Great confessions always seem to happen in car journeys. Have you ever noticed that? Maybe it’s because when we’re driving along, eyes pinched to dodge every cloudburst pothole, we become so transfixed by the murky path ahead that it works as a gateway for our inner-most thoughts and feelings to escape. Strange, but definitely true. All of us are guilty of it. Admitting passion or hard events is so much easier done from the warmth of a car seat, knowing that some of the surrounding scenery will lighten the load. And, en route back from the cinema the other day, this is exactly what happened to me.
My friend was driving me home after just watching Alita: Battle Angel (great film, by the way) Darkness began to cloak the sky and hearing some nostalgic emo tunes play from his sound-system made me feel all the more relaxed. Plus, he absolutely loves having the temperature on full-blast in the car, so my pensive state was now well and truly lured out of its hiding place. The week thus far had been a tough one – emotionally and physically – and having a break from the chaos made a nice change, but it didn’t come without its consequences. Of course, it was undoubted that the whole scene practically invited a heart-to-heart. So I really shouldn’t have been surprised when the topic turned to something so unexpected. Somehow, we ended up talking about who we were at school; the popular kid, the loser, geek, sporty one – blah blah. And it came as no surprise to me to find out that my friend was a pretty well-rounded guy who got on with everyone – he’s the same now. In fact, I can’t imagine anyone disliking him because he’s just such a cool character.
And then there’s me.
My story is a little different (and if you’ve ever read my bio on the home page you’ll realise why) As a kid and as a young teenager, I was quite shy. Hardships of the past made me insecure about myself and so I didn’t really offer an opinion on something unless I was 100% sure about it, or if the person I was talking to was someone I trusted. Thus, I kind of kept myself to myself. My love of Spiderman, My Chemical Romance and writing silly stories remained a closely-guarded secret, I didn’t have many friends (thanks to my particularly inconvenient illness) and the only time I ever received any attention from boys was when they were using my arse as target practice for their rotten apples. To be honest, life for me as a youngster was pretty shitty.
When I shone my friend a glimpse of this past Sacha he couldn’t believe it. The girl I am now is a well-groomed, sassy, smarty pants who can’t keep her opinions to herself, so I guess it makes sense for him to have been confused. And – without sounding so far up my butt that I can smell what I ate for breakfast – guys these days are more likely to chuck their phone numbers at me, rather than smelly rotten apples. So, what’s changed? Sure, the person I am on the outside is conceivably far more desirable than the one I used to be. But, it may also come as a surprise to learn that there’s far less separating them than you’d think.
Yes. I am more “confident” shall we say, but only because of said hardships. Keeping tight-lipped gets you nowhere, so I thought it wiser to just lay my cards where everyone can see them. That way, everyone knows where they stand and no one has their time wasted (time is precious, guys. It can’t be earned back) My face is pretty much the same, but after much ridicule about my teeth, I decided that investing in white sparkly gnashers was a necessity. I still love Spiderman (and the rest of the comic universe), My Chemical Romance is still listened to (as well as many other eclectic metal bands) and of course, it goes without saying that my love of writing never went anywhere either.
The point of this admittance is that you never know who is or isn’t “cool”. Most of the people that were considered “hot” and “popular” in my day haven’t gotten very far. Yet, the ones who were snubbed for being out of those circles are actually doing better than ever. You only have to read stories about famous celebs like George Clooney and millionaire Taylor Swift to know how much things can change. In fact, it seems that being a creative outcast might even be your winning ticket to stardom!
Anyway, the long and the short of it is that people who have their lives handed to them on a silver platter never appreciate it fully. Whereas those who’ve had to work hard at figuring out their identity and finding their voice know how great a value that notion truly is. So next time you see a girl who pouts like a duck and takes 50 selfies a day or a guy who discards a conversation with a girl because she looks less refined than the lipgloss-smacked ditz in the corner, don’t bother envying them. They may be “cool” now, but they’re losers at heart. Stick to your guns and love your nerdy awesomeness. Because one day, when all is said and done, it’ll be you who’s achieved something great.
Be the voice. Be you.
It’s cool to be a nerd.