Musings and Mirth
I found this story via a good friend on Facebook. Cassie Boorn sent out calls to older women to write letters to their twenty year old selves. Some highlights were then posted on Mental Floss:
- “Speaking of money, way to not have a credit card yet, that is a good move. Although, seriously: you have no concept of managing money in any kind of real way. That’s going to suck in a few years when you do get a credit card, and aren’t as good as you should be about paying off the balance.”
- “You look like a damn model. Enjoy that concave stomach and stop being self-conscious about your body.”
- “As for prince charming, thanks for believing that he exists. When you meet him, don’t be surprised if he doesn’t appear to be much more than a friend at first.”
- “You didn’t develop your character because you did everything right. As that rickety old woman told once you,flowers grow in the valley, not the mountaintop. And you have to walk through the valley to get back up there.”
All of them, pearls of wisdom, my friends. I have so much to say to my 20 year-old self. I realized, though, that saying it is one thing. Hearing it at 20 is a whole different thing. Imagine, for instance, what Lindsay Lohan has been hearing from people, and how she’ll look back on her 20s. What we don’t realize as young women is that there is time ahead for the things we seem to want now. We also don’t appreciate what we have. So I wanted to write a letter to see what would come out, knowing that I probably wouldn’t have listened back then. Because, you know, we all knew everything already, right?
Here is a pic of me around that age:
As I move through my 45th year, I am seeing so many things more clearly. Life seems a lot less complex than it did twenty years ago. And yet, the older I get, the more nostalgic I feel for my youth. I am bathing in a cliche. I have been watching films from the early ’80s and I have been remembering what it feels like to be desired the way only young women are. But it isn’t just that — it’s the energy, hope and life force one feels when they’re just starting out. It came with a whole bunch of neurosis. This is the ugly truth of it. In most ways, it is better to be older.
Some young women really remind me of what it felt like to be a young woman – and though I have no idea what will happen to them as they age – they seem to capture the swagger, the sexual confidence, the vulnerability and the child-like wonder of being a woman between the ages of 20 and 25. At that time in my own life I already felt old. I had no idea, really, who I was and how temporary it would all be.
If I could impart this to young women I would: it doesn’t last. Enjoy the flame while it burns.
The women that remind me of those days are:
And especially Daisy Lowe
I realized that my addiction to my iPhone is supreme and profound when I was late for a screening yesterday. I had run upstairs three times to “find it” and of course never did. I had no idea where it was. Driving out to Burbank without it was a palm-sweating experience. It’s like going out without any underwear on. The feeling was the same, even if the potential for public humiliation was nowhere near.
I wasn’t sure if I would be able to watch Fast Times with my twelve year old daughter. She can handle a lot — but Fast Times is, well, pretty fast. My feeling, though, is that the sooner she is aware of the way things can be around her fellow teen the better. That doesn’t mean I didn’t tell her to shield her eyes from a couple of scenes. There are maybe three of four that simply can’t be watched.
But a few things struck me while watching this very great film. You would never see a movie today where a character gets an abortion and walks away worse for wear but still okay. You just wouldn’t see it. Things have changed so dramatically in our culture that abortion in a mainstream Hollywood film would not be acceptable.
The other thing that struck me was that the girls didn’t look like porn stars or strippers. They looked like girls. Regular girls. Kind of pretty but not ridiculous about it or anything. Well, maybe Phoebe Cates…
These have to be Photoshopped. Megan Fox at the premiere of Jonah Hex looking like she’s worried about something: