Facing them head-on, one at a time, for as long as it takes.
Over the weekend, we watched the Pamela Anderson documentary on Netflix.
It was not my first choice. Or my second, if I’m being honest. While I don’t have a problem with her being a big-boobed blonde like many of the haters, I was just never a fan. I’ve never seen an episode of Bay Watch, and I skipped the whole sex tape frenzy in the late ’90s simply because I thought Tommy Lee was gross and had no desire to see him naked.
The documentary isn’t particularly shocking or full of new information, but it is vulnerable. You can see the toll life has taken on this woman, and you can hear it in the audio clips as she reads from years and years of handwritten journals.
It was this aspect of her life I found most interesting. In one scene, she is surrounded by dozens of plastic totes filled with legal pads and notebooks dating all the way back to her adolescence.
I love it when someone talks about how they have kept journals their entire lives; Childhood dreams outlined in chunky pencil strokes, teenage angst scribbled in pen, the dawning of awareness as the adult years stack up against themselves.
I knew a girl in middle school who took pictures of everything. Not in the curated and filtered way people take pictures now, but with the reckless energy of capturing the moment. Somewhere out there is a picture of 19-year-old me laughing hysterically as coffee drips from my nose, another of a long lost friend and I posed head to head over a late-night plate of french fries, countless shots of mundane moments where everything and nothing was happening all at once.
My own small stack of notebooks remain mostly empty. Purchased with the intent to record my deepest thoughts and secret desires, a place to transcribe my observations and document the impactful moments of my days, the lined sheets wait for tiny pieces of my mind and soul.
In reality, I’ve always been too afraid to leave myself open in this way.
Eleven-year-old me can still feel the stomach-dropping humiliation of having my diary stolen and the words used against me. I can still see the wide-eyed bemusement on my sister's face as my mother read aloud at the dinner table…