An Unconventional Book Review and Self Reflection

Screen Shot 2015-01-04 at 8.42.17 pm“I mean I really like the Gold Coast, but my heart lies up North. I’m here for a summer vacation, not a shoot out.”

Well kind stranger across the terrace, thank you for an afternoon of entertainment and vintage one-liners. It’s instances like this that make me want to study sociology. Having a critical insight into the human condition reassures me in an odd way, and quite frankly eavesdropping is fantastic fun.  However, understanding people at a deeper level is a difficult task to master, much less write about it. Yet somehow Lena Dunham manages hit the nail on the head in her recent autobiography, demonstrating her acute awareness of the world around her and what it is to be human.

It’s difficult verbalize how I relate to Dunham. I wasn’t born in New York, haven’t had that many sadistic sexual encounters and my parents aren’t artistic in any way. But what Lena and I share is a seemingly normal upbringing, mundane even from an outsiders view. However, what happened behind closed doors was completely different, both my parents are wildly eccentric. My mother has hoarding tendencies and takes in stray animals every chance she gets and my dad has undiagnosed ADHD and a compulsive need to say the most offensive joke imaginable. The result? A conflicted child. Their professional lives are seemingly bland, while their personal lives are muddled in neuroses.

scales

Relationships for me have been difficult to pinpoint, especially in regards to feelings. Are they based on physical attraction or emotions? God only fucking knows. My mother, a strong believer in astrology, believes my indecisiveness was written in the stars.  Libra’s are represented by scales; they are constantly weighing up their options and are often unable to reach verdicts until it’s too late. We sensationalize the mundane, are self-obsessed and mull over the most trivial problems.

Much like Lena I have these whimsical ideas; varying from starting up a fish delivery business to a cooking channel on YouTube. Yesterday I had yet another idea. It’s tentative title was ‘Come To Bed With Me.’ On the ABC there is a fairly notable journalist that travels around Australia to the homes of the political elite. There she conducts an interview while they slave over the stove and somehow produce a Michelin star level meal. Branching off this tangent, my mind took it to the next extreme. Instead of interviewing them on a couch like Graham Norton or cooking a meal, why not invite them into bed, in a very intimate setting. The whole point was to convey vulnerability and humanize the interviewed; much like what happens when you get into bed with someone new. Soon my inner Libra kicked in and began weighing up the mounting cons to the short list of pros. The outcome I’m quite sure would have been similar to my actual bedding background, nobody would actually agree to join me there.

What I’m trying to say is; Lena gets me and the other young girls out there struggling to self-define and determine meaning from it all. Relationships twist our heads in various directions towards love and self-loathing, while our interchangeable view of food alters while we try to maintain a healthy balance between anorexic and overweight. These are just a few of the daily struggles that Lena manages to articulate and explain in excruciating, yet palpable detail. For this reason she is a voice of Generation Y; she represents all of us wrapped in a package of distorted wisdom. Her experiences will ring true while her written word will sound like your own internal monologue. I would highly recommend Not That Kind Of Girl. Give it a read.

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