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When I was 16 I decided I wanted to be Hayley from Paramore. Not in a serious way, more like a day-dreaming in pre-calculus as an angsty teenager who feels trapped by suburbia kind of way. I knew I was never going to be Hayley, but thinking I was Hayley gave me the sort of temporary escape that I desperately needed to pass pre-calculus.
I don’t even know why I got into Paramore. I only listened to Brittany Spears, showtunes and Santana up until this point in my life. My taste in music was very sub-par. It must have been Jillian.
Jillian is my longtime friend/former roommate/jewish sister from another mister. She and I started hanging out in the ninth grade. The first time we “hung out” we went to the mall and I dragged her to the home appliance section of Macy’s to stare at the coffee maker’s I dreamed I would have in my very own apartment one day. (Which incidentally I did get when I lived with Jillian in college).
Anyway, Jillian liked emo-pop music and invited me to the My Chemical Romance concert in 10th grade. I wore a pink blouse, everyone else was wearing black. This was my first exposure to the scene.
Then we started hanging out with these guys in a band. Paramore became popular and Hayley was like the only mainstream female vocalist of an emo-pop band. Naturally, I decided I wanted to be just like her.
So I brought this idea up to the friend in the band on another typical Saturday at the mall.
“X, I think you guys should start a new band. I’ll be Hayley from Paramore. You can be my back-up. What do you think?” I said.
Keep in mind the only singing I did was in the high school choir and I was barely audible.
I’ve got a tight grip on reality,
But I can’t let go of what’s in front of me here.
I don’t know what he said. Probably something stupid (like most teenage boys).
But then, like Summer Roberts and Meredith Grey before her, my desire to be Hayley eventually faded.
Every once in a while, though, I’ll hear a Paramore song and my days at the Warped Tour and snooping around Hot Topic come back to me.
Like today while I was at work and a new song off Paramore’s new album started playing on Pandora. Instantly I was taken back to my teenage days, which seemed so far away from the sensible black slacks and conservative sweater I was wearing today. Briefly, if only a moment, my dream had come true again – I was Hayley.
Then I thought. I’m only 21! I don’t need to hang it up yet. I have weekends. I’m still fun!
So we made some outfits that will bring out the Hayley in you.
There’s a song on Paramore’s new album Paramore called “Grow Up.” Some of the lyrics go like this:
Lady I don’t want your pity
So don’t feel sad for me
I got a love I would die for and a song to sing
Maybe we’re both just living out our dreams
Are we living out our dreams? Or do we still need to work on it?
Maybe we’re all just living out our teenage dreams in some twisted way.