When I was a tween and teen, I was a very intense kid with a lot of ambition and who modeled a lot of her style off movies from the ’40s and ’60s. Or I tried to. Growing up in Indiana in the 1990s and early 00s, my options for vintage were limited and I was just a little off-beat in my clothes, my lingo, and my attitude. While I look back and think I was pretty cool, actually, at the moment I felt so weird. And I did some pretty silly things trying to achieve the style I dreamed of. For example, I wanted ballet flats like Audrey Hepburn, but this was before ballet flats were ubiquitous again. So, instead of wearing ugly orthopedic footwear, I just wore actual ballet shoes. Literal much?
I can honestly say that one of the books that has meant the most to me personally is a little self-help and lifestyle book, Life is a Movie Starring You: The Pesky Meddling Girls Guide to Living Your Dreams. When I felt like a drama queen or lonely, it was a comfort for me. I don’t remember how old I was when I got the book, but I filled out its colorful pages over the course of several years, a fact that is illustrated by the discrepancies between who is listed as my crush, my boyfriend, and my first kiss. Oops. I still have my book because, more-so than cringing at old poems, it helps me feel sympathy and honest affection for my younger self. I tend to be overly self-critical (harsh, some say) and periodically looking back over these pages helps me see how I grew during my tumultuous adolescence, a time that was at turns both ugly and lovely. During the first time I struggled with depression, this book was a friend and helped me envision the person who I wanted to be (and eventually sort of became).
While some of the book was a little out-there , much of the advice actually made it into my life, sometimes permanently. For example, for a short time I published my own zine, Funny Face. I really took the advice about not second guessing what I’m wearing once I’m out the door–which has lead to some great fashion successes and missteps. I’ve also always had a thing for the nerds.
All that said, the book is also pretty silly (in the best possible way). I just wanted to share some highlights, some of which may fall under John Oliver’s #MutuallyAssuredHumiliation