Previous post: My childhood
It was right around the end of middle school/beginning of high school when I discovered a band named No Doubt. It was a few years after Tragic Kingdom came out, but one day I heard “Don’t Speak” on the radio, and I instantly fell in love. At this time, I also listened to other music such as Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, N’Sync, Britney Spears, and 98 Degrees. If you can’t tell, I really liked the mainstream pop music until No Doubt came along. Don’t Speak spoke volumes to me, and Just a Girl defined me.
I was instantly hooked on the entire album of Tragic Kingdom. I would blast it on repeat in my bedroom as I spent hours online, chatting to strangers I didn’t know but felt like I’ve known for ages. I would go to school and sing Don’t Speak with my best friend Jenny during gym class to help pass the time. Excuse Me Mr. and Different People from Tragic Kingdom became some of my favorite less-known songs. This started a phase of my life where I started listening to lots of different music, most of it not found on the top hit charts. For quite a few years, I was known as a music guru by some of my friends, since I knew new songs and bands that no one had even heard of yet.
Other than music, I went through High School starting out the super shy girl who wore ridiculously cute childish clothes (polo shirts and overalls) as a Freshman, to a slightly less shy, slightly more mature girl who wore more fancy clothes as a Senior. There was a sweet deaf kid who asked me out via pencil and paper during the first week of my Sophomore year that I said no to. There was a guy I had a huge crush on since middle school but couldn’t bring myself to even talk to him, even after I asked him to Turnabout through a Valentine during my Sophomore year. He ended up telling my friend Lindsey that he had baseball practice or something like that as why he couldn’t take me to turnabout. I was crushed and relieved at the same time. Relieved since I would have been so nervous around him, that I was scared of making a fool of myself.
My Junior year I met my first boyfriend. He was a friend of my best friend Jenny’s and went to a different high school. I think it helped me to be slightly less nervous knowing I wouldn’t have to see him every day in school. He took me out on a few dates. The first date he drove in the wrong direction for about 40 minutes. Yeah, we were both nervous. That was my first official date ever. He took me to my junior prom, then left for Japan for three weeks afterwards. When he came back, my gut instinct told me something was wrong. Then when we finally met up he took me out to see a movie, but then dumped me while dropping me back off at home.
I had never experienced heartbreak until that moment. I cried an ugly cry. I didn’t necessarily love the guy (we dated about 2.5 months), but I liked him a lot. I even kissed him a few times, my first kisses ever. That’s when Don’t Speak and Sunday Morning became my mantras for healing. I also remember some Linkin Park songs helped me through this time. After getting over the guy, I mentally told myself that I would never get dumped again. At that moment I decided that I would be the one to end relationships rather than the stupid guy calling the shots.
My senior year in high school was basically a prologue for college. I ended up having a date for my senior prom, a kid I barely knew but met once through my friend Lindsey. He lived in Wisconsin (even further than the first boyfriend), so we ended up developing our relationship over AIM (AOL Instant Messenger). We had a great prom, but I left him around 6AM after IHOP breakfast feeling like he liked me more than I liked him. And I walked away, towards the sunrise, in my yellow dress; looking upwards and forward to my future at U of I. I was just a girl, but with a big future before me that even I couldn’t predict.