- Wanda Woodward (Traci Lords) in Cry-Baby
Perhaps it was the way they looked at me, perhaps it was because they were ACTUALLY looking at me, that I fell in love with them time and time again. I called them the Lost Boys and I would be their Manic Pixie Dream Girl...
++For those of you who are unfamiliar, the MPDG is by definition, "a pretty, whacky, outgoing female romantic whose soul purpose is to help broody males lighten up and enjoy their lives".++ (CMONNNN SERIOUS!?)
Now, I won't lie, I've found myself in plenty of beds belonging to Lost Boys; with their smouldering eyes staring deep into mine, our heads sharing the same pillow, as they gently push away the hair from my face and lean in with a kiss. Meeting them was like a scene from a big movie. Every time. Just how I liked it!
Each collision with a Lost Boy would go the same way.. I'd clock him from across the room, he would be sat alone, moody and mysterious. I liked that he seemingly had no friends. It made him interesting. I'd make sure our first exchange in conversation would be something scandalous, his replies were blunt and I liked his honesty. I'd rock up to him with my coloured hair and light-up kitty ears so that he'd remember I was different from the other girls. I showed the world that I didn't take life too seriously. I'd learn he was an artist, somewhat tortured, and then we'd continue to talk about obscure literature and film and the cosmos and if aliens really existed.... a few drinks later, he'd whizz me home sat on the front of his bike singing at the top of our voices and then I'd be dancing on his dining room table whilst he watched and laughed, shaking his head. I would try to get him to dance - the Lost Boy rarely dances but when he does, it's a pinnacle moment - a genuine expression of his true self, a moment in time where he steps out of all his insecurities and is finally at home - I'd get him to spin me round and round until I was dizzy and we would be laughing so hard that when I stopped, I could only see stars - I wanted him to feel like that, I wanted so much for him to feel happy in himself. It's then that he would always kiss me. He would begin to undress me, I'd stop and say - "Are you going to ask me first?"
"May I take off your t-shirt", he'd say. And I'd nod, giggling with my arms above my head.
"May I take off your socks", he'd say, smiling.. "Yes", I'd reply as he gently kissed my feet.
Slowly, slowly I gave him my consent - anticipation was always the most exciting part for me before we dissolved into the darkness between his bedsheets.
I realised, the last time I got mixed up in this epic movie storyline, that, as cinematic and beautiful as those collisions were... THEY WEREN'T REAL.
And I wasn't being real, I wasn't being authentic, I was playing a character, I was totally pretending - and it wasn't satisfying me. I felt hollow after giving away my body time and time again. Did I really want every evening I spent with a boy to end up with me naked in his bed? That's not what I was looking for. I didn't know how to be my real self. I didn't know who I was. I wanted so desperately to find True Love and touch the magical fairy-tale that I thought my fingertips would find when they interlocked with his. He wasn't the problem, it was my expectation of who I needed him to be. And most importantly, who I needed to be for myself.
Looking back, it didn't matter that I didn't know who I was - I can tell you at age 28, I'm still figuring it out now, so seriously, don't sweat it girls. Keep doing your sweet thing. My one piece of advice of HOW to be your real self - just stop saying "yes" to shit you hate. Gravitate towards the things and people that make you feel genuinely amazing and sparkly and full of energy, no matter who or what they are. I hope in years to come I'll read stories from you about the time somebody touched your heart and ran their fingers through your soul and danced with you and your wildest dreams because you deserve all of that, that's what is real in this world.
I broke a lot of hearts playing games with Lost Boys, and each time I broke my own heart too. It's taken me a long time to learn from my mistakes; I don't need to give my body away to be validated, I don't need a guy to spin me round and round to feel excitement, I don't need to wear leather pants and dye my hair pink to feel sexy, I don't need to be anybody's dream girl, I don't need to impress or play a character or make up stories about myself, I don't need to exaggerate my life, I don't need to live in a movie to experience Love, I don't need to pretend to be anybody other than who I am because who I am is ENOUGH.
YOU ARE ENOUGH. EXACTLY AS YOU ARE.
DON'T LET ANYBODY TELL YOU DARLING GIRL, THAT YOU ARE ANYTHING LESS THAN PURE MAGIC.
- Writer -