When I finally watched Greta Gerwig’s beautiful Lady Bird, I felt so much and still do. Unlike Lady Bird I have a wonderful mom who’s kind and understanding, I was never ashamed of my socio-economic status, and I wouldn’t lie to a peer about the house I live in or who I’m friends with. But like Lady Bird I wanted to go to college in New York City despite never having been there, felt stifled by the mid-sized city I called home, and was sure that there were bigger and better things out there for me – whatever that actually means.
Lady Bird somehow brought me back to my undergraduate years, when I felt like the world was this new and exciting place to explore and express myself within. Since then I’ve grown to be more realistic and a bit cynical, but seeing Lady Bird’s struggle to figure herself out reminded me of a part of myself I had forgotten. While I’m much more sure of myself than I was in college, I missed the hopefulness I found within my confusion. I longed for the messiness that comes with being 18-22 and feeling uncertain about the future, yet sure of the possibilities.
I’m a very emotional and introspective person, so if the wind blows a certain way I sometimes feel like I’ve been transported to a time and place I can’t quite identify but love deeply. I found that sort of connection when I was watching Lady Bird. Her high school experience was unlike mine, yet there was a familiarity in her struggle. Watching Lady Bird reminded me of the person I was just a few years ago, and has reinvigorated the sloppy hopefulness of the spirit I once had.