Thursday, 29 December 2011

Lemsip made me do this

Hi, I'm Amy (I'll step back and imagine you all saying "Hello, Amy" in return) and I have zero self confidence. I feel that the time is right to finally admit to this in order to break free from the shackles of an incredibly high level of low self esteem. Maybe it's the never-ending stream of Lemsip sending me into a drowsy state of revelations, or perhaps it's watching the horrifyingly realistic Never Been Kissed. Either way, I am about to bore you mercilessly about my consistent struggles to overcome this intense anxiety.

As a kid, I wouldn't shut up. I sang, I danced, I acted. I was the obnoxious, stage school-esque kid who annoys you at family parties by singing along to the standards loudly and proudly showing off my beautiful and graceful arabesque. Then something strange happened - adolescence, to be precise. Something inside of me decided that I had to hang up the ballet/Thespian shoes, stop dreaming of The Great White Way, and become a recluse. Whereas the 12-year-old me would jump at the chance to show up the pretty girls at school by forcefully claiming the lead roles in the crap school musical productions, the 14-year-old me bunked drama lessons, paralysed by a fear of having to do stuff in front of people that I didn't like, yet desperately wanted to like me. I abandoned my dreams and hopes of being Totally Awesome Amy in favour of Jane Austen novels, Morrissey lyrics and paranoia. (How I never turned to drugs, I'll never know. Maybe because drug addicts seem like social creatures, and there was no way in hell I'd be able to connect with people like that).

I used to make up lame excuses about having a curfew (which I didn't) or needing to do a Really Important Piece of Homework (which I didn't, because I always did homework the day it was assigned, like the geek I am) to avoid having to participate in social situations. I never went to parties, or got drunk with the other ugly kids, or even slagged off the teachers behind their backs. Because, you know, teachers totally have our backs. The stuff they're teaching us will totally come in handy one day, even algebra. Even when I became a social pariah and took up smoking, I didn't even join in with the other bad kids who smoked behind the sixth form block in case they criticised my smoking skills. The crippling fear of being uncool and unimportant led to me becoming the most uncool and unimportant teenager in the whole of South London. And that includes the kids who outwardly expressed their love for all things Star Wars/Star Trek/dinosaurs/space. My love for those things remained an awkward secret from anyone who wasn't my immediate family until I discovered blogging/Twitter.

And so it's led me to this. Talking incessantly to a blog audience that barely exists, doing a job I hate (that ends next week, leaving me unemployed yet again) and having to awkwardly come up with excuses to explain to my boyfriend that I don't really have any friends due to me hating it when people talk to me. I'm 20 years old and have finally decided that enough is enough. I don't want to be the socially awkward geek who has serious anxiety and depression. I'll be 21 in six months time and am really wishing I'd had this conversation with myself six years ago. I wish I had told myself back then that things WOULD get better. I wouldn't care what the prats at school thought of me. I would surpass my teachers' expectations by not having a kid at 16. I wouldn't become a drug addict. I would get a real-life boyfriend and not spend forever daydreaming at photos of Ryan Gosling. Yes, Morrissey would remain my god and "Please, Please, Please" would become the soundtrack to my life. But I would also be pretty damn cool. I would discover and fall in love with John Mayer long before Jennifer Aniston (take that, bitch) and I would totally fall in love with Zooey Deschanel before (500) Days of Summer.

2012 is rapidly approaching and I will finally break free from this horrible routine. I will get a full time job (wishful thinking never hurt anyone) and people will finally care about what I have to say. I won't celebrate sickness because it means a day off from work and the awful people who populate that shop. Instead, I'll like my job for once. I won't drag my boyfriend down by feeling too self-concious to step into a place at night filled with real-life pretty people. I won't be afraid of letting people know what I think of them. I will absolutely be the Boss Bitch of 2012. You read it here first.

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