Until my junior year of high school, a Google search of my name did not yield links chronicling my accomplishments, but rather my mom’s blog posts.
One particularly colorful (and incriminating) post describes my sixteenth birthday party: “My daughter Marina had started fantasizing about her sixteenth birthday at least three years ago. In her imagination, it was going to be a huge bash in an elegant ballroom, or possibly a swank Upper East Side club, like something out of ‘Gossip Girl.’” Hardly the stuff Ivy League admissions officers are looking for when they Google applicants. Luckily, such posts have since been drowned by more scholarly activities and my tendency to sign every petition on change.org. But my mom blogs—and various iterations of my younger self live on in her writing.
My mom started blogging in 2008, but she has always been a writer. When I was little, before the internet eclipsed the print publishing industry, she wrote about travel and culture for The Los Angeles Times and the now-defunct magazine Travel Holiday. Back then, too, I cropped up as a character in her articles, hoping for the chance to pelt tomatoes at the actors performing at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London and declaring, at age four, “with absolute conviction,” that directly beneath the paving stones in Oaxaca, Mexico, clouds and airplanes were whizzing by.
I like this memorialized version of myself as a child, so lovingly captured in my mom’s prose, far better than the grinning, pig-tailed version in photo albums. Though the Marina of my mom’s writing speaks “with the drama only a teenager can summon,” she is—let’s face it—exponentially more palatable than the picture painted by my own early adolescent ventures into the blogosphere.