Got that right.
I am semi-bedridden and trying to overcome the unrelenting numbness that comes with the Annual Winter Break Netflix Binge, so what better time to blog? No better time, I say.
Ever since the autumn of my senior year of high school, I have been painfully aware of my age and the inevitability of it increasing. At that time, I experienced what I would call a “pre-quarter life crisis,” which was largely comprised of fits of tears and a short-lived but passionate rejection of our college-going culture. I freaked out because I could see quite clearly the dark and dreary end of my youth and, let’s be real, I’m pretty severely nearsighted. It was coming. I was sure of it. And submitting to the idea of “growing up” would only put the process in fast-forward.
Over the two years since that November, similar “crises” have occurred. When my roommates and I started searching for apartments and putting down deposits last spring, I literally had to come home and sob to my parents because I was like, “nope… nope. TOO REAL.” Leases are for adults, just like taxes and dinner parties and minivans with pop-out DVD players. I didn’t – and I still don’t, sometimes – feel like I was capable of being a fully-functioning adult. I started seeing my life as this trajectory, this exponential graph of sorts, going up and up and up and never coming back down again. It’ll level out eventually, but the line never hits the same point twice. I’ll never get to be a six-year-old rolling down a grassy hill in the sunshine again. I’ll never be a nineteen-year-old lying in bed with a stomachache again. I only get to go forward – actually, I have to go forward. Unless there’s some crazy scientific breakthrough in the next sixty or seventy years, I’m pretty much committed to this forward-moving, never-stopping life.
Sometimes I feel the time-crunch. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I chastise myself for not being completely on top of things, or not being completely sure of myself. Sometimes I remind myself that I have the rest of my life to be mature and sophisticated, to iron my clothes and talk on the phone with ease. All of the time, though, I am aware of my fading childhood, my looming adulthood.
Not too long ago, I watched this movie I had been wanting to see for quite awhile. The Lifeguard, starring Kristen Bell who is adorable and loves sloths. It popped up on Netflix, and I was like YES, this movie is going to comfort me and give me the hope that will guide me through my twenties. The premise is that this 29-year-old girl has a quarter-life crisis and returns to her hometown, and I thought the overarching message of the movie would be “it’s okay to freak out about becoming an adult, and you’ll be okay!!!!!!!!” with exactly that many exclamation points. Uhhhh I was wrong. The movie was awful (except for the way it was filmed, which was lovely) and void of all hope. Kristen Bell’s character just waltzes into town, sleeps with a high-schooler, and almost breaks up a couple marriages. I don’t even remember how it ends because I was so pissed off. And, unsurprisingly, a little discouraged.
And then a couple weeks ago, another movie about a quarter-life crisis that I’d been wanting to see for awhile appeared on Netflix: Frances Ha. Just by comparing the ratings (92% vs. 13%, respectively), you know Frances Ha is going to be significantly better. And it so is. Greta Gerwig’s Frances is quirky and certainly afraid of all the same things I’m afraid of, but she turns out okay. Further, even, she submits to some of the ideas of adulthood, but she still ends up happy and able to maintain at least some facet of her youthfulness (without wrecking other peoples’ lives… cough cough KRISTEN). It just made me waaay more chilled-out about the next decade or so of my life, possibly even excited? We will see. 🙂
I guess this could all be summed up as so: life is weird, I think too much, and watch Frances Ha. Also, oddly enough, both movies feature a different daughter of Meryl Streep. Looks like Grace wins this round, Mamie.
OH. Also. I’ve spent a lot of my life romanticizing the idea of Peter Pan and Neverland and, predictably, never growing up. But then I started reading the actual book not too long ago, and I realized Peter Pan is kind of a conceited asshole. So there’s that.
Okay. Done now.