“So… About Lena Dunham… ”
Yeah, that’s how all conversations about Girls ever started before. Circa my college years majoring in creative writing I never watched Girls, even though my boyfriend has always been low-key addicted to the show. He would ask me over and over to watch with him and when I would snap “NO! I DON’T WANT TO!” he would naturally ask why.
When you are majoring in creative writing, you already feel like the odd one out at the party that is life–people do not take you very seriously. Me in college? INSANELY serious, overcompensating-serious to the point where I would tear classmate’s essays apart in red ink and literally write notes saying “Your misspellings are A WASTE OF MY TIME, spellcheck??” in the margins. Said classmates, and professors alike, would begin avoiding and ignoring me at readings and department events.
Girls was the antitheses of what I felt I wasn’t during those years–I was serious about my budding writing career, Girls was not. I had to work my ass off to pay for my apartment at a minimum wage job in Chicago, Hannah Horvath was put up by her parents FOR YEARS post-college when the first episode of Girls kicked off.
But the biggest issue I had with Girls overall was simply the fact that Hannah Horvath reminded me too much of myself and my own internal, quiet fears–and that scared the living shit out of me. I didn’t want to be broke, lost and unsure of my future like Hannah was on the show.
Okay, I lied–the 2nd biggest issue to me was that, unfortunately, women are always harder on other women, especially in their field when they feel (unjustifiably) threatened. It’s not easy for me to admit, but I definitely judged Lena Dunham before I even watched a single minute of Girls for no good reason other than wanting to be an uppity snob.
Fast forward two years and I am indeed broke, willingly underemployed but feeling oddly positive and at peace. I began watching Girls a few months ago and started to see what I was always meant to see–holy shit, I’m not alone. Holy shit, I’m stuck somewhere between being a kid asking her mom to fill out her FAFSA and being an adult and actually making decisions bigger than myself when it comes to my family, relationship and career.
Even in Season 3 when I was so beside myself loathing the characters–all of them were pretty shitty at that point–I couldn’t help but empathize, even with the ugly selfish parts of the girls.
I started reading Not That Kind of Girl (which I remember everyone feverishly talking shit about in think-pieces online upon publication) and yeah, the writing is still growing but it makes me feel comforted, like the writing I choose to chase after in my life can take any shape that it wants. Even if I can’t follow Lena’s relationships or get a bit lost in plots, I also start laughing like crazy at random footnotes she writes and can’t help but pick up my own laptop everyday to begin writing this lil’ blog again. Reading her reminds me of the joy that I feel at my purest core when writing.
Lena Dunham is actively helping me bridge the gap into my creative self actualization (which will be a long road ahead, but hey) and I couldn’t be more grateful for the fact that she is simply here doing what she does, pissing people off for it, making me laugh and inspiring me every. Single. Day.
P.S. I even submitted an essay to Lenny Letter because I’ve become so addicted to reading the Girls’ tribe work. Wish me luck!!