MR: Growing up in Laggies

I am a big Keira Knightley fan. I adore her so much. So, a while ago, I was perusing the Internet and found this trailer of her movie Laggies. It just spoke to me on a deep level, because, well, I feel kind of lost right now. It feels like everyone is moving on and I am not fitting in with the group of people I thought I’d be with for the rest of my life, sort of like Keira’s character in the film.

So, I bought the movie. It’s one of my favorites now because it is endearing and sweet. It is touching and thought provoking. Maybe loss should not be so negative in my mind because, we all lose things in life. It is kind of the point of growing up: losing things is natural. We let go of things and then new elements kick into our lives, and all we can do is accept these changes, or change life even more. Again, we are not really the boss of our lives, I get that, but what’s the point in forcing things that are no longer there? We all change over the years, and so…why cling to people and ideas that are just old and tired, stale and stiff over the years.

Now, I love the humor of the movie, too, and the beauty in the relationships. Things are complicated and Meg (Keira Knightley) has to figure out stuff. And, she does it over the course of a week. Is that too short? Maybe. Is it possible? Maybe. It has taken me years to accept my illnesses, and sometimes, I still reject them as part of my reality. By the same token, I also reject that some of my friends are no longer a good fit for me. I do get it, every time I watch this movie, I realize that it is okay, it is acceptable, it is fine to just move on and stop trying so hard to keep relationships alive. It takes two to tango, as they say, and I am tired of dancing alone with inanimate objects.

Meg broke off from her friend group entirely, and so have I (unintentionally). I don’t think you have to break up with people. I used to think that way, but sometimes, you just have to let go and not say much, because, well, some things are better off unspoken. This film taught me to laugh, to accept my growth and my journey, and to let go of the hurt and harm of toxic relationships. It has taught me that being an adult doesn’t mean that there’s no fun to be had. You can be young at heart and still be a functioning member in society. Totally doable.

Do check out the film. It is awesome and underrated.

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BR: Fangirl

It is kind of nice when the depression recedes enough for hope to peak through, like wild weeds in a poisonous garden festering. I don’t know how it happens, but at some point, things start looking up again. Perhaps, that is the power of fiction for me. Reading about someone else makes me forget what it’s like to be me (usually). And, yet, when I read Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, something very different happened: I read what it is like to be me. 

Cath is an eighteen year old college freshman and she has anxiety. Like, really bad anxiety. She can’t go to the cafeteria kind of anxiety. I have anxiety. She writes, and I try to write. Often, she spends her life in her head. I do that, maybe even more than she does. But, you get it, right? I found myself in her story. It is kind of weird that I experienced this deja vu with a much younger character. I’m almost thirty. I have been out of college for so long. Yet I was relating to Cath’s struggle to write, to express herself, to make friends, to get in relationships that are complex and scary. In fact, she goes on journeys I have never had the courage to experience.

As a fellow fangirl, I enjoyed her writing of Simon and Baz’s story. I fangirled at her work and her spirit.

Moreover, her relationship with her sister is powerful and moving. Wren is outgoing and often hard to reach. I have a sister like that. Like Cath, I find myself grasping and comparing and losing very regularly. It is a tough battle, because I am much older than said sibling. People tell me to get over it, to move on, but the OCD kicks in and I get stuck in destructive loops.

Oh my goodness, Nick, and how he used her, it hit so close to home. I have had this experience too many times in my life. There were moments when I had stood in the shadows to let someone take the credit for my my voice. It is practically like Ariel in Little Mermaid giving up her voice to get something else.

It’s a wonderfully written book. Funny, moving, charming, and honest: it sheds light on family, relationships, expression, art, fiction, reality, education, drinking…so many things in one work that it is sometimes overwhelming to read. I am so glad that I did read it, though, because it is one of my favorite things I have ever read. It has made me feel less strange. Yes, I am pretty weird, but maybe that is not such a bad thing. Feeling this way is a new experience and I think it’s for the better.

Please, do pick it up and check it out. Such a great book. OH, and read Carry On *afterwards.* Don’t be a dork like me and read them in the wrong order.

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