Versions of Myself

by Rosie Gillman

In these pages, I don’t ever have to worry that I sound arrogant or ignorant or dumb or silly or narrow-minded or trivial or over-serious or any of the other things I fear in speech. All over the world, stuffed into drawers and hidden in shoeboxes at the back of cupboards, lie the unread diaries of generations of young people. They record the heartaches and the heartbreaks, the agonies and the ecstasies, the boredom and the excitement of growing up. They are written as a form of therapy, an emotional outlet or simply as a way of being able to express on paper that which can be impossible to say out loud. They are both profoundly personal and entirely relatable and most of their authors would shudder at them being made public. One woman, however, has chosen to do just that. In ‘Versions of Myself: The Diaries of a Young Woman’, Rosie Gillman tells the true story of her own very ordinary growing-up, exactly as she experienced it at the time. Through the pages of her teenage diaries, she charts the highs and lows of life from the age of twelve to twenty-two, as she navigated unrequited lust and friendship fall-outs, to finding and losing love and the existential crises of early adulthood. With honesty, humour and a new-found affection for the previously despised younger versions of herself, she records and reflects upon the mundane and the momentous, the big questions and the fleeting concerns, and the simultaneously unique and universal experiences that will strike a chord with anyone who has ever been young.