“For all the time that we spend on boys, we could have become Astrophysicists!” My roommate proclaims. Both having graduated with art degrees, I was a little perplexed.
I was in all-girl-schools from kindergarten up until the end of middle school, so I know a little bit about life without boys. I think back to the old days when boys weren’t a part of my environment. I was a pudgy anime geek who wore a retainer. I sat at the same table every lunch break with my equally geeky friends drawing comic books, obsessing about the new Limited Edition of Sailor Moon comics. It sounds unappealing now, but back then, I couldn’t have been happier. I also remember living in a boarding school, about thirteen years old, sleeping in the same room with six other girls and never talking about boys, unless they were coming from pages of Sugar magazines. Even then, I was so naive I didn’t really know what exactly I was supposed to swoon over.
Boys? What do they do?
Then the world shifted, I entered co-education.
Boys were everywhere. Suddenly, there were all these…creatures, running around with their crackling voices and they were looking at me funny. I didn’t know how I was supposed to feel about it. It seemed like my parents had overlooked the fact that I have been living on a completely different planet since I was 6 years old. Something told me I was supposed to look into it though, I mean, all the other girls were, the impressionable 14-year-old me couldn’t possibly help it.
I started having many unsuccessful crushes, mainly because I was awkward as hell and just pathetically hopeless. Then I started to obsess, about everything concerning boys and much less about everything else. The one thing that was never part of my life before became the only thing that existed. I became more and more of a boy-crazy wreck. The questions that I first proposed to myself went unanswered. It just changed from “what do they do?” to “how could I get one?”, like it was some kind of urgency for me to get boys to like me. At the time I didn’t know a lot, but I was sure about one thing: no boys like pudgy anime geeks. I had to make a change.
So, from unsuccessful crushes came unsuccessful relationships. I have on occasions lost sight of who I am, what I want and what I really need through the trails and errors of my relationships with boys. No one said it was ever going to be easy, so I never underestimated anything. I daydream about the 13-year-old me sometimes though; I guess I just miss my innocence, no matter how unrealistic it was to think that boys are never going to matter. But I’m happy to say that in ten years since the whole co-ed fiasco, I have proposed a new question to myself: what exactly am I looking for in them? I don’t think that I know exactly what it is just yet, being a late bloomer and all. However, after all the times I’ve put on lip-gloss for it, I have to hope that I’m getting closer.
I do have to give boys some credits, even after all the sleepless nights, painful obsessions and pleasure; through discovering them, I have also discovered me. Hopefully, it might even help me figure out what kind of a woman I am and wanting to be. From my first date at 15 to the last text message I received from a cute boy just a little over an hour ago, the giddiness stayed the same, however, something else has changed in me.
I have now happily embraced the anime geek that still lives and fantasize stories about fierce female superheroes. I have managed to make my way back to being who I originally was: the geek, just with a cuter outfit this time.