by marinashifrin

I was your typical miserable teenager. So when I stumbled upon a diary from 2002 I couldn’t help but recoil in fear of what my twisted young mind emptied out on to those pages.

By my fourth read-through I’d become obsessed with this dumb, purple diary. I also began pitying the 13-year-old version of myself. She was so young and stupid! She worried about her grades, fantasized about getting a boyfriend and vowed to one day “be a journalist”. HA.

The diary was, and is, atrocious. The grammar is horrendous, the dilemmas are cliché and the narrative arcs are just plain lazy. It also turns out that tween Marina was a bitch. Straight up.

But, every time I get to the last page of this diary, where I sloppily wrote, “GOT MY PERMIT! Drove home and didn’t kill anyone. Hell yea.” I get a twinge of sadness. I’ve made it a point to live without regrets, but I wish from the bottom of my core that I didn’t stop documenting those silly stories, dreams, goals and concerns. I guess once I got my permit, I was on the road to adulthood, where insecurities and passions are reserved for the recesses of your mind. My insecurities and passions didn’t stay hidden long; they made their way back into my writing, six years later, when I started doing comedy. My present-day writing is pretty decent, but it’s not quite as magical as the non-sequitur confessions of a teenaged Marina.

I’ve decided that the only way I can prolong my narcissistic, but nonetheless twisted enjoyment of this little book is by writing responses to my 13-year-old self. I’ll let my-younger-self know how things turned out. Who knows, maybe I can make amends with who I once was and silence the teen-turmoil that still clouds my mind.

To set out on this short, experimental project, I thought I’d include an action packed entry that deals with death, acceptance and dancing. Please take note of the “P.S.”

The P.S. What's wrong with me?

Dear Marina,

You and Rebecca both find dates to the Homecoming dance. Rebecca goes with Won Woo, an exchange student who doesn’t speak much English, and you go with Richie.

If I could’ve reached you sooner, I would’ve begged you not to cut your own hair the day before the dance. You probably wouldn’t listen anyway.

Well anywho, your photos are going to turn out so embarrassing (because of your almost-mushroom-cut hairdo) that you hide them away forever and ever. The Homecoming night isn’t completely fruitless because you come away with a beautifully awkward photo of Rebecca and Won Woo, which hangs on your fridge to this very day. I’ll write later.


Marina Shifrin

P.S. Rebecca & Won Woo (2002) as displayed on my fridge:

Rebecca & Won Woo. 2002.