I felt like telling you how I ended up the person I am today.
I was born on the 1st of April 1997, in Oxford, England. My mother was from New Zealand but worked as a medicine developer in Oxford, and my Dad was a scientist. Doing what, I had no idea. We moved to Cambridge when I was two, and my parents had my little sister.
They used to play so much music around the house; both of them did. My mum was more of a Jazz and Blues fan. I was into Louis Armstrong by the time I was seven, and could play the clarinet ‘pretty darn good’. Dad, however, was definitely the rocker, despite being a bit of a geek. Everything from Queen, to early Green Day, to Iron Maiden.
I was pretty happy there, in Cambridge. I went to a nice school, I had a handful of friends (some other kids just thought I was weird because I have an over-active imagination), but those I did have, we would create entire worlds together. I rembemer being a spy with Joseph, inventing Candyland with James.
I was a bit of a violent kid, though I have mellowed out a bit now. I’m not going to go into details of my unfortunate mishaps, though once it involved two boys getting a concussion, another time I nearly strangled someone. I’m not proud of this, though when I concentrate it can be quite funny. Bear in mind the fact that I was only seven at this point.
Then, a few months before my ninth birthday, everything went wrong.
I had just been on an overnight school trip, my first ever, so you can imagine I was pretty excited. I remember jumping off the coach when I saw my mum, grinning like a lunatic. And no, I don’t know why she told me at this point, but I remember the first words she’d said to me as I got off that coach - “We’re going to Australia”.
I suppose I was pretty excited about that. I mean, come on - it’s AUSTRALIA. I remember bouncing around, telling my favourite teacher at the time, crying with my best friends that I’d be leaving. Promising that I’d email Katie and Elena, promising that I’d never forget them.
The first night we were in Australia, we didn’t have a house. We stayed with one of Mum’s old friends. Later on, we moved to Sydney, and we stayed in a cute little motel for the night. I remember there was a thunderstorm that night. I’ve always loved storms - the rain, the wind, the lightning... I used to sit at the window with my friends and watch the lightning come down.
I stopped seeing everything as ‘cute’ and ‘nice’ when I got into school. My sister was loved immediately - I, however, was not so lucky. I moved into the classroom, 3/4A, and I was the Freak. The Freak, capital ‘F’ and all. I moved to a very Asian area of Australia, so I was pretty much the only white kid there. It didn’t help that I was English and one of the ‘poshest’ sounding kids there.
I don’t remember much else from there. I think I try and forget the hard times, or else that there were so few that I didn’t even bother realizing them. Confused? Well, I wasn’t bullied, or picked on. I just had no friends. I took refugee in the library, with the lovely Librarian giving me anything and everything to read. I suppose that’s where I got my passion for writing, for stories, for books nowadays.
There were a few kids who were kind to me. There were others who weren’t. I spent all of year five hiding from this boy who had taken a likening to terrorizing me. Again, the Library was my sanctuary.
In year six, I felt the first true burst of horror that I was, in many people’s eyes, a bit of a weirdo. I’d spent so much time wrapped up in a thousand different worlds, that people’s critiscisms sort of bounced off me. Authors the like of Garth Nix, J.K. Rowling, Emily Rodda... hell, even Louise Rennison, kept me safe.
Then I had a stupid idea - I’d tried to make friends. I’d told myself to get out of the library, go make friends. Stupid of me. I no longer had the safety of my books, I told myself it was a bad idea. But of course, nobody wanted to be friends with me. That hurt. A lot. I gave up on making friends, and I went back to the library. I still hadn’t discovered ‘music’ at this point. It wasn’t music that was my sanctuary, it was my books. I mean yes, I liked music. I still played the clarinet, I learnt some good Jazz peaces, some good classical pieces. But nothing I could ‘relate’ to.
Then I left primary school. I stood by and watched as people began to cry, hug, and tell each other goodbye. I didn’t cry. I wouldn’t miss this place. Because you know what my dad had asked me a few weeks before that day?
We had been sitting down at the dinner table. Dad on my left, Mum opposite me, Sophie (my sister) next to mum, opposite Dad. He turned to us, with a smile on his face, and asked, “How would you feel about going back to England?” I was ecstatic. I’d missed this place so bad - I know, England over Australia? Believe it or not, kiddos, England was definitely my favourite place (next to New Zealand).
But we weren’t going back to my old little village in the middle of Nowhere. We were moving to the big Metropolis, we were moving to London. London, of all places. But naturally, I was to be excited.
It wasn’t that good.
It took me weeks to find a school. I suppose, it was okay, when I walked in. We didn’t have ties, or blazers, or anything fancy like that. Polo shirts and jumpers, so there wasn’t much cause for me to mess it up and look like a posh prat, right?
Wrong. I walked in that day with a knee-length pleated skirt, white socks, and freaking buckle-up shoes. My hair was in a ponytail, scooped up in a headband, my fringe still falling into my eyes.
So people talked to me for about three days. After that, they realized... oh, we don’t like this girl. So guess what I did? Yup. If my past was anything to go by, I’d turned autopilot on - I went straight to the library, and there I remained for two years.
There were incidents within that time, of course. People did think I was weird, I knew that. Snide remarks followed me around, I remember shoving, some spitting. And then two ultimate blows just as I started year eight.
Dad left. Packed his bags in the middle of the night and left my family. I had to grow up too quickly. I wanted to have my breakdown, but I couldn’t. I had to take care of my mum, and my little sister, and I hated my dad. I think I would have had a breakdown... but I was numb. I’d shut everything down.
Then my Godfather died in a car crash. My sweet, funny, kind, lovely Godfather who was coming to visit in just a few weeks time. Now, I will never see him again. Sometimes, in the night, I still get teary because I do miss him.
I sort of shut down. I had to be put on medication because my moods began to get so bad. I was 13 when that happened.
There were wonderful times, of course; I met a couple of guys who were kind and funny in the year above me. For a small while, I felt like ‘things could get better’,
No. I was still a social hermit, I still liked to take my place in the library. But you know the awkward thing? These few guys would not leave me alone. I was annoyed at first, but now I am thankful beyond words. They actually made an attempt to communicate with me, so unlike many others in the school.
That’s sort of how I bonded with one of my two-closest-friends. I was reading, of course, and he just walked up to me, wearing a Misfits stud in his ear (epic already). He just walked up and introduced himself to me. I was thirteen, and he had just turned fifteen, one of the weird guys in the year above me.
I think that encounter sort of freaked me out, or else it semiconsciously encouraged me to actually go get a life. It made me realize that people did actually want to be around me. So I made an effort.
I was friendly with the girl who sat behind me in my French class, we’d been to the cinema together once or twice. You know why I liked her? Because she was a bit of a freak, too. So, who else did I decide to try and make friends with, but her?
And you wanna know the first question she asked me?
“Are you a Killjoy?”
Now, by this point, I did know who My Chemical Romance were. I had ‘The Black Parade’ album on my iPod, but I’ll admit I wasn’t deeply into them. I had barely listened to ‘Danger Days’, the Killjoy era. So after that day, I went home, and began to listen.
And I listened. How I listened. It took me about half a day to realise what I had been missing.
This was in year 9. Almost two years ago now. You know what happened after that day? I realized who I am.
In a way, the discovery of MCR didn’t ‘save me’, as such, that was my books. They kept me safe, but My Chemical Romance helped me realize what a huge wide world there was that I was missing, how much was out there that my stories couldn’t relay to me.
I think that if I hadn’t found these guys, I would have ended up something horrible. I would have been lead by society - perhaps I would have escaped the library on my own, but I would have been one of the girls that my friends and I now sit around and laugh at.
I saw my first concert a year ago - Escape The Fate and Funeral For A Friend. With that girl who sat behind me in French, who’s now one of my closest friends. I’ve met Black Veil Brides, seen Guns N Roses live, hell, I even saw McFly a few weeks ago. That was like being six years old again.
By no means am I saying my life has ‘got better’ because of My Chemical Romance. There are still zillions of problems; my best friend used to cut, another had anorexia. But you know something? We’ve had each other for a year and a half now. We help each other get over our problems.
We argue, of course. Just like every group of friends. I had an argument just a few weeks back. I still have problems, and breakdowns, and everything that normal teenagers have. You know why? Because I am only a teenager. I’ll be in my last year of school soon, ready to go to college in 2013. My life has barely begun, but I know that I’m happy with who I am now.
I’m not, as I tried, someone who listens to pop and rap, wearing short skirts and thick foundation. I’ll admit, I do have a tiny soft spot for Taylor Swift, and I know most of the words to One Direction’s ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ (Hey, don’t judge, I can’t help it.)
I made up with my Dad. I’m sitting on his sofa as I type this. He’s taking us to see an art exhibition later today. He bought me my first guitar a while back. I fangirl over bands with my best friends, we get ourselves kicked out of shops for being a nuisance. I wear far too much eyeliner.
But it’s who I am.
Music helped me realise that.