Hello and happy Thursday. I had a phase when I was fifteen. I thought I was “not like other girls,” and wore tight pants and dark clothes. My biggest aspiration of the time was to attend the Warped Tour and I spent my free time watching TAI TV.
I was a diehard fan of indie/alternative rock, and yes, Glamorous Indie Rock and Roll by the Killers was my anthem. I was still best friends with my two best friends. I didn’t stop hanging out with them but somehow I squeezed in the time to hang out with another group of girls who had my same music interests. This was a phase that I cannot describe as a happy one, and now, ten years later, as I have gained knowledge about my own mental health I can only speculate that this “phase” was probably ever so slightly coated with depression. Perhaps by thinking that I was better than everybody else because I didn’t like mainstream stuff I was hiding my anxiety, justifying why I’d stopped going out when we all know that when you’re fifteen you’re at the prime of your school social life, that this is a definitive age for the years to come.
My favorite bands included All Time Low, We The Kings, Boys Like Girls, Fall Out Boy, Cobra Starship, The Maine, Plain White T’s, The Killers, The All American Rejects, The Cab, Cute Is What We Aim For, Panic! At The Disco, The Hush Sound, Jimmy Eat World, Paramore and Death Cab For Cutie, but my all time favorite band, the one that took the cake, was The Academy Is… (Just so you know, the … are is part of the band’s name). I remember the day I got introduced to William Beckett in all his androgynous gorgeousness. I was watching MTV when its contents weren’t limited to Jersey Shore, Teen Mom, and Catfish (I love them all, by the way), and watched this amazing video that would change at least the following year of my life. If I’m not mistaken, it was the actual release of About A Girl, and all the stars aligned so that I could watch it.
Because of my obsessive-compulsive nature, I researched everything about The Academy Is… and discovered that About A Girl belonged to Fast Times At Barrington High, the third album of the band. I also found out that they had an EP called “The Academy” but it was too dark and weird, even for my taste at the time. Needless to say, I became obsessed, and the best part of it all was that I found a group of girls in my grade that knew about The Academy Is… and actually liked their music. One of my oldest friends actually, a girl whom I’ve known since I was four years old, was part of that group.
It was awesome to see their dynamic because they all knew about these bands I had discovered but they all had a favorite, we all did. Mine was TAI, of course, J’s was The Cab, C’s was My Chemical Romance, P’s was The Killers, R’s was Panic! at the Disco, and A’s was Fall Out Boy. We felt special because we knew something that nobody else did. We had uncovered this magical world that none of our classmates, not even my very best friends knew about. What a shitty group of teenagers we were.
After the fiasco that was my fifteenth birthday, I had started rethinking my behavior. I knew that, in a way, I had gotten what I deserved, since I’d isolated myself from most of my other classmates when there was really no need to do that because I’d always sort of been accepted by everyone. I needed one last hoorah, so for my fifteenth birthday, my dad took me and my sister on a trip. We stayed for a few days in New York City, then flew to Chicago for one night to see The Academy Is… in concert, and then went back to NYC for another couple of days. Halfway through the trip, my dad ran out of money, so instead of having breakfast we would leave the hotel by noon and have an early lunch. Oh, the things parents do for ungrateful, undeserving kids.
When I got back to Bogota I already knew that I was done with my existential crisis, as I call it now. Part of what helped me make the decision was seeing the pictures of me from the trip. I looked awkward, unsmiling, and I made it my mission to learn how to smile for pictures, even if at first the smiles felt fake and out of place. I think the rest just came naturally. I started buying more “mainstream” clothes and spending more time with my best friends. I went back to parties and concluded it had been stupid of me to think that I was better than anybody else just for having a different taste in music. I can’t say I regret my existential crisis, but now that ten years have gone by, I know that there was something else going on with me at that time, and I’m glad I overcame it.
What was your favorite band or musician when you were a teenager? Let me know in the comments below.
Love, Miss Camila