Lately I've had an obsession with the past. I've been stalking old primary school buddies on instagram, working up the courage to follow their private accounts, and working up the nerve to allow them to follow me back, allowing them to see my present day self too. Today I went to spontaneously visit a girl down the road who goes to the same school as many of them, who told me about what happens at her school, who gave me a little insight as to what it's like.
It's interesting. We're all so different now. Any of us could've taken any path, and here we are. There's 'sluts' both mean and nice, there's people who voluntarily call themselves 'nerds', there's the girls with bikini selfies, peppy girls jumping and rowing and dancing, girls who show off their friends as much as possible in group photos, girls with kissing photos, girls with themselves kissing other girls, rich girls, unhealthily skinny girls, girls that now smoke, girls posting suicidal quotes, and a whole tonne of black eye liner.
And then there's me. What would they say I've become? Am I 'rich' because I go to a private school? Am I a snob? Am I a 'nerd' because I don't party or smoke or post red eyeballs from taking shots? I know I've changed, but I don't think they could tell anything about me unless they ask someone. That's the beauty of social media. You can post as little as you want.
And I'm sure there are girls I'm completely cut off from. They're the ones with no social media, who I only hear snippets of in the stories I'm told.
But let's back track to 2006 and 2007, when we were all 6 and 7 years old. By then we'd already started having 'crushes' on boys, but I still reckon we had no idea who we were or who we would become.
I'm not sure if any of them have writing from back when they were that age. But I know I do. Earlier today I was exploring the files on the study computer, and I found folders within folders marked 2006 and 2007. It turns out that as a six year old I was a story writer. And at seven I began writing letters, telling people what I'd been doing. It's interesting seeing the innocence in your grammatically incorrect writing, having a snippet of the way your mind was thinking. And I reckon we all thought that way before the complications and stereo-types of society got in the way.
Cat Story (2006)
Once there was a cat. She had no friends. So she had a look arownd. Her name was Sara. But there was no one to play with. So she had a walk. But there was no one to play with. But then there was a big dog. He did not like cats. Sara did not like dogs. The dogs name was Ben. Sara was scared of dogs because dogs chase her. But Sara had an idear so she said could I be your friend? But Ben did not want to be a cats friend. So he said I do not want to be your friend. So Sara got sad. But then a cat came by. Her name was Lucy. And they both said can I be your friend? So they both said yes. Because Lucy had no friends too. So they shared oners (owners). So they both became best friends. they did evry thig (everything) together. But some times they fite. But mostly they do evry thig together. The End.
So I guess that's how friendship worked in those days. Cats are friends with cats because dogs scare them (that may have been a metaphor for boys but I could be reading in too far). It's just a matter of asking, "Can I be your friend?" or "Can I play with you?" because that's how things were done. Friends should fight but do everything together. That must've been my view on a perfect friendship at six years old.
Lucy's little sister (2006)
Once there was a girl named Lucy. Lucy has a little sister named Sophie. Sophie and Lucy have a baby sister named Jessica. Jessica likes to play with toys. One day Sophie and Lucy met a unicorn. The unicorn said I have no food. Lucy and Sophie went to the shops. Lucy and Sophie lost all their money. But then a fairy came and gave the unicorn food. So the unicorn and fairy and Lucy and Sophie are friends and play with toys. The end.
Society must've hit me already, with the whole unicorn and fairy stereo-types locked in my mind from all those picture books I must've been reading. But it's nice to see the innocence in my writing. Maybe that was how I felt about my little sister at the time. That we'd go on adventures together.
The Beach (2006)
Once there was a girl. Her name was Lucy. One day she went to the beach with her big sister named Sara and Lucy's mum named Jessica and Lucy's little sister named Davina. At the beach they went swimming. Davina did not know how to swim. They made a big sandcastle. Davina did not know how to make a sandcastle. They played games. Davina did not know how to play games. When they got home they went to bed.
Okay, so obviously I wasn't very good with making up names seeing as I've used Lucy, Sara and Jessica in multiple of my previous stories, and Davina is someone I actually know. I must've been angry at Davina when I wrote this, which is honestly a very likely possibility. Davina, I hope you never find out about my blog because this is embarrassing.
Some time in 2006 I moved from Melbourne to Canberra, leaving behind my best friend at the time. I may as well tell you her name was Jessica, seeing as I used it in my stories and it's a pretty common name anyway. I just wanna create some authenticity, you know? Anyway, in 2007 I started writing letters to her, even though I'm pretty sure she never got them. Maybe my mum was trying to get me to start journaling or something.
I hope you have a good time in the Gold Coast. When you go to the Gold Coast you might see Elvis because I saw him. I am sure you will have fun. Do you think you will have fun? What class are you going to? I miss Melbourne. But I still like Canberra. I am having a great time in Canberra. Do you know how to dive yet? I know how to dive in shallow water. When I go swimming I dive under the water fall. Oh sorry I have to go.
Bye from M
The move was really hard on me, but not as daunting seeing as I was so young. But if a year later I could still miss Melbourne, I must've hated it a little. I did seem proud at myself for finally sucking up the courage to put my head under the water though.
I MISS YOU SO MUCH. HOW ARE YOUR FRIENDS GOING? I MISS Melbourne. I am glad we live in Australia. I just have to tell you I really want you to say hi to Dechen (I think I spelt her name wrong so it's okay to mention it). How was Christmas? How is the Gold coast? I am having a great time in Canberra. How was your 7th birthday? My 7th birthday was great. My sister is turning 5 on February the 3rd. Kisses and cuddles from M.
I must've been missing my old friends... I didn't realise a seven year old could gain attachments and relationships like that. Maybe I wasn't so clueless after all.
I hope you're having a good time at school. Have you been doing well at school? I wish you happy days at school. I miss you so much and I know you miss me so much too. How are all my other friends? It was a shame I didn't come to your 7th birthday party. I have met some new friends and my best ones are MT and EH. I have not sent many letters to you. I have herd that your teacher is C again. Who is in your class? How are your mum and dad? What have you been doing at school? I miss Melbourne. How many teeth have you lost? Have you met any new friends? Say hi to your family and my old friends. Love M.
It looks like little M has moved on a little. It's funny how blatantly I can say who my 'favourite' friends are, and if she's made any new friends. I would be way too scared to say things like that now. I do remember MT and EH's last names, hence the second initial. They're two of those primary school friends I've recently followed, and they've most definitely changed. Jessica has too. I wonder if she has instagram. I guess I'll have to ask next time I see her ;)
I also found this cute little thank you letter I must've written around the time, thanking people for coming to my birthday party.
Dear A, Davina, EH, G, H, MS, PM, RN and ZF
Thank you for coming to my 7th birthday party at the zoo, and for all the lovely presents that you brought for me.
I hope you all had a good time at the zoo feeding the emu and giraffe. The tigers refuse to come to Dr Zoo little as they were too hot to move from their tree shade. It was a very hot day.
And now I'm looking at where these people have gone now...
Half of them I still talk to occasionally, and half of them I don't. Only two of them have disappeared in terms of what I know, but there's always instagram for the rest ;)
I wonder if I had done things differently, if we would still be friends?
But I'm sorry to say some of them are a little stuffed up, and I love the friends I have now <3
You can't start a new chapter of your life if you're still rereading the last one. It's time to live in the present.