There’s something about summer that makes it impossible for me to write blog posts (drinking on patios), so, because I didn’t manage to do anything this past weekend in terms of writing posts (because I was drinking on patios), I’ve pulled a post I wrote over a year ago, back before anyone read my blog like ever. I will be back with new posts soon, I promise. In the meantime, I suggest you go get yourself a drink on a patio. Patios are the best.
Adolescence was not a fun time for me. I kept a journal from ages 18-22 and this morning I pulled it out to reference some over-emotional writing that came from my long period of infatuation with Austin in college. I ended up reading most of it. I realize that my words paint a very accurate picture of my teenage self; awkward, sort of fat, a cripplingly devout baptist and desperately trying to find my dark side. I spent years consoling myself by ranting about how my dad was wrong, I was definitely going to be a famous musician, and oscillating between being “SO over” and “SO going to end up with” my first boyfriend who’d long since forgotten we ever shared a romantic history.
I’m going to start sharing some of my formative high school experiences, as evidenced by my journal. These are the reasons I will never take myself seriously.
#1 – Teen Tiffany was convinced she’d become a famous musician. She didn’t realize the most money she’d ever make off her music was at her very first performance at the talent show.
When you’re 18 and so tragically uncool that it actually hurts you to think about as a (still not cool) adult, the only way to cope with your unbearable level of loserdom is by telling yourself that one day you’ll become as hot/famous as Britney Spears and everyone will feel foolish that they didn’t worship you.
My father saw this burning desire and tried to save me before I derailed the promising career-oriented future I had as a nerd. Unfortunately, this was the one subject on which I allowed myself to react like a defiant teen. My attitude was all “Whatever, Dad. It’s not like you know anything anyway, you just put yourself through school and became the CEO of a company, you don’t understand what it’s like for girls like me and Britney,” and I sadly made the hormone-fueled choice to go to music school. Sigh.
My journal is filled with pages like this – rants about my dad just “not understanding and after all it’s my life.” These pages reminded me of one particular story from high school.
This happened at my 10th grade school talent show.
I’d started writing songs at the beginning of sophomore year, and I found a friend to play guitar for me so I could perform them. I was so excited for our school talent show to finally debut one of my songs, but was too embarrassed to admit that I wrote it and demanded that the song be listed ‘by: anonymous’ in the program. I don’t know why I needed to include the songwriter, I don’t remember any strict high school talent show program submission guidelines, but I felt it necessary. “Crashing Down” was my finest work. It started with an incredibly drawn out metaphor about my heart being a curvy road inspired by my driver’s ed classes and had vaguely to do with the huge crush I had on a questionably gay guy I met participating in the school play.
Before I went onstage, I stood nervously behind the curtain. I was wearing my favorite floor-length denim skirt and my platform heels. I’d straightened my hair, put on some glittery lipgloss and I was feeling not super fat so confidence was high. It was hard to concentrate, but the emcee made some joke about how we played for coins on the street, so feel free to toss a few my way. I walked out, and to fully picture this you have to know that it was in a black box theatre with stadium seating on three sides, so I was surrounded by my audience.
I started into my song and after a line or two someone threw a handful of change onto the stage. Everyone laughed, I blushed and tried to remain calm while singing about feeling so far away from the start of the road my heart was on, and the joke had run its course. Or so I thought. Another line or two passed and a couple more threw change on the stage. People thought this was hilarious.
By the time I was halfway through the first chorus, I was being full-on pelted by about 150 of my peers, their parents and a few members of the faculty. It wasn’t until I got backstage and burst into tears that I think everyone looked down at the coin-covered stage and thought about it from my perspective. There was a long pause before the emcee went back out to introduce the next act and after the show ended my mother, who witnessed the scene, took me to the CD store and let me buy anything I wanted. All I can think now is I really should have picked up all that change, I probably made like $20 that night.