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4.5.11

The Liary


Whenever someone learns that I have a blog they say, "oh, you must keep a diary too, huh?"  Do you get that too? Let me see. Writing one's heart's desires confidentially versus broadcasting useless opinions to the world? Same-same?

The truth is, I'm a hopeless diary keeper. I just don't trust myself to be the only reader of my innermost thoughts. When unchecked by others, I lie, I cheat, I steal other people's good stuff. I've done it before. I was given a diary when I was an early teen and it had the date stamped on every page. The pressure. By the time I got the diary it was already mid-Feb so what was I going to do with all those blank date-stamped pages?

I made up a life and pretended that it was mine, that's what. Sadly, this was no outlandishly crazy and wonderful existence. Not for me rides on wild ponies in the desert and cocktails at dawn... no, I was much more inclined to pretend that I had blonde hair, was short and petitie, good at maths and played the guitar. A big Sweet Dreams-style yawn, but no less a lie for its dullness.

My sister called this journal The Liary.

The truth is (and this is the truth, trust me), I did this sort of thing for real when I was in my very early twenties and a drunken night at a bar turned me into a lie-whore who pretended to be a med student at uni because I was embarrassed that I was actually just a waitress at a function centre at the time. I kept up the lie for months. I don't even know why it was so important to me that people thought I was a brainiac rather than just a maniac. I made up a boyfriend who was a model too... so it was obviously important at the time that not only was I a smart one, I was also hot enough to attract a dumb boyfriend.

I kept a journal during those ill-fated months too. It was Liary The Sequel because embarrassingly I even wrote to myself that I was a med-student with hot boyfriend. For shame. I clearly remember the desperation to be different, to be other than myself, that drove me to lie like this. I think most teenagers / young adults have been there. I try always to remember what that self-loathing, despairing feeling was like and consequently I have always been indulgent with both my time for and manners towards angst-ridden teens.

One of my great life lessons towards accepting myself for just being me was when it all went pear-shaped and I had to explain to some of my dearest friends just why I had made this stupid stuff up. At the time I had no explanation (but see above, perceptive reasoning kicked in later). Most importantly, my friends were at a loss to explain it also. They were shocked beyond belief. But not for the reasons I dreaded. It wasn't the fact that I had lied to their faces that shocked them so much, it was that they couldn't believe that I didn't realise that I was good enough without the lies. I was good enough.

Like I said, a huge life lesson and one that has kept me truthful and grounded ever since. I've never lied with quite such bravado again. Just a little white one here and there. To stop the whining or to save face. Ironically.

Phew. Lying is hard to admit to. Have you always been truthful?
Do you think lies like these matter? What's the difference between a 'white' lie and a whopper?

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28 comments:

Angela Steyn said...

Oh God, I used to want to be a journal keeper (in the worst way possible!)... when I was ten I vividly recall being given a beautiful white (plastic) covered diary, complete with lock and key. I tried... I tried really, really hard but I'd always be mortally embarrassed by the complete rubbish I used to come up (yes... I made most of it up too!). You are not alone my friend, of that you can be sure :)

Angela x

Madmother said...

I never kept up a facade for longer than a night but my friends and I used to make up personas to *meet* boys.

Such as Tatiana the psychic. She was a good one.

I guess I always believed in me and who I am. Thanks to my wonderful parents and grandparents.

deux chiens et un garcon said...

When I was waitressing to get through Uni, most people didnt actually believe that I was really a med student. I was always such a dag.

I found when I keep a "secret diary" I end up being too negative. Being open and transparent helps me edit my crazy, melancholy black thoughts.

I tell white lies like " yes working full time for you, I can do that" or I remember making out I was French to a group of boys at the local Carnival.

Nice to hear there is someone on the teenagers side.

xo jill

Simone - honeyandfizz said...

I used to keep a diary as a teenager but never managed to finish it, I guess my life was too boring!! I actually kept it and read it a few years later. How cringe worthy! I immediately burned it! Maybe you were just a frustrated writer, practicing in your Liary? xx

Frog, Goose and Bear said...

One of the things that first attracted me to my husband is that he kept a journal...from when he was 17 years old to today. sometimes there are large gaps and he doesn't get much time, but it is a great discipline i think. However, I have not been so good at doing it myself. I used to keep journals when on overseas holidays and embarrassingly when I first got my period for some reason i documented it for the first year or so - what the?!
I'm OK with little white lies to keep the peace and for fun, like Santa, etc.
I can't believe that you actually did that!! I'd never be able to keep up the charade.
I'm with you, teenagers get a bad rap. It's a tough time! I love hanging out with teenagers - probably why I became a youth worker. Having my own teenagers though - that scares the **** out of me!

Aussiemumbecc said...

sorry but this post made me laugh..i mean really? na it's all good we all lie to ourselves at times I buy a diary every year, write religously for a little while then the novelty wears off and life gets in the way but the only time I have lied to myself is in a food journal, yeah sure I only ate 2 rice crackers and a piece of cheese all day..HA!

MissPosy said...

I was never a good diary keeper. As a child/teen, I'd write furiously for a week, then forget about it for the next year. I was always honest when I did write, but instead used to "imagine" an alternate life late at night when I couldn't sleep.

Naturally Carol said...

I only kept a diary consistently for one period of my life..at about the time I met my husband. I later destroyed it 'cos I didn't ever want my kids to read it!! A bit too much detail..very honest. However since then I have found that the biggest lies I tell are to myself..they are the hardest to deal with, myself, too.

ForeverRhonda said...

I am a diary keeper too. I don't lie in the diary or on my blog. However, when I was in elementary school I did lie. A lot. I made up this entirely different life.

Here Under the Rainbow said...

I think only a confident woman would admit to lying so I applaud you for your candidness.

I think white lies that are told to protect feelings are harmless and may be even necessary.

The worst and most embarrassing lie I've ever told was at my high school party where a cute boy just got transfered to our school from France. I told him I lived in Paris. I should have known he would start speaking French to me and ask me about places in Paris. The only French I knew then was J'adore Dior. I was so busted, but he thought it cute I would try so hard to impress him.

Jacki said...

I've tried to keep diaries on and off my whole life but I'm always afraid someone will read them and think I'm a complete nutter, so I don't write as often as I'd like. As for fibbing? I did plenty of it in high school, so the other girls wouldn't think I was a tragic dag who couldn't get a boyfriend. They were right!

Brenda @ Mira Narnie said...

oh i kept a diary - for some of my teens, and no i didn't lie - actually it helped me get through some tough times, but i actually admire you for admitting to your lying ways!! WOW how brave. i think little white lies are inevitable part of life, everyone tells them. it's the big whoppers when you actually deceive then its wrong, so you found out.

such a humbling post. and for the record. you are AWESOME just the way you are. of course you know that now xx

A Farmer's Wife said...

I am hopeless at keeping diaries or journals. my great grandmother kept one religiously and it now makes incredibly interesting reading. She was deserted by her husband during the 1930s and raised my grandmother alone which was unheard of. She managed this by living on a cottage on her brother's dairy farm and working for him. The diary covers World War II and my grandmother's marriage and even my own father's birth. It is a wonderful thing to have.

I think you are very brave to admit to your Liary! Everyone does silly things when they are young....

Deer Baby said...

What a great story - I find lying fascinating and why we do it. Good for you for admitting you did. I do keep a diary and always have done - my teen ones are excruciating and mainly preoccupied with my weight and rows with my mother.

I didn't lie to my diary but I did lie to a penpal friend when I was a teen. I had several but this one for some reason - a guy in Tobago I think - I made up a completely different personality for myself. I was blonde (of course - why do people always say they're blonde?, had horses etc. Of course he wanted to meet me and to my horror said he was coming to the UK and would I meet him in Trafalgar Square. No way. I stopped writing after that and often wondered why I did it.

Fiona said...

Most of us are perfectly good enough the way we are (some could do with a little work!) - but find it hard to accept. I understand just where you were at that time, I've been there myself. Now for a lying story - My ex-BIL is a shocking liar, and a malicious one at that. Without spilling all the beans, he turned up to day 3 of a court case once, claiming his father had died (and sought the magistrate's sympathy). Not believing him, I rang and spoke to his father. The magistrate was not happy when she found out, and it ruined his credibility. Now that's being caught out big time! Most of us aren't quite that stupid :)

RobynK said...

I kept a diary for years as a teenager and young adult. It kept my sanity as I had the alcoholic father from hell and even after my mum had finally found some police who believed her and assisted in having him thrown out I still had personality problems. My diary helped me get it out of my head and sort out what things were important and what were just things that happened to people my age ....aka growing up. The diaries have long since been allocated to the fireplace but I have wondered if I should have kept them.

Just Martha said...

I once told the teacher i could play the violin a-n-d she has a violin in her hand and gave it to me which I couldn't play. Not sure why I said I could, in front of the whole class when I would obviously be found out. Cured me though right then and there....

Diminishing Lucy said...

One day I shall tell you all about the era in which I was Dorothy. Dorothy Perkins. I kid you not.

xx

Jodie at Mummy Mayhem said...

When we were around 18, my friends and I totally scored free drinks ALL night because we pretended to be Canadian. We had travelled to a place called Mandurah, south of Perth, for a weekend away. No one knew us there.

Fast forward about 3 months. We were in a nightclub in Perth, and I went to the bathroom. I was re-touching my lippy in the mirror, and a girl said, "Oh my GOD! Jodie, isn't it?! Are you back from Canada again??"

Oh, my Lord.

I can't tell you how quickly my friends and I high-tailed it out of there. Especially when we found out the girl knew a mutual friend of ours. Oops.

Glen said...

Not easy to admit I bet, but the thing is to some degree I think everyone does that. You were just a bit mentler than most maybe :-) I kept a diary for almost 7 days when I was about 12 ish - during which I made the monumentally inaccurate prediction that i would lose my virginity that year to a girl named Kim. Kim dumped me the next day. I stopped writing things down.

Tai Tai said...

I kept a diary once. I was about 12. I confessed my love for my sister's boyfriend. She found it. She read it. I slapped her in the face and never wrote a diary again. Don't you love sisters?

I used to pretend I was French when I met boys. I'd put on a French accent so they'd think I was all sexy and exotic. Oh the joys of teenagedon eh?

Kris said...

Wow gray entry. I've told a lie or two by never got caught. I give very detailed lies. But that was a long time ago. Now I just do ordinary lies one would tell their hubby ;)

Vanessa said...

You had great friends.

therhythmmethod said...

Wow, this is such an honest post given that it's about lying! I'm actually a painful truth teller. I have to tell the truth or I feel completely unhinged and like I'm about to be exposed at any moment. I like the safety of the truth, even though it is boring as bat poo.
Sometimes I really wish I could lie. It might make me a better story teller.
Thank you for letting us in on your secret. You are totally good enough. x

Tammi said...

Wow, this is certainly a brave post!
I have kept a journal off and on over the years...more recently when I went throught pnd. It was part of my treatment and I found it very therapeutic.
I have told little white lies to my children over the years but the biggest lies have not been told to others but myself as a way to avoid some of the things I have gone through.
x

Jane@flightplatformliving said...

how funny! brainiac rather than maniac...superb bit of writing! xx see you were destined for blogland, even in a private diary you wrote with a sense of audience, i think you were simply birthing your inner blogger! xxx

Kymmie said...

Oh, so hard to say that. Thank you for having the guts to say it. I think there has been a time in most of our lives when we weren't happy with who we were. I've glammed up my job on the odd occasion and have learned that it's okay to be who I am. And amazingly, the good jobs did happen, and now I play them down. How funny! Great post. I wouldn't expect any less of you!

xx

Toushka Lee said...

wow! I had a friend that lied a lot. I wrote a post about her recently. I confronted her (ok, I emailed her) but I did it with compassion in the hopes she would come clean and I could help her. I told her she didn't need to lie, she was a warm and caring person with a lot going for her without the lies. My friends said I was delusional if I thought that would work. they were right in her case but I am so happy to read that it is possible. That someone can admit to their lies and turn it around and stop lying.
What happened with my friend really really upset me. This post has restored a little faith for me. Thank you.

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