When I was 15 I started a new school, and promptly developed a crush. At the time there were many things I didn't realise about the crush in question, such as that he was a drug-addled fuckwit and a complete psychopath, but all I knew back then was that the way the sunlight glinted off his many piercings and the way his bloodshot eyes burned into my soul meant love. Or at least hormone-fuelled lust. While my art teacher tried to explain the importance of Marcel Duchamp (the toilet-seat loving bastard), I was listening to Angus and Julia Stone (shut up, I was young) on my Ipod and staring at the back of his curly head. He'd sit with me on break and draw me little pictures depicting elves with exploding limbs, bleeding from their beady eyes, and swirly-eyed animals that looked like creatures from a Dr Seuss book smoking bongs. Like any teenage girl, I was sure that this obvious sign of affection meant we were soul mates. Then one day, it all went awry.
I'd been home sick for a few days and when I got back my friend Hannah came rushing up to me. "Alex!" She said. "Nathaniel asked me if you have a boyfriend and I said no and he said to give you his number because he thinks you're hot!!!"
Hoorah! I said. I quickly put his number into my phone. Later I sent him a cheeky text. He replied instantly and we went out that weekend. He's still my boyfriend :)
No I'm totally kidding.
"What? are you serious?" I said. "You idiot, Hannah, He's clearly taking the piss. Delete his number now. Tell him I'm gay please. What a wanker".
Because I was so adamant that I was a grotesquely malformed freak with a hideous personality to match, any boy who paid me the slightest amount of attention during highschool was either a)joking or b)had some freaky fetish. I scorned them immediately.
This has benefitted me amazingly. When you're lacking in self confidence you seem to attract all these amazing nutter butters. Like the girl who used to put hexes on people she didn't like (i.e. who wouldn't share hot chips with her). Or the guy who went to raves just so he could tell people about his "free ice and acid", lure them back to his car, then pelt them with lemon wedges and ice cubes.
Sure, I could have been confident, I could have worn nice things and traded in cynicism and saturday nights watching Harry Potter fan videos on Youtube for a social life and actual friends. I could have been Happy! and Awesome! and fed on my own fabulousness growing a head so large I'd make Nicky Hilton look (relatively) normal.
Instead I chose solitude and teen angst. Nobody understood me, etc etc.
The world is much more fun when you're a cliche; nocturnal, depressed, bitchy, unemployed, most-likely-to-be-unsuccessful-arist. I've learnt important lessons, like the value of staring down random people on the bus.
So all those people who tell you to believe in your dreams, hold your head high and smile, to you I say shut up and get back in your box. I know you go home at night, fight with people in the comments section on youtube, repeat your affirmations in a shaky voice and weep into your downy pillow.