I still go to a party and say something embarrassing to someone, and then write them a weird e-mail about it the next day, and then write them a text because I think they didn't get the e-mail. No matter what happens with your level of success, you still have to deal with all the baggage that is yourself.
When you're writing a script you have the option to embellish on life or switch the order of events or make it generally more cinematic. I would stick too closely to my own experience and not necessarily think about the fact that it needs to have an event happen. Realising that I could channel my own experience into a story that was slightly more cinematic was a very important moment for me - allowing myself to accept that the kind of screenwriting I'm doing is a work of fiction.
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I feel like there are fifty ways it's my fault. I fantasized. I took the big pill and the small pill, stuffed myself with substances to make being out in the world with people my own age a little easier. To lessen the space between me and everyone else. I was hungry to be seen. But I also know that at no moment did I consent to being handled that way.
A month into the semester, I would start showing up twenty minutes late to class again. The rewards weren't enough to keep me on task, and life got in the way. My mind wandered to the future, postcollege, when I'd create my own schedule that served my need to eat a rich snack every five to fifteen minutes. As for the disappointment written across the teacher's face? I couldn't, and wouldn't, care.
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I have only touched one other computer at my friend Marissa's house, and found the experience disconcerting. There was something sinister about the green letters and numbers that flashed on the screen as the computer booted up, and I hated the way Marissa stopped answering questions or noticing me the second it was turned on.
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I can feel them. The babies. They're not crawling all over me. They're not vomiting in my hair or shrieking. They're doing perfectly normal baby things, and I'm keeping them alive. But I resent them. Their constancy, their intrusion on my relationship and my free time and my naps and my imagination and my heart. They've come too soon, and I can't do any of what I had planned. All I can do is survive.
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You are mad to be spending the summer in the country, where the days are too quiet and you have so much time to think. In the city you live on Broadway, where the noise is so thick your scary thoughts can't get a word in edgewise. But here in the county, there is only space. On the stone bridge by the stream. On the mossy rock at the edge of the yard. Behind the abandoned trailer where Art, the old man with the glass eye, used to live. Space, space, space, and you can scare yourself into thinking your thoughts are more like voices.
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Remember when you discovered your father owned a book called "How To Disappear and Never Be Found?" You're sure it was just research for new and creative ways of thinking, for concepts that might apply to his work, but it raised the distinct possibility that there is something very upsetting that people you love could do instead of dying.
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If I had known how much I would miss these sensations I might have experienced them differently, recognized their shabby glamour, respected the ticking clock that defined this entire experience. I would have put aside my resentment, dropped my defenses. I might have a basic understanding of European history or economics. More abstractly, I might feel I had truly been somewhere, open and porous and hungry to learn. Because being a student was an enviable identity and one I can only reclaim by attending community college late in life for a bookmaking class or something.
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I go back to Oberlin in the dead of winter to give a "convocation speech" in Finney Chapel, the largest and most historic of campus structures. In a subconscious nod to my college experience I forget to pack both tights and underwear and have to spend the weekend going commando in a wool skirt and knee socks. I am toured around the school like a stranger by a girl who didn't even go here. We stop at a glossy new cafe for tea and scones. She asks if I want a tour of the dormitories- no, I just want to wander around alone and maybe cry.
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And then, on the final day, it was time for the faux Underground Railroad. This is the part that no one believes. "No adult would ever do that, " they say. "You can't be remembering that right." I am, in fact, remembering it perfectly. The counselors "shackled" us together with jump ropes so we were "like slave families" and then released us into the woods. We were given a map with a route to "freedom" in "the North", which must have been only three or four hundred feet but felt like much more. Then a counselor on horseback followed ten minutes later, acting as a bounty hunter. Hearing hooves, I crouched being a rock with Jason Baujelais and Sari Brooker, begging them to be quiet so we weren't caught and "whipped." I was too young, self-involved, and dissociated to wonder what kind of impact this had on my black classmates. All I knew was that I was miserable. We heard the sound of hooves growing closer and Max Kitnick's light asthma wheezes from beind an oak tree. "Shut up, " Jason hissed, and I knew we were cooked. When the counselor appeared, Sari started to cry.
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I've always had a talent for recognizing when I am in a moment worth being nostalgic for. When I was little, my mother would come home from a party, her hair cool from the wind, her perfume almost gone, and her lips a faded red, and she would coo at me "You're still awake! Hiiii." And I'd think how beautiful she was and how I always wanted to remember her stepping out of the elevator in her pea-green wool coat, thirty-nine years old, just like that.
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The way I saw it, I was fully capable of being treated with indifference that bordered on disdain while maintaining a strong sense of self-respect. I obeyed his commands, sure that I could fulfill this role while still protecting the sacred place inside of me that I knew deserved more. Different. Better. But that isn't how it works.
I understand that you come from a generation of women who had to work hard to be heard, but for you to impugn my feminism and act as though I'm a scourge upon women everywhere, just because I refuse to spread your particular agenda? That's dark, and it's not what you fought for. If you continue this way, you're worse than they are (they = men). We are all just trying to get by. There is room for all of us.
I shared a bed with my sister, Grace, until I was seventeen years old. She was afraid to sleep alone and would begin asking me around 5:00 P.M. every day whether she could sleep with me. I put on a big show of saying no, taking pleasure in watching her beg and sulk, but eventually I always relented. Her sticky, muscly little body thrashed beside me every night as I read Anne Sexton, watched reruns of SNL, sometimes even as I slipped my hand into my underwear to figure some stuff out.
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It completely sickens me what our culture is doing to women. Last week I wore a big top and little shorts and a bunch of stuff came out saying I was without pants. 'The No-Pants Look,' it said. And I didn't go out without pants, I had shorts on... If Olivia Wilde had gone to a party with a big silky top and little shorts she might have been told her outfit was cute... What it was really: 'Why did you show us your thighs'?
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This could very easily be taken out of context, and I think it's funny now, but I remember looking in the mirror as a kid and, it would be like for an hour at a time, and I'd be like, 'I'm just so beautiful. Everybody is so lucky that they get to look at me.' And of course that changes as you get older, but I may have held on to that little-kid feeling that was me alone in my bathroom.
There is nothing gutsier to me than a person announcing that their story is one that deserves to be told, especially if that person is a woman. As hard as we have worked and as far as we have come, there are still so many forces conspiring to tell women that our concerns are petty, our opinions aren't needed, that we lack the gravitas necessary for our stories to matter. That personal writing by women is no more than an exercise in vanity and that we should appreciate this new world for women, sit down, and shut up.
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The only time I felt like a weird exploiter - even though I knew I wasn't one - was when I was writing a sex scene between me and my adorable co-star [Adam Driver] in which he had to tell me how much he loved my potbelly. It seemed like a weird wish-fulfillment thing, where I'm directing my own fantasy.
I seriously consider television to be the people's medium. Like the idea of seeing your parents naked or having somebody go down on you and worrying about whether you smell, or worrying about whether your body is weird or what goes across the face of a person who's supposed to be experiencing pleasure but isn't - those are things I'd love to normalize on TV.
On Girls I like being a mouthpiece for the issues I think young females face today. It's always shocking when people question whether it's a feminist show. How could a show about women exploring women not be? Feminism isn't a dirty word. It's not like we're a deranged group who think women should take over the planet, raise our young on our own and eliminate men from the picture. Feminism is about women having all the rights that men have.
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I have been envious of male characteristics, if not the men themselves. I'm jealous of the ease with which they seem to inhabit their professional pursuits: the lack of apologizing, of bending over backward to make sure the people around them are comfortable with what they're trying to do. The fact that they are so often free of the people-pleasing instincts I have considered to be a curse of my female existence.
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I didn't tell him I was a virgin, just that I hadn't done it 'that much.' It hurt a little more than I'd expected but in a different way, and he was nervous too and he never came. Afterwards we lay there and talked, and I could tell he was a really nice person. I commended myself for making a healthy, albeit hasty, partner choice. I really couldn't wait to tell my mom.
I have sort of a Zen body philosophy, I'm sort of like: we're one weight one day, we're one weight another day, and some day our body just doesn't even exist at all! It's just a vessel I've been given to move through this life. I think about my body as a tool to do the stuff I need to do, but not the be all and end all of my existence. Which sounds like I spent a week at a meditation retreat, but it's genuinely how I feel.
I always feel that there are two choices for women. Either be totally confident about your non-size-zero body and say, 'I love what I look like and this is who I am,' or be the person who is obsessed with diet and exercise and keeping toned. What feels more realistic to me is that some days I wake up and think I love how I look. On other days I say, 'If I had real self-control, I would be 10 pounds lighter.' That contradiction is, to me, what being a girl actually feels like.
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The idea of being a feminist-so many women have come to this idea of it being anti-male and not able to connect with the opposite sex-but what feminism is about is equality and human rights. For me that is just an essential part of my identity. I hope [Girls] contributes to a continuance of feminist dialogue
You just have to work, we all have to work really hard to take care of ourselves and feed ourselves good information, just like we feed ourselves good food. Feed ourselves good books and good messaging and the things that make us feel like we can be connected with ourselves and others in a deeper way.
My parents are artists; in their world, in the world of modern artists, you are supposed to just go into your studio and tune everything out, and your entire relationship with your work is supposed to be a super private one. That was the way to do it and you weren't deeply truly artistic if that wasn't the way you were engaging the press.
Positive, healthy, loving relationships in your twenties... I don't know if anyone would disagree with it: I think they're the exception, not the norm. People are either playing house really aggressively because they're scared of what an uncertain time it is, or they're avoiding commitment altogether.