When you go back and read your old diary entries, what strikes you the most about your 12-year-old view of the world?
I really loathed myself at that age. I hated myself and I loved Jesus. Those are the overwhelming sentiments from my adolescent diary. Part of me feels so sad for my 12-year-old self. Another part of me is still totally embarrassed by her – probably because I still relate to some of the same insecurities. For example, self-esteem, to me, is still largely synonymous with good-hair-days. See, that’s something I really don’t want to admit, but admitting is the point of the project, so there you go.
What’s the mission of the Dear Diary Project?
I call Dear Diary Project a community self-esteem project. It’s my hope for this project to raise awareness for the self-esteem issues that so many women face and also to establish a common bond amongst women. Mass media sets the standards for how women are to look/think/behave, and then so often those standards are perpetuated by girl-on-girl cattiness. I believe that the first step in dealing with women’s self-worth issues is by uniting ourselves – and I hope to do that through the pure candidness of our diaries.
But I also definitely want to mention that Dear Diary Project is not just a collection of women’s darkest moments. It is also about awkward first dates, first crushes, friendships, dreams, regrets, etc. I hope that through this collection, we not only find camaraderie in each other but also the strength to sometimes laugh at ourselves.
How can people become involved with the project?
To become involved I am asking for submissions of the following: photocopies of your actual diary entries along with typed translations of the same. Participants can submit as many or as few as they like. Any topic, any age. I’m also asking for a brief bio which should include a little information about their present day life as well as their age, e-mail address and of course, name. All materials should be sent to Dear Diary Project, P.O. Box 1488, Lexington, Ky., 40588-1488. For additional information, my e-mail address is email@example.com.
Oh, and you must be a woman to submit. Sorry, boys.
For more information on the Dear Diary Project, visit The Private Musing of 12-year-old Sunny at www.deardiaryproject.com.