Satisfying all your voyeuristic tendencies, Leslie Arfin has published her diary. She’s actually been doing this for a long time, one entry at a time in her Vice column: Dear Diary is a collection of entries starting from sixth grade and going until age 25.
After every entry, Arfin does an update from a wiser point of view (at the age of 27) and checks in with some of the people she wrote about — those who are still alive anyway.
Anyone who spent their adolescence in the mid-to-late ’90s might find Arfin’s story eerily similar to their own.
Being just a few years younger than the author, the most interesting things I found in Dear Diary were the references that could have been straight from my own journal (had I kept one).
Finding friends within a group of drug-addled problem children, going to punk shows several times a week, quoting Reality Bites, smoking cigarettes, getting drunk, getting high, reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower, indulging in an endless stream of crushes on the boys in the bands . . .
I would like to point out that I now realize how douchey any 20-year-boy is who hangs out with 16-year-old girls. At the time, they seemed idol-worthy; now, they seem gross.
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Remember when it was cool to wear those super-huge Raver pants and fuzzy backpacks? I do.
What separates Arfin from most of us post-grunge kids is the levels of extreme she experienced. Dear Diary isn’t all boys and Bikini Kill.
What’s most endearing is her raw honesty. Not every person would be so open about dabbling in lesbianism and a full-blown heroin addiction. But she doesn’t seem to mind. Even when she was in rehab, she wrote to her co-workers at Vice and babbled profanities about what she was going through.
Leslie Arfin is a real girl with real problems. It’s beyond a human-interest story because the kind of shit she went through very easily could have happened to any of us. She dealt with crippling insecurity and deadly drug addictions and now openly shares her story of surviving this crazy world we live in.