I just finished watching this weeks episode of Girls, the show I’m sure that if you haven’t watched you’ve at least heard of. I have seen a lot of blog posts already about it, many of them slamming Hannah and the fact that this week did not involve anyone but Hannah. Many people were calling her childish, lonely, a poor example (re: quitting her job so easily and sleeping with a man who doesn’t know her name), etc, etc.
I finished watching it and felt all at once sad and greatly uplifted.
One of the last scenes of this week, Hannah is sitting in bed with her old man pseudo-boyfriend and she lets loose all of these things on her mind. At one point she says to him, “I want what everyone wants, I want all the things. I just want to be happy.”
He, forty-two and confused, just kind of says, “Well of course you do.”
She goes on to say much more than that, about trying to experience all of these things and feel all that she can so that she can relay it back, to help other people, or to be a real twenty-something in the world and how exhausting this is. I don’t know if I’ve ever watched a scene in a show that so perfectly encapsulated so many people I know.
I don’t know why, but I would say that many people I know are afraid to admit that they want to be happy. Don’t get me wrong, we are all about having fun with our friends, meeting new people, experiencing things that make us happy. What we are afraid to admit is that we want to be loved, that we want to own a house, own a car, have two dogs, kids, and a decanter. Admitting that one day we might want to give up our rompers, whiskey, and weed for a life of capri pants, Merlot, and Advil liqui-gels (not for a hang over), is for some reason synonymous with saying, “I am the anti-Christ.”
It isn’t even just happiness, either. We are all going through life, pretending we aren’t really feeling much or that the things that are hurting us, aren’t. So many of us are afraid to scream, to cry in public, to look at someone and say, “What you just said hurt me and I need you to stop.” It’s like we are all doing exactly what Hannah said she was doing in her show, we are trying to absorb all of these experiences and keep them, ready to give back somehow or to experience everything to its fullest.
I just think it was so important for Lena Dunham to broadcast to the world that at one point we all sit there and pretend that we don’t want all of the things that everyone says we should want. I think it’s also important for us to be told that it is okay. Being a twenty-something in this world is hard, as I am sure it was hard in the nineties, the eighties, and every other decade for the same reasons with maybe a few adjustments. It is even harder if we don’t even feel like we are allowed to feel things, to let things out, and to really say what we want.
I think what we all need to know is that it is okay to want what we want and to not want what we are said to want. It is okay to be happy, it is okay to get whatever it is that will make you happy. It is also okay to cry, to get mad, to stand up for yourself in every situation. It is okay to tell someone to not touch you like that because it hurts, to say to yourself that you are beautiful and to believe it, to tell your friend that she needs to treat herself better or else you wont be able to listen to her tell the same story about some guy again and again.
I will tell you this right now: I want a house, a dog, and instead of a decanter a really sweet highball set (with a really sweet cocktail recipe up my sleeve. Probably involving whiskey because hey, old habits die hard). I want a husband who loves me and who listens to me. I want to love him and listen to him too. I don’t know if I want children and I am okay with that right now. I have time.
Oh, and right now, I am pretty fucking happy with my friends, my family, the way I look without makeup and the fact that I could do to lose ten pounds but I don’t really want to.
And I am okay with that.