Wow, I didn’t expect to have to go to YouTube to upload this video, but I recorded something for you guys and I couldn’t publish the video directly on WordPress. So, I ended up creating a YouTube channel (yes, that was kind of crazy and impulsive in hindsight) just so I could make it playable on my website. As you’ll see if you watch the video, I’m not much of a vlogger. In fact, I’ve never vlogged before in my life. I don’t even know if technically I did vlog.
Anyway, moving on.
I’ve had such a show of support from all my readers and I wanted to actually say hi and thank you in person.
If you can get over the awkwardness of this video, please watch and know that I am so grateful to you for clicking on this blog in the first place.
Many of my high school crushes were unrequited. I felt everything so deeply, and it cut me to the bone when my crushes weren’t interested in me. That never stopped me from putting myself out there and professing my feelings, often with awkward and over-enthusiastic gestures. Perhaps the objects of my affection were right ignore me, especially when I thought pretending to be a mime would make them want me. But in my mind, it was better to have tried and failed to make them see me than to drown in hormones and angst wondering if they knew I existed.
My teen-angst fueled many messy poems. The following poem was written at age fourteen. As you may be able to tell, I thought rhymes were pretty cool back then.
Chains Of My HeartI wish I'd been born free, but it couldn't be that easy. Instead I was born with your chains around my heart. Love has been cruel and merciless from above, And you torture me and tease me. I've had enough. I'm yours to play with and I don't like it at all. My heart strings are all tangled, how much further must I fall? I can bear the pain no longer, if I must I will surely die, Lock myself in a corner where I will curl up and lie. As much as you get your fun from hurting me, and you get your kicks from all the pain you see. I am like a bird and I need to be set free. Release me, please.
After high school, things began to change – with the social hierarchy of cool kids, jocks and dorks like me a thing of the past, there was plenty of reciprocation. Each unrequited crush from my teen years, however, has never been forgotten. It’s formed a large library of angst to call on when writing, and I have written several stories where the heroine’s feelings are finally returned and pain and heartbreak end with a happy ever after.
You’ve likely heard it said before: good girls like bad boys. It’s a classic cliché for good reason. Take me, for example. Growing up, I was a good girl by most people’s definition, and when I was thirteen, I fell for a ‘bad boy.’
Cory Donovan reeled me in from the moment I met him. He was my first serious crush. I thought about him all the time, dreamed about him and wrote his initials in love hearts all over my textbooks. With dark hair, dark eyes and a body like you wouldn’t believe, he sent me into cardiac arrest every time he smiled at me. I wasn’t the only girl pestering him for attention, either, he had a string of ex-girlfriends always vying for his attention. He was my friend’s brother, and when he looked at me I forgot every bad word she’d ever said about him.
Below, you’ll read a real journal entry from me. This entry documents my early love of bad boys and cements their place amongst my favourite clichés.
I went to a sleepover last night at my friend Hannah’s place. I am feeling confused so I thought I would talk to you about it. Hannah has a brother. His name is Cory. I really like him and I know he likes me. I just don’t know how much. He was touching me and laughing with me, but he likes to flirt with everyone, including his ex-girlfriend.
When I make eye contact with him it feels so special and good, but his ex is still crazy about him and she was all over him at the sleepover. How am I supposed to compete with her when she’s so much more experienced than I am? I really want to be with him. I know he just got out of juvie and he’s older than I am, but do you think we could we make a relationship work?
He was my complete opposite, yet Cory was not one of my unrequited crushes. When he made it clear he liked me back, I completely freaked out and thought about nothing but our future together. Sadly, my heart was broken shortly after our most romantic moment occurred, when Cory was arrested and sent to a youth justice facility.
Had this story been a romance novel instead of reality, my love for Cory and his love for me would have transformed him. But in reality, things don’t work out that way. Bad boys are exciting in their recklessness. Loving them is a thrill. But my naïve thirteen-year-old self believed I could change him and he would be different when he was with me.
As an adult, I now have a new perspective on the desirability of the bad boy. I’ve come to understand I can’t change someone else, I can only change myself. I’ve learned that excitement comes from having a goal and chasing it, and people who don’t respect me or themselves are not someone I want to enter into a long-term relationship with.
Despite this newfound wisdom, my love of the bad boy cliché persists. To see how this cliché has influenced my writing, check out my novel – Let Me Be the One.