I can honestly say that yesterday may have been one of the best nights of my life.
After a long morning and afternoon working on stem cells and cerebral organoids (growing brains in a dish), I had arrived home exhausted. I opened my wadrobe searching for the perfect outfit for a night out with a friend from 5th grade. It was only then did I realise that it had been a long time since I had looked at my clothes and decided ‘I want to look good for myself. No one else. But myself.’
There is so much media out there now pushing the two extremes of ideas of beauty. ‘Be skinny and thin.’ vs. ;’Be comfortable with your own image, however you look.’ Even though I thought that I had always been leaning towards the latter, I had never felt the scale actually tip towards it until tonight.
I put on my favourite dress because I wanted to. I put on bright red lipstick because I wanted to.
The night flew by with conversations filled with laughter, thin crust pizza, and strawberry cheesecakes, but after all that, we were greeted by a beautiful sunset telling us that the night had only just begun. We arrived at the Millbank tower and entered into a relatively empty dance floor, lit up with red, green and blue lights, accompanied by the dotted spots of colour glowing from the headphones comfortably sitting on the heads of the keen few who have already started dancing away the night.
We were given a set of headphones, and taught about how to switch between the three channels each controlled by a different DJ. Although the concept may seem weird, not being able to talk, or rather, shout over the usual loud music filling the dance floor, not feeling the throbbing rhythm from the room usually created by the loud pounding speakers. But instead what you get is off-tune-without-a-care-singing, a connection created from like music taste with a stranger, and a lot of carefree dancing.
The best moments happened when the majority of the dance floor had all synced to one channel, playing out a massive sing-a-long. Where if you were to take off your headphones for a few moments, the lyrics and tune would be filled with singing voices all around you.
What made the night just that tad little more magical was bumping into a friend whom that morning I had skyped, saying ‘we really ne ed to meet up soon’. From then, we had danced the night away, fending off boys, specifically the same one boy, from our little dance circle and having fun. I guess what this experience made me realise was that I had always been a little more self-concious than I’d like to admit. I seem to care about what songs I did or didn’t know, and I worry about the way I look, the way I dance, how much I drink or don’t drink.
Tonight. I was finally completely comfortable in my own skin.
After a long night and painful ankles, I had returned home for a warm shower and snuggled into the warmth and comfort of my blankets, ready to sleep when I had received a snapchat call. A close friend.
This ‘little’ chat had lasted till 4am in the morning, and just as we had done many times before. Sharing emotions and stories with nothing but 100% honesty. No masks or screens. Completely ourselves. We talked about friendships, we talked about parties, we talked about the end of the first year of university. And. Crushes.
I don’t think I’ve ever described how I felt about someone as a crush since Year 9. A crush to me is the feeling of butterflies in your stomach when you see their messages, feeling of longing for a romantic romantic comedy storyline when watching movies, and the feeling of naive, pure, and almost silly giddiness when their name is mentioned. Though I think it’s been too long since I had been able to distinguish infatuation with a person compared to the idea of being in a relationship.
Maybe you were reading this hoping to find out who my crush is. Good try.
Instead, just as I had told my friend in the early morning, I actually think I’m going to let it go. Maybe my crush’ll read this, completely oblivious that I was talking about him, or maybe he’d wonder whether or not it could be him. But either way, I have stem cells and growing brains in a dish to worry about. So for now, I’ll just leave my feelings along. And let a friendship stay a friendship.