!" said General Baal to Davis ROFL).

    Ahh yes, the boldness and fearlessness back in those days. But we are not old yet, Jeannie, however more wary and road-worn we are now. We can still direct that fresh, young energy to our life's goals. And thankfully, inspired writing is not limited to the crazy, fired-up minds of overly ambitious, woefully oblivious year-13-olds. Writing only gets better as you grow older and develop your own brand of craziness!

  3. Hahaha that's so cute how you used to write that kind of stuff!

    You know you totally could still publish a book! It could be about anything.. and seeing what kind of stuff you wrote when you were 12, I believe you could write a book of something, anything~ I reckon i'd enjoy it anyway.

    Hahahaha, how is it you still have that stuff!! My word documents always go to who knows where.. : / Had fun reading that~

  4. thanks guys! Although I guess it was one of those childhood dreams, like becoming an astronaut or something, fantastical but not quite realistic..

    @Cindy, omg DAVIS. And what about the novel that you wrote..! I wish I had got round to actually writing my "story" that I spent way to long just planning for T_T

    @bobby yeah I kinda inhaled books when I was little ><

  5. and bessie, idk I think I just always copy this huge folder with all my old junk on it when I get a new computer ><