Inside the Scrapbook of a 12-Year-Old

Every night, I lie in bed, get comfortable, shut my eyes and prepare to stop all those cogs whirring away inside. And almost every night, my brain decides that this is the perfect time to replay every cringe-worthy memory that resides in the deepest, darkest corners of my mind.

In honour of these shudder-inducing recollections, I pulled out my scrapbook from about 2010 to relive the past in glorious 3D, with receipts, certificates and leaflets to really authenticate the experiences.

We begin with the official title page, including a bubble-lettered “MY” followed by everything in lower case because I clearly had a lot more to write than I originally thought and it required too much effort to write everything in bubble letters.


The little tag on the bookmark is from my (very grown-up) Winnie the Pooh pencil case, which I bought when I started high school in 2011. Now, while I can appreciate the artistic impact of a bright, smiley face on the title page, this particular face is disturbing in its composition. The dimples remind me of Spongebob a little.
Also, please note the ‘Made with my Papermate!’ which is referencing the brand of pen I used and I have to point out that this pen, that I used throughout this scrapbook (and yes, don’t you worry, it is most definitely referenced again through my scrapbook/diary/sentimental stuff), is my absolute favourite pen to this day and I wouldn’t choose to write with any other pen.

We move on, now, to some essential revision notes I made for the most important exams of my life: the SATs!

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Not much I can say about this, besides the sporadic exclamation marks and ellipses scattered throughout my explanations. You can tell I was big on punctuation at the time. I have to, however, make a special mention of the little note I wrote myself: “Don’t forget borrowing!” which is an easy mistake to make and I appreciate younger me for making this clear.

img_6525.jpgThis page fully made me want to shrivel up because it displays my superficiality in the funniest way. Admittedly, in hindsight, I think it’s cute that I was this excited about getting a Kindle but the adjectives I chose to plop into bubbles (with a signature exclamation mark!) are a little bit exaggerated. Surely even at the peak age of 11, it couldn’t have been that amazing, awesome or jaw-dropping (!) but I needed to write something special in my extra special blue gel pen so I forgive myself. This Kindle met its untimely demise a few years later when my big brother sat on it and the screen started glitching permanently.

Some foam letters allowed me to get really creative

This page is quintessentially and unapologetically Malaikah. Fun textures, bright colours, lots of interesting words, some stamps from Malaysia I ripped off my dad’s mail, a Vans tag, a business card and a cute Christmas card from someone random. A lot of different mediums too, impressive but also one of the reasons this scrapbook ended up so bulky.

I… don’t want to talk about this


Sara’s drawing skills are considerably better than mine

These are some super adorable birthday cards from my best friend, which are full of really sweet messages. I love keeping things like these around because it really cheers me up reading them again. Please note how she drew smiley faces on all the flowers and leaves on that top envelope, which is just the kind of thing that makes me want to go ‘Aww’ endlessly.

I have a knack for keeping quite the fun collection of 3D items in my scrapbook, which is exhibited exceptionally by this school council badge which I earned in Year 6, alongside my house-point cards, for being the goody-two-shoes student I’ve always been. I’m thinking I must have properly gotten to work on this scrapbook during Year 6 because almost everything in the early pages is from that time frame. I even managed to keep it up until about Year 8 or 9, but it all went a bit downhill after that, seeing as there was just an influx of leaflets and receipts, with little narrative.

With these next two pages, let me inform you before you judge me that I am no longer the kind of person to make pages like this in my scrapbook and I’m ashamed to have done it in the first place, but I’ve included it to show you that I was once very resentful for some reason.

Not my finest moment

To explain further, I used to know a girl who was the daughter of a friend of my dad* and, bless her heart, she never really did many malicious things to me, or I’ve just forgotten it over the years, but I really didn’t like her. Also, at the time, I really didn’t like Tinkerbell. Or even glittery stickers for that matter. So what better, than to combine all three and make a dedicated hate page?! Look at those snide comments I put next to all of those stickers!

When I came across this again, I was shocked at how horrible I must have been to actually spend my time making a page like this (although there isn’t much artistic talent to slapping stickers on and making a couple snarky remarks). I assure you I hold no such bitterness in my heart anymore.

*Name protected to keep her identity hidden. Imagine if she ever came across this and realised what a horrible girl I was!


We’re back to wholesome, innocent content again and wow, how wholesome it is! So I have a spare paper drawer (for all those important situations where you don’t have enough spare paper!) with very badly folded lined paper because that comes in handy all the time.

The page on the right is dedicated to the little badge I have for my birthday and if you can decipher my embarrassing handwriting, I pointed out that ‘due to low tacking resources, my ribbon couldn’t be here today’, so I drew it instead because that’s basically the same thing.

Come to the wedding!

This page might just take the cake for the most embarrassing thing I’ve officially done because I decided to get my pens married. See, the Papermate pens I obsess over come in two varieties, and they either have an M or an F on. At that young, impressionable age, I took that to mean Male or Female, because that just makes the most sense, right?

So here are the invitations, urging guests to come to Malaikah’s room, today, right now, in tuxedos and gowns.

Also my attempt at calligraphy, with which I confess it may be a long while before I get better.

Yeah… Tesco value always got my back

I only included this picture to show you just how oversentimental I get, to the point of being downright stupid for including the plastic covering over some highlighters I bought from Tesco. I can visibly remember the look of horror on my mum’s face when I showed her this page, which was the look you make when you realise your daughter is a hoarder of all things silly.

Even funnier, I think, is the fact that I included every single 3D glasses voucher that I must have amassed on a rare trip to the cinema, instead of keeping one for the sake of memories. ‘Go big or go home’ is the slogan that runs through my blood even today.

Queen’s Jubillee ee day

Though a bit lacklustre, I think this page is such an endearing documentation of a special moment in our lives, because Arham, my little brother, caught his first spider in 2012. He was 10 years old at this point and we had been running to our parents at the first sight of an insect, but this was the first time he gathered up the courage to do it himself. Maybe the timestamp was a bit overkill but pretty funny to look back on.

Of course, I had to document this right alongside a Diet Coke with citrus zest label, which juxtaposes the crazy things going on during the summer of 2012.

Finally, here are a lot of things I kept from various travels around the world, though it seems to only really contain souvenirs from our trips to Paris, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Also, Blackpool Pleasure Beach makes a cheeky appearance in there, alongside some tram tickets that don’t seem all so special anymore after travelling by tram for the past two years. These make up the majority of the rubbish in my scrapbook, which really explains why it’s so thick and heavy.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little flip through of this journal, which is very near and dear to my heart (for reasons I don’t quite know myself) and I hope it inspires you. If I can advise anything to you, it would be to live in the moment and document everything worth documenting as it comes.

Thank you for reading,


7 thoughts on “Inside the Scrapbook of a 12-Year-Old

  1. Pingback: Some Lovely Blogs for You… – Phoebe, MD: Poetry & Medicine

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