It seemed weirdly epic, Sunday night, to be sitting in the dark in K's apartment, binge-watching Season 5 of Girls in preparation for that night's premiere of the final season. Back in 2013 I wrote about feeling like an 'emerging adult' as I handed in my master's thesis on the show, and now, in 2017, more endings and more beginnings are emerging for me. It's been 3.5 years since leaving Denmark, a year with K, 3 years at Twitter, 3 months since leaving, 3 weeks since the Trump era has begun. So much has changed since that blog post, and yet I still find myself wanting to find some full-circle niceties on which to judge the interim.
still self-satisfied, always wanting more
Like Hannah, Marnie, Jessa, and Shoshanna's world, my circumstances have changed and I'm older, but the patterns of progress and closure still feel messy. Unlike them, though, I hope (to god) I've evolved more than they have. Marred by immaturity, obliviousness, and lack of self-awareness, the girls of Girls are just barely adults after 6 years, yet I keep watching the train wreck for the few, sublime moments of heart that Lena Dunham pulls off. What continues to fascinate me about the storytelling of the show is that the characters, while perhaps caricatures of people, are inexorably who they are. This is different from saying they know who they are, but they chase after some vision of what they want, at all costs. This kind of storytelling is bold; it may diverge from realism into satire, but there's a certain steadfast adherence to depicting the messiness of emerging adulthood in the show's style, stories, protagonists, and comedy that I admire.
It would do me well, in this time in my life, to appreciate that I may not ever be done, baked, out of the oven. I want to remember my former appreciation of the process, not outcome, of adulthood, as I described in the blog post. It's hard to remember, much less accept, that change can feel like crisis, loss, or adventure, and that curiosity eschews closure. These notions are hard for us as we settle into our adult lives, where bank account zeros and career achievements and personal milestones start to feel more like must-haves than guidelines. But believing in the process (especially creatively) means taking risks, and this gets harder as we start to decide, 'well, this is it, this is my life.'
Today, though, on a walk in the sun with icicles dripping off roofs and a podcast in my ear, I vowed to remember my potential to change for the better. Instead of nostalgia for the grad school days of being broke and wistful, I'm choosing to see the past three years as a continuation of emergence into that flow of adulthood. My Danish may be rusty but I'm fluent in queer. I may not long to see all the movies all the time, but maybe I've consumed enough stories to know how to tell a good one someday. We'll just have to see how it plays out.