Saturday, 5 January 2013

"And in that moment, I swear we were infinite."

I'm not very good at writing about people I care about. I think it's because to do this, you have to attach a certain amount of emotion to your writing and that scares me because I think emotion is over-rated. I like to romanticise situations and over-exaggerate characteristics and although the people I care about are as colourful and magical as they come without my editing, it'd be unfair to try to alter their personalities just because I find it difficult to remain 'at one' with my feelings. Previously, I've tried to write like every single word has come straight from my heart, leaking onto the page through a papercut on the tip of my finger caused by a Proust novel, but despite my efforts, I can't help but press the 'backspace' button on my laptop keyboard. I don't know if this is because something about writing like this, this type of writing, sits uncomfortably with me or whether I'm scared of how the people I'm writing about are going to react to my honest, no-holding-back, warts and all technique of writing, when they're so used to seeing me tipsy from too many rum and cokes, using sarcasm as a method of protection, to prevent myself from letting my guard down. I still haven't worked out which...

After watching 'Perks of being a Wallflower', I've decided to give the unedited, honest style of writing a go to see whether I'm suddenly hit with the reason for hiding behind sarcasm, song lyrics and scattering John Lennon quotes throughout my writing. There's a line in the film (or book, if you're a longstanding POBAW fan and not just jumping on the bandwagon because Hermione from Harry Potter stars in the film) where Patrick says to Charlie "you see things. You keep quiet about them. And you understand. Welcome to being a wallflower." and when I heard this line, I knew I had to write. This line marks a form of initiation for Charlie into the group of 'wallflowers' and although my brain is slightly addled from too many cold and flu tablets, I understood exactly what that time of initiation is like; to be accepted by a group of people so effortlessly cool, deemed as 'misunderstood' by the rest of the world looking in because mentally, they're ahead of the game, with their music taste and their dress sense and the tattoos symbolising spirituality.

Throughout school and college, my group of friends were always seen as outcasts (or weirdos...); we listened to music people hadn't heard off, became vegans/vegetarians for fun and developed huge crushes on Hugh Grant. We merged as a group because we came together in all of our individuality, too young to really know what to do with this...power. Except back then, it wasn't a power and being individual wasn't necessarily seen as a good thing. However, when I look back now, I wouldn't change any of the fashion statements (the green hair and peace signs drawn on my face in lilac eyeliner), the music or the adventures that took place for the world because they prepared me to embrace the 'wallflower' title. But then I left college and entered reality and it became difficult to embrace the individuality. I soon realised that the 'real world' is less accepting than naive 14 year olds and originality tends not to be encouraged. I knew I wanted to be a writer but my little seaside town lacked the opportunity and in turn, the people lacked ambition and the ability to dream.

When I moved to London, I explored places like Camden and Hackney and watched, with wide eyes, how people embraced their wallflower titles, how they merged and that tiny wallflower became a bouquet of absolute beauty, fuelled not by fertiliser but by a shared aspiration. I so badly wanted to be apart of this culture, the culture keen to embrace one another's flaws and every single idea, the culture my small town so badly needed. Not long after this, I met the people to complete my bunch, the rest of the wallflowers who fit into my bouquet perfectly, the individuals with their own crazy ideas bigger than my own. It was as if the King of Individuality, David Bowie, just knew that we'd blossom together.
In turn, I've become a part of one of the greatest teams known to man; the IAmMusic.TV crew are unlike anybody else I've ever met. A bit like the Lost Boys and Peter Pan, we share this burning passion to change the world by using our powers/talents/minds for good, instead of evil.

We're the opposite of being wallflowers but being accepted into the IAmMusic.TV team, for me, felt a bit like how I imagine Charlie felt when the wallflowers gave him his initiation into their group. It is the greatest and most comforting feeling to know that whatever happens, you have a group of people willing to accept you for your flaws, your mentaliity and your passion. It's different to being part of a friendship group originating from school because you grow together within that sort of situation, whereas with the IAmMusic.TV team,we've already done the majority of our educating, seperately, and now we're just merging together to cram the last bits of knowledge we need in order to take over the world. We get each other, we understand every single person's mindset and there's nothing but support involved.
The confirmation of this for me was New Years Eve; the site has been live for just over a year and things are going well. IAmMusic.TV hold a live night, once a month, where the team get to hang out and put the world to rights over large quantities of alcohol and live music. Through these nights, we've come to know each other pretty well, we've seen each other drunk and we've swapped secrets. But New Years Eve was different. We said goodbye to 2012 and welcomed in 2013 huddled together on Tower Bridge. We made ridiculous memories, silly catchphrases and as the sun began to rise on January 1st 2013, we witnessed each other at our most vulnerable - with a fresh year ahead of us and brand new foundations to lay, realisation that we had already started to build our own empire, together, began to set in.

For me, I knew I had stumbled across something pretty special when I proceeded to vomit in the kitchen sink after too many vodka shots and after cleaning up, carried on dancing with the rest of the team. Nobody commented on the fact that I probably smelt a bit disgusting or that I couldn't handle my drink (to be fair, I totally can...just not vodka), we just carried on laughing and taking photos of a night none of us would remember in the morning. 

It's about knowing that I could admit to something really embarrassing or shameful and instead of being greeted with eyes full of judgement, I'll be greeted with a sarcastic comment, a hug and a glass of something really strong. It's about being surrounded by people who understand my stupid moods and yet still have my back. The people who let me make my mistakes, knowing I'll learn from them, as opposed to stopping me and stunting my emotional and mental development. Most of all, it's about knowing I can write this and the people I intentionally didn't name will know this is about them and instead of cringing at how honest this has been, how open this huge public display of affection is, they'll comment on my antics from New Years Eve or  another member of the team's confessions. 

These are the people I'm going to write about when I'm old and grey, the people I imagined meeting all those years ago when I felt like I couldn't possibly be the only person in the world to hate Rihanna, the people who make me be a better version of myself, the ones I couldn't imagine life without now. 

This might just be another story someday but I couldn't think of a group of people I'd rather write about.

“I think the idea is that every person has to live for his or her own life and then make the choice to share it with other people. Maybe that is what makes people "participate.” 


  1. You're not orginal. If you want to get anywhere with your writing try a new angle, drop the cliches.

    1. Throughout this blog,I've never once referred to my writing as original? Not every single piece of writing has to be to the standard of a newspaper publication, I'm human. I like the cliches in this, I don't like being told how to write. Isn't that what makes writing so fun, that everyone has a different style?

    2. Hey Victoria Hannah. Keep up the writing - you'll eventually find a style that suits you. The more you write, and the more you practice writing, the better you'll become at forming stories, ideas, characters and linguistic style.

    3. This is actually you know who - honestly, i agree with what anon's saying - you need to realise, that if you want to be a writer, especially in the wake of the amount of blogs there, you've got to have a standard above that of newspaper standard - the reason why people read blogs is because their disillusioned with newspapers, they want a fresh perspective that they can't find in print.

      Honestly, this is far from you're best. Write about the passion and the ecstasy.

      Respond to criticism constructively, don't just lash out at it and pain yourself with finding answers to it.

  2. Well I thought this was a great piece. I had recently written your opening quote in my copy of Perks of Being a Wallflower and gave it to my friend as it's such a wonderful book. Don't listen to people who can't even bear to attach their own name to their petty ideas. xx

  3. Victoria, this is bloody brilliant. People forget that you're only nineteen with a head on your shoulders which is far wiser than your years. You write with clarity and poignancy, a rarity for those of your age.

    To the people giving criticism, if it was constructive, it might be useful, but for someone to simply say.

    'Honestly, this is far from you're best...'

    I appreciate that people are entitled to their opinions, but I would respect their opinion more greatly if they were able to use the correct 'your' within their poorly constructed sentences.

    Also, by justifying yourself you aren't lashing out at all, writing is such a personal thing, it's yours, not theirs.