Angsty teen writings

I was going through some old papers and I found a fan fiction I had handwritten when I was 20 for The Flying Doctors, an Aussie TV series that ran during the late 1980s/early 1990s that I loved. At the time I didn’t know that what I was writing was something called fan fiction – this was pre widespread internet.

In my tale, the heroine, Esther Bergman (fictional surname and Esther was 7 years older than me with an unrealistic published writer, librarianship AND film production assistant career), is someone escaping some angsty stuff in London. She has traveled to Australia where she drives through the Outback for two months on her own (it was pretty well researched, if I say so myself, with an itinerary and distances noted and small town landmarks in the New South Wales Outback mentioned). After two months Esther comes to the little town of Coopers Crossing and of course instantly becomes very good friends with pretty much the whole cast of The Flying Doctors.

Nurse Kate (Lenore Smith) and doctor Geoff (Robert Grubb) become favourites in my tale and fictional Esther strikes up a close friendship with Dr. David Ratcliffe (Brett Climo). They are, of course, supposed to become each other’s true loves.

I never got that far in my tale. David and Esther had only gotten to the hugging and an occasional cheek kiss stage. My fan fic was too caught up in details (writing in daily (!!) diary form) which made the story development very slow and mired in nonsense and in the end I guess I just gave up.

Tucked into that notebook there were also some loose sheets of paper with some teen angst poetry I had written between the ages of 16 and 20. I used to write those in my diary but at some point I also copied them onto these loose sheets of paper – the collected poetry works of Esther, if you will. I didn’t have the patience to construct sentences beautifully or even use any striking words or phrases and there was only occasional rhyming, but these poems did come from my heart and I do remember writing most of these. It was really nice going down memory lane with them, bringing back old thoughts and feelings.

The notebook was falling apart, the ink on the loose sheets of paper was fading and I must have spilled something over it as many pages had these huge greasy spots on them. So, I decided to transcribe it all. The fan fic turned out to be someting like 19.500 words long and really isn’t worth finishing, especially as I can’t remember anymore what I had in mind for David and Esther. I am more pleased that I have now also transcribed those 13 poems. Most of them are bad to iffy (the world has not lost a great poet in me) but two of them I do still quite like, so I’ve decided to share them here.

The first poem was written when I was 16, about two months after I started going to an international boarding school in The Netherlands. During the first months there, one of the pretty, popular guys wrote me a few anonymous ‘love letters’. A go-between soon told me they were from Mr. Popular and that he wanted to date me. Inside I was feeling very flattered as I really wasn’t someone to normally be noticed by the pretty boys. I had sense enough, however, to tell the go-between that if that guy really meant it, he should come talk to me. Turned out Mr. Popular had no real interest in me at all and had only been interested in making fun of me publicly had I really reciprocated. Luckily, the crush I had secretly developed was instantly cured, but it had still been a painful incident. It inspired my first poem and imagine this as the setting with a lane and there’s also a stream on the premises:

Yesterday,
as I walked down the lane,
I thought,
“Is life only a game?”

Yesterday,
as I heard the rushing stream,
I thought,
“Why is it that I can’t scream?”

Yesterday,
smelling the clear fresh air,
I thought,
“I guess this is a nightmare.”

Yesterday,
in the beautiful autumn landscape,
I thought,
“I wish I could escape.”

Yesterday,
stepping into the dirt,
I thought,
“Why does it hurt?”

Yesterday,
it is passing by.
I think…
I don’t know why.

The second poem was written half a year later when I had just turned 17 and I had fallen in love with a guy I remained in love with for the rest of my school years there (although never requited).

Swimming,
in a lake.
It is peaceful.
Going on,
with the river.
It is enjoyable.
Coming out,
to the sea.
I’m losing strength.
Suddenly,
it is an ocean.
I can’t get out!
I’m drowning
in my thoughts.
I’m thinking of you.

Yep, pretty angsty stuff! I actually remember writing that second one pretty quickly, like it was all there and ready, waiting to flow out. That’s the way I like them, quite short and sweet and with a meaning I can easily interpret. I’m not that much of a poery fan, although I do like some. Poems always need to make some sort of immediate sense to me and I don’t like puzzling over them for ages, trying to figure them out. I guess I’m more of a prose girl, which is why I never really honed the poetry craft.

So, these are what they are and it’s been fun, but now that these old writings have been documented, it’s off to better things. 🙂

22 thoughts on “Angsty teen writings

  1. Both poems tell a story tell an experience an emotion which are relatable and make them in my opinion good. Poems that touch the heart are well written
    The idea is to have your reader feel and these both certainly do 👍
    You should write more poems 😘❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re sweet but oh no, I shouldn’t. These two really are the best on offer and I think I peaked in poetry at age 16/17. 😉 Frankly, I also don’t have much patience for writing poetry anymore.

      This reminds me of Jane Austen now, where in ‘Persuasion’ Anne says to the morose Captain Benwick, who is mired in heartbreak poetry: “…she ventured to recommend a larger allowance of prose in his daily study […] as calculated to rouse and fortify the mind.”. I think I’ll just stick with that. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. He seriously was! A few years ago he suddenly friended me on Facebook. I accepted because I was curious to see what had become of him. He by far doesn’t look so pretty anymore, he looks rough and ravaged to me, maybe he’s had it tough? Anyway, we haven’t exchanged a word and I don’t plan to but I doubt he even remembers he did this.

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      1. Servetus

        That wouldn’t be unusual. I read a study a few years back and apparently it’s not uncommon when adults confront contemporaries who did something mean to them as teenagers, the addressee doesn’t remember the incident(s) at all. (Or denies doing it.)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Kate

    Wow, what a lowlife. Good job trusting your instincts.

    Finding these old writings must be fun. I never did manage to stick to a diary or anything like that, so it’ll never happen to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, lowlife indeed! I’ve always been one to wait and see and feel the waters a bit before jumping in (hence my jumping into active RA fandom years after actually becoming a fan). That has served me quite well over the years, and this early experience is a prime example.

      It really is quite fun finding these! I also remember, from when I was 12 or so, writing a story about my guinea pig from his point of view (like Black Beauty, but then for guinea pigs). I would love to find it now although I really don’t think I will. I seem to recall having destroyed that once, way back, as being too embarrassing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Servetus

        so I’m super curious, because I reread Black Beauty many times and I seem to remember it being pretty angsty in places. Was someone mean to your guinea pig?

        (you were a creative teen!)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, those popular guys, total jerks, indeed…
    But you wrote poetry, you should keep on writing.
    I still have a blog full of poems that I sometimes update (in French). I think I’ve written in English when I was much younger ( in my old papers, for sure).
    And I understand your interest in : I wrote several ones before I knew it was called so 😉
    ( the recent ones are about Harry Potter universe on Wattpad).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I’m not publishing that Flying Doctors one anywhere, LOL! Cool that you wote HP fanfic.

      Thanks, but no, don’t think poetry is really my genre to write. Maybe one day if something really, really inspires me? For now, I really don’t see it. Cool that you still write it, though.

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  4. I actually really like your first poem, Esther. It makes sense, it sets a mood, and it even manages to do so in rhymes that are not too forced. – It must be really interesting to look back at that time, triggered by these poems, and see things from the perspective that age has given us. Yes, teenage angst. But the things that happened, were big at the time. (What an a***hole pretty boy, doing that thing to you. I hope he received some bad karma and mended his ways.)
    I also admire your “courage” to look back through your diaries. I have a whole pile of them on my shelf, too, but just can’t bring myself to read through them because of all the angsty crap that I most certainly filled them with 😂.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know how his life went after high school. He was always a big flirt and party animal (with the for him necessary ‘mood enhancers’, so to speak), so I suspect at some point that must have caught up with him. On Facebook he seems happy now with wife (looking very much like the girls I remember him liking best, it was never a secret who Mr Popular liked and usually the girls were sweet, don’t know how he succeeded with them) and he also has 2 or 3 kids. I just hope he taught his kids more empathy than he showed in his own youth. In honesty, I have rarely thought of him over the past years, it’s just that when I read that poem again and saw when it was dated, I realized that I must have written it in response to that incident. I’d pretty much forgotten writing it, other poems I remember better (but now see how bad they really are).
      The one that has always stuck with me most over the years is the second one, and especially the end: “I’m drowning in my thoughts. I’m thinking of you.” I have thought that on other occasions during my life as well and those two lines would pop up in my head now and again. Drowning in thoughts is something I do tend to do and I become this absent minded person in my own world. I’m not alone in that, at least 2 of my siblings can zone out similarly. 🙂
      I started looking back at the diaries around the time I was watching Anne with an E, but mostly the diaries from age 16 onwards when I started going to boarding school. I still haven’t really braved the ones between ages 14 and 16, there must be a lot of angsty crap in those as well. 🙂 I figure angst and teenagerhood go hand in hand and there is enough distance now to sort of bear it. But yes, I do need a little break from it all now.

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  5. Your poems are so heart-felt and I like their construction, not that I have much of a poetic sensibility either ( nor enjoy puzzling over them). The Flying Doctors, that’s a blast from the past. They were all so good-looking. I thought it was on the TV yesterday but is was The Flying Deuces, with Laurel and Hardy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Heart-felt and a tad over-dramatic. 😉

      LOL on The Flying Deuces! Man, how I adored The Flying Doctors but they spoiled it somewhat in the last few series, so much so that I even stopped watching most of it towards the end, I just never cared for the new characters as much as for the older ones.

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  6. I’m not much into poetry but I enjoyed both of yours. It’s important to me to be able to understand what the poet is saying right off the bat. You dropped me right back into those teen years. You were much smarter than I was!

    Liked by 1 person

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