After four years of writing to Ophelia, Jennifer grew out of her. She adopted the adult form of diary keeping which we call, journaling. She began to write in spiral notebooks. Jennifer will swing back and forth over the years between writing in journals to writing in diaries. However, she will never again write to Ophelia.
I will cover Jennifer's journal entries for awhile now. They describe her increasing confusion, loneliness, anxiety, stress and hope!
24, September 1985--"Today in English I accidentally wrote on my white pants with blue ink while I was listening to my teacher. I do that a lot when I'm concentrating, I doodle on my papers and stuff. Well, just now, I told my mom about it thinking we could have a laugh about it and she didn't believe me! God, she didn't believe me! At first, I couldn't even believe that she didn't believe me. She thinks I deliberately wrote on them or something. Well that just hurts me that she thinks I'm trying to cover up for writing on my pants and she thinks I would actually do that purposefully. Why would I write on my own pants? I didn't even realize it 'till later. I'm crying."
24, September 1985--"I want to create a world. I want it to exist. I'm working on the language now. The land will be called Masel. I wish it could exist but first, I have to get over my fear of writing. It's like I'm afraid to write cause I'm afraid of doing a bad job and disappointing myself and other people who have told me I'm a good writer. I've started a book about a band of wild horses living on an uninhabited island. But because of my fear of writing, I'm afraid I may not finish. I also have a fear of writing poems. God, I hate it. I wish I loved doing it. I always love it once I finish. For myself, I've go to finish this book. Then I want to write one about the land of Masel, an island built on poems, shorts stories and humpback whale songs. I love the idea but I hope I can write it." (Jennifer did not finish these books--but she has completed three novels since!).
25 September 1985--"For some people it's easy to be outgoing and friendly, but for me, it's like I have to work at it. When I first meet people, I'm almost always shy and I don't know what to say and I get nervous. I guess I'm not very good at interacting with people. But once I know a lot of people, like in Alaska and California, it's like I'm much more confident and much more outgoing plus, I laugh a lot. I hope I start meeting people here soon but Jen and Amy don't seem to have a lot of other friends like Cheri and Katie did. Once I become a candy-striper and go to German camp, then maybe I'll make more friends. If John really does like me then maybe I'll meet more people through him. I've decided I like him but I'm not sure that he still likes me. Maybe I was just a new face. I hope he does. I've been told that I have a nice smile but I don't think people are drawn to me." (It's true, people aren't generally drawn to introverts.)
26 September 1985--"I was reading in my textbook about Buddhism and I realized that the Eightfold Way is a lot like the contract I made with myself and the way I'm trying to live. 1) right views 2) right intentions 3) right speech 4) right action 5) right livelihood 6)right effort 7) right mindfulness 8) right concentration--the Eightfold Way. I've never studied Buddhism before but my contract seems a lot like Buddhism. I was trying to set up guidelines for myself so that I won't stray off my road to destiny. I think of life as a tunnel which is very black. Whenever I set a goal, a little light goes on somewhere in the tunnel which I can see. I follow all the paths that lead to the light until I've reached it, simultaneously reaching the goal. Without these goals, I'd be blundering around in the darkness never reaching the end of the tunnel, or shall I call it a maze." (Jennifer believes that most humans are "seekers". That we are designed to seek something greater than ourselves. We might call it by different names but it's a huge part of our life to identify it. She called it many things herself and then finally settled on calling it God.)
26, September 1985--"I always get so annoyed when people knock on my bedroom door. It's the way they knock that I hate. I hate when people knock really loud (Joel), when they knock timidly or with a question in the knock, when they knock in a pattern, when they knock only once or when they knock more than three times. The only kind of knock I like is 2-3 short raps with no expression attached to them. 'Bad' knocks put me in a bad mood."
Sounds like a Dr. Seuss book:
I do not like all kinds of knocks