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Authors: Melody Carlson

On My Own

BOOK: On My Own
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P
RAISE
F
OR
M
ELODY
C
ARLSON'S
Diary of a Teenage Girl, Caitlin Book 2:
It's My Life

“Melody Carlson creates a cast of characters who are real and engaging. It made me want to read the first book in the series, and hope that there will be more!”

N
ANCY
R
UE, BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF
Here's Lily!
AND
Lily the Rebel

“Melody has done it again! Teens won't be able to resist Caitlin's latest diary. Teens will identify and laugh with Caitlin, and gain spiritual insight from this fresh glimpse into the heart of a very real teenage girl.”

H
EATHER
K
OPP, AUTHOR OF
L
OVE
S
TORIES
G
OD
T
OLD AND
I S
TOLE
G
OD FROM
G
OODY
T
WO
-S
HOES

Diary of a Teenage Girl, Caitlin Book 1:
Becoming Me

“As I read through
Diary of a Teenage Girl
, I had to keep reminding myself that I wasn't reading my own diary! It captures the thoughts and issues of a teenager's struggles to follow God's pathway.”

RACHAEL LAMPA, TEEN RECORDING ARTIST

“From the first page,
Diary
captured me. I couldn't stop reading! This is a brilliant, well-crafted imaginary journey to the heart of a sixteen-year-old. I can't wait for the sequel!”

R
OBIN
J
ONES
G
UNN, BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF
T
HE
G
LENBROOKE SERIES
, T
HE
C
HRISTY
M
ILLER SERIES, AND
T
HE
S
IERRA
J
ENSEN SERIES

“As I read
Diary
…I felt as if I had been given a gift–a ‘backstage pass’ into the life and heart of Caitlin O'Conner. It is a wonderful and mysterious ride as we are allowed a rare chance to travel alongside a teenage girl as she lives in the real world. This is a unique and refreshing read–fun and entertaining, while at the same time moving and insightful. Read and learn.”

G
EOFF
M
OORE, CONTEMPORARY
C
HRISTIAN RECORDING ARTIST

“Creative and impactful!
Diary
drew me in as my concern for Caitlin and her friends grew stronger each page I turned. It gave me the inside story to issues I see in my own life–and among my friends and peers. I recommend this book to every teenage girl going through the struggles of peer pressure, dating, and other temptations we face in life.”

D
ANAE
J
ACOBSON, AUTHOR OF
T
HINGS I'VE
L
EARNED
L
ATELY

“Melody Carlson writes with the clear, crisp voice of today's adolescent.
Diary of a Teenage Girl
is sure to please any teenager who is struggling with peer pressure, identity, and a desire to know and understand God's will. A moving, tender story that will be remembered …and loved.”

A
NGELA
E
LWELL
H
UNT, BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF
T
HE
N
OTE AND
M
Y
L
IFE AS A
M
IDDLE
S
CHOOL
M
OM

“Melody Carlson captures the voice of teens today in a character we can all relate to. The unique peer perspective makes it very effective. Integrating the crucial message of the gospel, it forces us to weigh issues and causes us to look at a young person–in reality, ourselves–objectively. It challenges, convicts, and leaves us with hope for the future. I highly recommend this book.”

A
NGELA
A
LCORN, CO-AUTHOR OF
T
HE
I
SHBANE
C
ONSPIRACY

“Carlson succeeds in weaving Christian beliefs into the plot with a light hand–and it's a darn good read!”

NAPRA
R
EVIEW
S
ERVICE

B
OOKS BY
M
ELODY
C
ARLSON
:
Piercing Proverbs

DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL SERIES

Caitlin O'Conner:

Becoming Me
It's My Life
Who I Am
On My Own
I Do

Chloe Miller:

My Name Is Chloe
Sold Out
Road Trip
Face the Music

Kim Peterson:

Just Ask
(July 2005)

TRUE COLORS SERIES

Dark Blue
, color me lonely
Deep Green
, color me jealous
Torch Red
, color me torn
Pitch Black
, color me lost

ONE
Tuesday, September 3 (Independence Day)

It's what I've been wanting
for ages–that irresistible reward that parents hold in front of their kids just like the old proverbial carrot–that tantalizing treat that only comes with “time and age and experience.” Okay, I'm talking about
independence!
Today's my official “Independence Day,” and let me tell you, it feels totally great! All right, Caitlin, let's settle down, girl.

Of course, I had hoped to sound much more mature when I started journaling in my first college diary (or maybe I should call it a journal now). After all, I might be an aspiring writer, journalist, or who knows what? But honestly, I did want my first college entry to sound–well, more grown-up.

On the other hand, a girl needs some place where she can just relax and be herself–let her hair down, so to speak. Especially when I've been acting so grown-up
and mature for my parents lately, assuring them that I'm really ready for this, that I'll be okay, and not to be so concerned–you know the kind of stuff we tell our parents to get them to chill a little. But the bottom line is, I really do believe God is watching over me, so what's there to worry about?

And then, today–the big move in. I had to keep reassuring my dad that I was perfectly fine with this new transition. I thought I had him pretty convinced too, until it was time for him to leave. Then, with a stricken look on his face, the next thing I know he's double-checking the dead bolt on my door and making sure the phone is working. Sheesh, he even tested the smoke detector and then actually grilled me about which was the quickest fire escape route, which fortunately I had noticed on about our fourth trip carrying my stuff up the stairs. (It's at the end of the hall to the right.)

“Don't worry so much, Dad,” I told him. “Hey, I even saw a fire extinguisher a couple doors down, and I'll bet it works just fine.” I made a real effort not to laugh at what I know he feels is fairly serious business.

Finally we had all my boxes and bags and stuff stacked in my room, piled high and strewn all over the place like a tornado had blown in. (Dad believes that haste makes waste …) Thankfully my roommate isn't here yet, so I might actually finish getting the last of my things put away before she arrives. I hadn't realized I'd brought so much STUFF. In fact, I thought I was being somewhat of a minimalist. That is, until I saw all that
crud heaped all over the room. As I suspected, Mom had thrown in a few extra items like an emergency food supply box, a first-aid kit, and even a mini medicine chest complete with Pepto-Bismol among other things! I guess she still doesn't think I can take care of myself, or maybe she thinks that I'm going to get ulcers here on my own. But I have to admit, it was sweet. And now that most of my stuff is stowed away, it doesn't look half bad around here.

Anyway, when it was time to go, my dad gave me this nice long hug, and then said all those typically parental things like: “We really believe in you, Catie. We know you're going to do just great.” Nice stuff like that. And I'll admit I cried, although I tried not to show it since I didn't want Dad to feel any worse than necessary. I cried a little more after he drove away. But as I walked back toward the dorm, it hit me. I felt this wonderful rush, this new excitement, almost like adrenaline pumping right through me.
I'm free!
Independent!
On my own!
It felt so totally cool to realize this. It still does.

My mom had wanted me to join a sorority–her old one to be specific. And despite my concern that it might not be a very Christian atmosphere, I actually looked into it (mostly to please Mom). Then I was informed that they had a mile-long waiting list. Still, I could've gotten on the list if I'd really wanted
and
if I was willing to go through rush week. Which I was NOT. I really don't care for the idea of herding a bunch of girls around and trying to pick out the best among them. And the truth is, I think
sororities are kind of shallow and superficial. Consequently, I liked the idea of a dorm better–plus it seemed more independent.

I'm sure I could be wrong about these things, but that's the general impression I got when I checked out my mom's old stomping grounds. I know my good buddy Josh belonged to a fraternity when he was here last year, and he thought it was great. But then it was a Christian organization. He'd even encouraged me to look into a Christian sorority he knew about, but I figured if I wasn't going to join my mom's, I probably shouldn't try to join another. I mean, her feelings were already slightly hurt when I told her I wasn't interested. No need to rub it in. So here I am.

I already know my roommate's name is Elizabeth Banks and that she's a sophomore (since it says so on our door). But that's about all I know. I could have requested a specific roommate if I'd know anyone coming to the university, which unfortunately I didn't. Andrea LeMarsh thought she was going to come here, and we'd talked about rooming together, but then she found out her dad had lost everything in the stock market last spring. And even though her tightwad step-dad has plenty of dough, he wouldn't spring for tuition plus room and board, so she decided to live at home and go to community college for a year. And, of course, Beanie and Jenny and Anna are all on their way to the Christian college even as I write. But here's the kicker: After all Mrs. Lambert put Jenny through last year, she
actually let her take a car. I couldn't believe it–that woman has really been changing lately!

Speaking of cars, my parents and I decided it was best to sell mine. I must admit to feeling a little blue at first, but I know it was the smart thing to do. There's no way I could work to make payments plus car insurance and go to school full time. Besides, everything's within walking distance here, and Dad even talked me into bringing my bike, just in case. But I still miss that little car–my first car. And it was a good car too. It took Jenny and Beanie and me (the three amigas) all the way to Mexico and back! Now I have to finish unpacking, just in case the mysterious Elizabeth should arrive tonight and trip over my shoes still piled on the floor.

Wednesday, September 4

So far no roommate. But that's okay with me. It gives me a chance to sort of catch my breath and get my bearings. I'm completely unpacked now, feeling almost at home with my familiar bedding and pillows and whatnot all around. I hope Elizabeth doesn't mind that I took the side of the room that's away from the door. I didn't really do it on purpose. I've just always had my bed on the right and automatically took that side. Hopefully she won't care. And if she does, I'll offer to switch. Although that means moving everything and taking down my bulletin board and posters, which took me forever to arrange just right. Before Dad and I left town, Beanie
Jacobs stopped by to say good-bye and to give me this cool poster with the Lord's Prayer on it. I hung it right where I can see it from my bed.

“God bless you, Caitlin,” Beanie said as she hugged me tightly. I could tell she was crying, which was making me cry too. “I can't believe we're going to be so far apart.”

BOOK: On My Own
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ads

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