Writing a play for high school girls. I have massive writer’s block, which is odd for me. But also, I’m just really grossly burnt out. I so don’t deserve to be. I just had fall break. This morning Ro stopped at home for a mid-morning cig and we sat on the back porch, her in work clothes, me in an over-sized Cosby sweater. It was like a game—“What stresses you out? This is what stresses me out.” And then we died laughing because we’re 20somethings just hanging out at 10 AM on a Thursday. How bad could it be? I mean, we recognized that, but then we paused, and all the grey stuff still hung over.
So, this writer’s block. High school girls. I plunged into some prime material: my old LiveJournal. It was just so sad. I mean, even when I was happy, it was still sad. This puddle of gloom, of “What will happen after this? This is all so fleeting.” College had umbrella’d since I was twelve. I clicked through other friends’ journals. None updated since 2006, 7. These kids stuck in cyberspace. And they were sad. So sad. Just like me! Girls I loved, girls I didn’t, girls I envied, girls who envied me. None of us were that different. But in each piddly little entry was a kind of hope. A hope that the writer was young and knew more was to come. Twinge of nostalgia for high school sure to end, but a feeling of relief that soon the confusion was over, the sad sack days were numbered.
Honestly, I liked high school, but I also grew up surrounded by TV and movies assuring me that growing up is supposed to feel like hell. At times it did, but that was apparently norms. College is more the mystery. Everyone I know went through some form of depression in college. But it wasn’t cute anymore. It's just wrong. "No one is supposed to feel this way anymore," you think. But deep down you know everybody does and this time it never ends.
Lena Dunham said in an interview last year that she created Girls to explore just what is wrong with youth culture. No one ever says they are happy when asked sincerely. For a while I took this as a challenge to be genuinely happy, and I think I was. I think I am. But it’s weird that the word “think” is in there.