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  • We're moving house at the moment and while clearing out years of accumulated crap, I struck nostalgia-gold.... I found the diary I kept when I was 12 years old. Sharing excerpts with my husband, we were laughing till we cried! One entry began with, “Today was the worst day of my life”. I cleared my throat, expecting to unearth some long-forgotten trauma. Instead, it went on to describe how my best friend at the time tricked me into believing the teacher had changed the spelling of 'encyclopedia', resulting in me getting 19 out of 20 on a spelling test, instead of my usual 100%.

    What an adorable dork I was!

    The more I read, the more joy I got from remembering all the things that were awkward about me – my compulsive blushing, my eternal crush on a boy who seemed not to notice me, my intense eagerness to learn and excel, my general obliviousness. These were the things I didn't like about myself at the time, the things I wished I could change or disguise. With hindsight (and age and experience and wisdom), I now appreciate the way I was all those years ago. And I see how that awkward, serious, perfectionist kid became a pretty balanced, happy adult.

    I'm so glad I've kept these treasures from long ago, jewels to be uncovered at critical moments in my life, like our imminent move to our new home. And I can't wait till my daughter is old enough to regale with stories of her geeky mum and spelling tests and recorder bands.
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