Next year, I get to high school. It might seem silly, but this is something I’ve been looking forward to since I was in kindergarten. That’s when I had my first sleep over, and coincidentally also the first time I watched the movie Sleepover (2004). My mom rented it (remember when we used to do that?) and my 5 best friends and I piled in front of the TV in our sleeping bags with ridiculous amounts of junk food. For them, it was probably a meaningless 2 hours, but for me it was life changing. Cheesy, I know. I saw these teenage girls giggling their way from childhood to adolescence – not without a few meltdowns of course – and I immediately wanted to live like they did. I wanted to sneak out of the house, flirt with strangers, stay up all night with people I love; basically, I wanted to be a walking cliché. I wanted all of my disasters to be as coated in the kind of beautiful melodrama that made movies like Clueless so popular.
I’ve spent a lot of my life acting older than I am. Part of that is because I’m an ~old soul~ as they say, but I’m sure a lot of it come from wanting to be cool (whatever that means). I’ve always had friends older than myself, dressed older than people my age – hell, I’m even taller than most of them. And I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, it just means that I grew up fast and every once in a while I realize, for the sake of my own comfort, I need to slow down a little.
Now I’m fifteen, and I’ve had two years to learn about what it’s really like to be a parent’s worst nightmare. And, as it turns out, I’m not as nightmarish as I thought I would be. Definitely less evil than when I was younger, if not a little more sneaky. And though I try, I definitely do not have a wardrobe fit for Clueless (or any well styled high school movie for that matter). As you may have guessed, my life isn’t directed by John Hughes. While I’m more than a little disappointed by that, maybe even a little bit bitter, I think I prefer it like this. I spent most of my grade eight year lamenting about how much my life sucked, about how much being a teenager sucked and mostly about how misunderstood I was. Without even trying I had fulfilled another teenage stereotype and I hated it, but now, looking back, I’ve realized that my life often did resemble the movies I loved. As my uncle once told me “we get what we ask for”, and I did, I had just been too angsty to realize it.
Way back when I was in my hipster phase, I would detest realizing that I was doing anything unoriginal, but now I love it. I love the sense of comfort and understanding it provides me with. It lets me know that I’m not the only one who’s done stupid things even when they knew they were stupid. It lets me forgive myself. I don’t need to be a special little snowflake anymore because I’ve realized that it adds absolutely nothing to your worth. As Hannah wisely told Jules in Sleepover, “you’re ready for high school”, except in this case, we’re talking about me.
Now I live for the moments where I’m driving around with one of my friends late at night, with the music blasting and the windows down, and we get lost on the way home. But instead of worrying we just stop and get milkshakes and drive around until we get we’re going, and all the while I’m completely aware of how typical it is. Sometimes your life really does feel like a movie, if you just let it. Even this past weekend was clichéd; I went out late with a friend years older than me, and we met boys, started a fire under a bridge, told ghost stories, gave each other tattoos and tried to steal a watermelon. Could I be any more trite? I’ve learned to appreciate the comedy of living the life that everyone expects you to. I wear Dr. Martens and sneak out, and while I’m doing it, I laugh at myself. Because guess what? I honestly just don’t care.