Ok, hate is a strong word and I apologize for it but I couldn’t think of a creative title. My creativity and critical thinking skills have been low for the past two years.
I don’t hate her because I don’t know her. I will admit that I can’t help but be jealous of her. She’s 26. She’s a writer. Her looks aren’t up to “beauty standards.” She has a $2 million book deal. She’s considered by some to be “the voice of her generation” MY generation. Her character on Girls lives in a hip city and apparently rent free. The guy she was only supposed to be sleeping with but ended up falling in love with and then breaking up with, desperately wants her back.
I am 26. I hope to be a writer. My BMI says I’m obese but I really think I carry that weight on my ass, trust me, it also doesn’t help that I’m not technically five feet. My fitness instructor told me I look good, so fuck you BMI. But I am prone to bouts of Chicken Mcnugget sadness at least once or twice a month. Nobody pays me to write. In fact, I think some of my friends would pay me to stop writing. My only claim to fame is having a poem published in a college literary journal where they messed up my spelling. It was only a two sentence poem and it still bugs the shit out of me. I’m the voice of a generation of slackers, self titled. I live with my parents in a non hip city. Rent free though! That often comes with a price like my mom walking in while I’m changing my underwear (Ama!) or finding condoms and crying about it. Which, in my defense is actually a funny story. I had some condoms that a friend gave me and at the time I was new to sex. I opened the condom because I was curious and was analyzing it to see if it would be a suitable condom for future use (not that one but the brand.) I heard my sister calling me and I freaked out and threw the condom under my bed. I have a teenage tendency to sweep everything that I don’t want to clean under my bed and since my parents still rule everything around me, my dad would constantly nag about the mess under my bed. So, my mom tired of his nagging decided to do me a favor. That’s when she found out her daughter was unholy. It was also about the time she started to constantly ask where I was going, with who I was going and why I was going. Something I had never been accustomed to, not even as a teenager. With that said, the guy I was only supposed to be sleeping with but who I ended up falling in love with and who I broke things off with doesn’t want anything to do with me. In the beginning yes. I was secretly delighted to hear his voice break and to hear him cry at the thought of us not being in each others life. And then we secretly started to talk again and then came the day where we both met up with our mutual friends and I drank too much so he drove my car home and I started to cry, drunk. Because that’s the best time to cry. So after berating him with insults and then acting like a drunk victim, he asked “Where do we stand now?” “I hate you! That’s where we stand.” And those were the last words we ever spoke. It’s been a little over a year now. Sometimes I’ll scout web cams to see if he’s written songs about me. I’m just kidding, he didn’t write songs nor was he social on the internet.
That is why I am jealous of Lena Dunham and her fictional self, Hannah. I realize that is really petty and vain but I cannot help it. I didn’t even factor in that she probably had sweet connections or that she grew up “privileged.” No, that’s been said too much. I’m jealous because, dammit I am!
But, unlike Hannah (and I’m only judging from a few episodes from Season 1) I am incredibly self reflective. She’s a writer and most writers are self reflective but I don’t ever see her acknowledging how lucky she is. Maybe she has now, I don’t know? She lives in New York, unemployed and on her own! Come on. Can’t she move back with her parents? For my sake. Please.
I do realize that none of my basic needs are missing. Despite the superficial parts of living at home, (not being able to be naked and being told to clean your room at 26) I’m incredibly grateful to my parents. My dad and I aren’t the closest and we share the same stubborn attitude that keeps us from bonding. He often asks what the hell I am doing with my life and if I ever plan to move on from my meaningless little jobs. I seldom share any aspect of my life with my dad. He has no idea of the dozens of jobs I’ve applied to, the dozens of interviews I’ve been in and out of for the past year or the deep depression I felt at being hired as a Bookmobile assistant (no joke, I had daydreams about this) and then having that job cut the week I was supposed to start. I share none of this with him because I know somehow it will be my fault but I’ve learned to be patient. It’s incredibly frustrating but slowly I’m explaining to him that, well, both my Plan A and Plan B in life are career paths that always bear the grunt of cuts during tough economic times but passion is my driving force.
“Will that pay your bills?” he asks.
My bills, lets not even get into that!
It’s hard not to feel a little bit (or a lot) of envy when I see someone my age getting all these awards, accolades and money for something that in my biggest egotistical moments think, I can do better. Ok, I can’t direct or write a script but I am awesome at self deprecating humor. I do have a problem with eating cupcakes while nude. I don’t think I could do that. I would probably start crying. It’s hard not to feel envy when I have $150 worth of bills to pay the first half of the month and my weeks check was $34. I had the flu, I had to call off! That realization comes with bouts of reflective anger. My bills are a representation of all the wrong ways I’ve tried to fill my inadequacies and voids. I am 26 now and Forever 21 makes me feel ancient and oddly wiser. I seldom shop now a days. But I said lets not get into my bills.
I’m sorry Lena Dunham and fictional Hannah. You are the voice of a particular generation. I do admit that when Hannah tried breaking things off with Adam and she was baring her soul to him, I cried. I cried because I related. I cried for all the dumb mistakes that smart women make. But you’re not the voice of my generation. You don’t represent the varying narratives of my generation. I guess I was just envious that people like me or people like my friends, who have struggled on their own, are seldom represented. People like us seldom have a “voice.” People like us are druggies, drunks, gang bangers, maids, welfare moms, anchor babies, and the most confusing stereotype, lazy. That’s very true for me though, I am very lazy but I am just a product of American culture (hehe.) People like us are brown, Mexican, Hispanic, Latin, Chicano, bi-racial and second hand American. People like us are self aware slackers who are trying to mend the past, products of broken families that didn’t deter goals of distinguished degrees, activists whose passion still reminds us that progress isn’t over, war veterans that echo a silent pain that we are more comfortable ignoring. We are the untold narratives of a floating generation that is caught between high speed technological advancements and a Bill Clinton era Pepsi Generation nostalgia that led us to believe that our 20’s would be magical. We’re caught in a Boccioni painting. Frozen but brushed with anxiety, painted with madness at the speed of the future. Maybe that’s just me? I don’t know, I’m pained like that.
It’s ok Lena Dunham, you do what you gotta do. I can’t hate, even though I am the worlds number one hater, but deep down inside I don’t hate. Deep down inside I know, I hope, that one day the universe will let my voice be heard. One day, I’ll finally have all my shit together because I know it’s really up to me. Procrastination and wrong priorities were really my issues not shows on HBO or some famous person I’ve never met. It’s easy to direct envy and hate to forces outside myself. It’s been an incredibly brutal journey being honest with myself but necessary if I am to move forward.
I guess I should have named this, How Lena Dunham Helped Me Get My Groove Back.