Rock Highway and Why I Was Never a Hippy

The highway to my mom’s house is a long road that stretches along an infinity of fields and forests. Sometimes it’s rather bleak and uninteresting. Other times, it’s full of life.

I once witnessed the aurora borealis dancing through the sky as I drove back to Milwaukee. Another time, I saw a humongous harvest moon rise up seemingly right in front of me.

This past trip down, I listened to the album, “American Beauty” by the Grateful Dead for the first time. How did I not know about this album earlier in my life? I remembered the deadheads in high school: Umbro shorts, tie-dyed concert tees, outfitted with thick white socks and Addidas slipper sandals, and I wondered how it happened that I wasn’t a hippy in school. Maybe hippies were too open for my dark and vulnerable disposition. I was a thug; sharp high hair, teased big and sprayed strong to yield off the assholes.

That's me, 2nd from the left, hanging out behind the library, skipping class, w/ my big hair.

The songs on my newly discovered album fit perfectly with the scenery of my drive. Red-winged black birds flashed their crimson pillows as they darted in and out of the sumac bushes. Trees twisted and tangled their dark bare branches, old and strong, up towards the sky. In them, I could sense they were again awake and alive, vibrating a hum of green.

This long stretch of road gives me time to think, sometimes to cry; a chance to listen to my favorite songs as loud as I want and sing along, however terrible sounding it may be. It’s a nurturing road, a road that asks me to be patient; a familiar road, one that has never let me down.

When I arrived at my mom’s house, I felt the need to remind myself why I wasn’t a hippy in school and went to my old room. Piled on the top shelf in the closet sits a stack of yearbooks that document years I don’t have fond memories of, but I know I should keep, right?

Underneath the yearbooks I found my journal. I flipped through the stained pages and felt the urge to burn it. Love poems to stupid boys and hate poems about how my parents wouldn’t let me attend a slumber party.

I’m thinking of having a spring bonfire somewhere, saying goodbye to that time in my life and throwing the journal into the fire. No wonder I wasn’t a hippy, I was too depressed to be one.

A little sketch from my "teenage angst journal". Depressing enough?

What have you done with your childhood journals and their childish entries? If you’ve kept them, what inspired you to do so?

Another silly sketch, I'm so ready to burn this.

About clutterheart

You don't know me, but you will.
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8 Responses to Rock Highway and Why I Was Never a Hippy

  1. Kathi Miller, Clutter Coach says:

    Everyone has dark times in their lives, often during their teen or early adult years. If you feel the need to throw out your journals and annuals go right ahead. I did this years ago and have never regretted it. Embrace where you’ve come from to understand where you are now. Then release the old to create a welcoming path for the new.


  2. Brian says:

    I totally relate to this.


    • What part? Were you supposed to be a hippy too? I was wondering if the hippies of our high school times, with the Umbros and Addidas that classified their tribe, were exclusive to the Rockford area. I haven’t seen them since leaving. Do they even make Umbros anymore?


  3. Colleen says:

    I haven’t discarded my journals, although I cringed when I read them (while I was attempting to clean the basement). The rants were childish and self-focused, repetitive and brooding. But I realized that I probably only wrote to myself when I felt alone and dismal. I mean, who spends time writing when they are happy and smiling? Still, they represent a time in my life that I got through.


    • You’re a strong lady Collen, I couldn’t do it. I threw it out.
      It just bothered me so much and I didn’t want to remember the things I put in there. I was a slutty boar! I feel terrible for my parents, they’re the one’s who suffered the most. I would’ve put my butt in jail, oh wait…they did that. HA! no wonder. I kept sneaking out of the house and getting into cars with boys who roamed the subdivision and knocked over mailboxes with baseball bats. Then, I’d steal my parents van and ride around doing nothing but depriving myself from sleep, so I could go to school the next day and find a bathroom stall to sleep in.
      The worst part of it is, I can’t blame it on drugs or alcohol. I wasn’t doing either. If I was, at least I’d understand my motive. I’m ashamed that my motive was solely to be accepted by these kids that wanted to torment the world, and hopefully make out with one of them. Gross.


  4. OMG I have to share with you some journals I found re: “my ideal husband”. I shared these with Mike, and, thankfully, I was drunk when I did so; otherwise I would’ve been pretty embarrassed. They were all very angsty and clearly I thought no one was FOR me ~ my thought process back then were quite wackadoodle. Oh hormones. I’ll have to dig them back up.

    Also… Ur sketches made me smile but the captions made me LOL.


    • ooo! Juicy stuff. If you share that with me, I’ll share with you my list of 110 attributes the “Man of My Dreams” must have:) I had to compromise a bit with Bill, since he doesn’t know Spanish and is not at all dark complected, but the rest matches up. I never imagined the all-American-red-headed-white-boy with a Wisconsin drawl type would capture my heart.


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