This post concludes my blogging via a time machine back to my 18 year old self's thoughts recorded in a journal for my AP Political Science class in 1994. I am still flabbergasted at how similar I am half a lifetime later, blown away by some of my overconfidence (the White House? Seriously?), and amused by my naivety. Let's see what 2012 has to bring. April 22, 1994
Wow, looking back on my thoughts for the past 3 months has been interesting. I realized that you wanted us to be personal, but not too personal, so I think I'll use this last entry to wrap up, and maybe reassure you of my sanity!
I have written mainly about my rage. I suppose that is how I feel most of the time. I am really, however, a strange combination of seething anger, hope, confidence, and a little bit of insecurity. I think it makes for an interesting mix and adds depth to my character. I'd like to believe that I am charismatic, but I think I am only flattering myself when that occurs to me. I hope that I am; it would certainly be great!
One thing I've discovered about myself over the last few years is that politics is in my blood. I can't describe the intense excitement I feel when I am able to debate and spread my ideas, when I am able to meet with members of our government, or when I stand outside the White House and think about how nice it will be when I live there. (And not as the First Lady, either!!) Ambitious? You better believe I am! I don't feel the least intimidated by "high ranking" government figures, ranging from just walking into the governor's office to leave him a note, to telling Sen. Warner that he has no right to tell me whether I can obtain a safe, legal abortion or not. (This was at Presidential Classroom, and several people became angry with me for saying this because I was not "polite" enough.)
I suppose it is this outspokenness that has earned me the position of spokeswoman for the Teen Advisory Committee. I've done everything from greeting Penny Severns to giving a speech at NARAL's 25th Anniversary celebration. Yes, I'm mad as hell and not going to take it any more, but I want to channel this rage into something positive.
I suppose it is only natural to flaunt all my successes and gloss over the failures, but I've had more than my fair share of those, too. I think because I have suffered so much and struggled with myself for survival, I am more human. I'm not any outstanding individual, just a normal person who's had chances to do special things, while dealing with the complications that life has to offer. Maybe, though, this same "normality" is what makes me different.
While I am very self-confident about my intellectual abilities and future, I am wracked with self-doubt about the same things that other girls are. I usually hate my physical appearance (about 99% of the time), and worry about boys. I have no doubt that this is due to the culture that surrounds me. Sometimes, it is very hard to overcome these insecurities and focus on the good. This is a problem that has plagued me for a long time now. It drove me to a suicide attempt and self-mutilation. It also drove me to several periods of rash actions due to depression. But, I have the strength to fight it, and I won't let it control my life ever again.
Anyway, I hope that this last entry is not too personal - much of it is pretty common knowledge - I haven't made my checkered past very secretive - and explains a little bit about who I am why I've reacted to the events I wrote about in the way I did. Then again, I've been in your class for quite some time now, so maybe you know much of this already. If that is the case, I hope this journal has at least been interesting to read. I guess I'll take this time (as long as I'm on the subject of confessions) to tell you how much I've enjoyed being in your class this year. I learned a lot, and had a good time doing it. Thanks!
The instructor responded that the journal was interesting, and that it had "many lengthy and provocative entries." His final judgement was, "terrific job - A." Hopefully that means that I am still doing a good job writing thought-provoking things, since I haven't changed that much.