Ever since I started university, I've been desperately trying to be a party girl. I’ve failed numerous times, and my friends are pleading with me to throw in the towel. 

Because high school was a terror, I made a silent vow to use my restlessness appropriately (and therefore avoid the straitjacket) and channel it on the dance floor, with the lights ceaselessly wild and beautiful.

Like many girls, I've been deceived to an astonishing degree by movies and TV shows. I’ve been lied to about the glorious years of high school, about the green-eyed boy on the football team kissing you in a secret dark room, and the both of you going hot in the head. I’ve been told about the nonsense of the heart, and the eyes that longingly stare into one another from across the walking throng of people in the hallway. The struggles teenagers go through in movies, in the correct lighting, at the correct angle, seemed to me so viciously beautiful. But high school, as many of us discover, isn't very pretty. There is acne and hyperpigmentation, mindless boys that never say the right thing, and so much nonsense; it's just four years that let you down. Betrayed by the lie, frowning with cold eyes at my Zoom graduation, I wanted revenge.

And there begins my quest to be a party girl. Now, I can’t quite declare the journey a failure since technically the journey isn’t quite over. From the discussion I’ve had with friends, though, it’s a popular belief that the chances of me achieving that goal are slim. If I were a gambler, I'd be impoverished on the street, ruined. 

But I hunger like a dog to be a party girl. My tongue is practically wagging out of my mouth wanting it so.

Here lies the issue. I hate parties, gosh I hate them. But something in the depth of me calls for it and I bitterly blame movies. I would love to love parties. I am trying desperately to love parties, but at the first lick of music, I become cold; I frown and something acidic rises in me. I become afraid of everyone, and I hope everyone has become afraid of me so I can be left alone. I crave for a party and immediately as I step inside the cacophony of sound and gestures, I want home. 

The parties I've always dreamed of as a kid would be dazzling fun. I so badly want it to be fun. But how in the world does that happen? Does the fun jump out when you’re trying not to mess up a conversation with a too-tall or too-short stranger? Is the fun suddenly felt on the dance floor where you’re attempting to move your hips and not look ridiculous in the process? Does the enjoyment come from the bitterness of the alcohol and the awkward smile you can’t help but have on? Is fun the red-eyed men hunting you from across the room? How do you do the fun? Is it like sparking a fire, attempting and attempting and attempting until one day, when you least expect it, it suddenly flares up?

Why does the fun never make a home in my body like it does in everyone else's body? 

Desperate, I would stare at the pretty girls in the thick of the dance floor. I would lean against a wall trying to melt in the shadow. This pattern is known and despicable to me. I would gaze at these beautiful girls with so much tenderness and envy, I wanted to bite their heads off. But even more, I wanted to join them and be part of their shared warmth.

I want what those people have. I want the dim light of the room and the air clouded with smoke. I want to sway like that in the haze, sweating and smiling, my clothes sticking to me, my skin on my girlfriend's skin and our hair swinging at our backs. I want to twirl and laugh and jump to the beat of the music, carefree and indifferent. What I wouldn't give to be this happy in the crowd, to feel such a belonging, such excitement, but all the while I’m praying to God to get me out of here.