Lady Bird

“We’re afraid that we will never escape our past. We’re afraid of what the future will bring. We’re afraid we won’t be loved, we won’t be liked. And we won’t succeed.” – Lady Bird (2017)

I watched this film the other day, and I have to say that it resonated with me a lot, and it also got me thinking about the condition of being a teenager. I sound like I’m ancient when I say that; I’m not, I promise.

When I was a teenager, I often felt like I was trapped. I was being told what I needed to do, where I should be, where I should be going, and what would happen if it didn’t go to plan. I felt like it was suffocating. I felt like I wanted to do a Sally Bowles in Cabaret; go and stand under a railway bridge, wait for a train, and then scream as loudly as I could as one went overhead. But there were no railway tracks in my town.

Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird

I wanted to be something, go somewhere, do everything. And I was so frightened that I wasn’t going to be able to. It wasn’t that I wanted to be famous or something like that; I wasn’t opposed to the idea if it came as part of the baggage of doing something, but I just wanted to be sure my life was going to mean something. It felt like my skin didn’t fit, and that I had no idea how to be comfortable in it.

I don’t really know when the shift happened, and when it didn’t it wasn’t all that seismic (because if it was surely I would know when it did – if that makes any sense?). It’s not that now I don’t want to be something, go somewhere, and do everything; it’s that I am happy with the idea that my life actually doesn’t mean anything. It’s not supposed to, and there is an immense amount of comfort in that.

I think as you grow up you become more aware of how things work. That’s just common sense. In my post regarding Antonia Pozzi I considered that the reason I didn’t write poetry before was because it takes time to actually experience the things that make the words have meaning to them.

I’ve still got a lot of growing up to do, and a lot of ageing to do. As each year passes I feel more and more comfortable with who I am and what I am. Teenagers are full of this nervous energy, which gradually seems to uncoil as the years go on, and for that I can only be grateful.

One thought on “Lady Bird

Leave a Reply