Photo: Via TheHappeningBook.net.
It's a thrilling experience to meet the old you. Discovering things we wrote when we were children, at least in my experience, invokes a two-pronged emotional response: a feeling of familiarity mixed with one of bewilderment and novelty. This happened to me recently when I was sorting through a box at my mother's house, and I came across several of my fifth-grade journal entries and book reports. Who was this kid, I wondered, who was so captivated by Stephen King novels (which I haven't picked up in years now) and shark attacks (which is still a powerful phobia/obsession)?
The anonymous author of a site called The Happening Book is publicly undergoing that same nostalgia. Each day, he publishes a page of a journal he unearthed from his school days, written and illustrated when he was about 7 years old. Now, 35 years later, he posts a page corresponding to the day it was written in 1978. In reading through his journal, which was titled the happning [sic] book and part of a class project, he realized "so much of what I cared about then are things I still care about now."
In each entry, he has a conversation with his second-grade self, who, like many boys, was a fan of monsters, Star Wars, and dinosaurs. Some of the entries are more inscrutable than others: "Tonight I am going to watch Dr. Seuss," reads one, followed by a picture of a puffy, yellow swastika. (The author suggests that it was written the same year that he learned about the Nazis.) In many others, he describes the various costumes he wants to wear on Halloween.
Spend some time with it this afternoon, and remember what it was like when life wasn't fraught with the daily banalities and responsibilities of adulthood. It's absolutely refreshing. (The Happening Book)