What Stories Will Hannah Tell When She’s 45?

Someday I’ll stop quoting Lena Dunham. Or not. She’s so quotable.

At lunch today, walking away from a bit of writer’s block, I watched the latest, DVR-ed episode of Girls (working from home on a snow day has its perks).

OK, and the de rigueur PSST — SPOILER ALERT!

It appears that Lena as Hannah has lost the rights to her book deal, for various reasons I won’t go into here.

“My whole life was in that book, everything that’s ever happened to me. Now what am I going to do? Live another 25 years just to create a body of work that matches the body of work they stole from me? What if nothing happens in the next 25 years? What if I’m still living in this apartment?”

It may sound silly, but sitting here, I’m feeling like she’s not entirely wrong. There’s something about writing in your 20s, absorbing every experience with buzzy innocence and awe, that gets harder to come by in your 40s. Things start to narrow, your path becomes more singular and rote. Morning coffee commute work twitter commute dinner die, repeat.

Yes, you start to prioritize, you become more selective about what you do, you have other people to take care of in some cases, you’re a lot more tired, things don’t sparkle as often. You’re not as high on life. You’re just not.

Is that ok? Honestly, sometimes I think it is. Sometimes you’re super-psyched to just stay in and watch back-to-back episodes of Sherlock snuggled under the covers with your honey on a freezing Saturday afternoon. But other times, you yearn to just tear it up and lust for life like a bare-chested Iggy Pop.

I’m recalling (who even says “I’m recalling” but someone in their frickin’ 40s) the time Shelly came to visit me when I lived on the Lower East Side.” Let’s RAGE,” she said. Back then, in our late 30s, we aimed to go out to Barrio Chino, down a bunch of margaritas and find a place to dance to Junior Senior. Instead, after a long and hearty conversation about where she should send her daughter to school, we stayed home and watched Ice Castles. You can’t make this shit up.

Ok, do I just sound bored? I’m not. Well, some days I am. But these days I DO know a mind-blowing experience when I see one.

Watching my nieces and nephew tear into Christmas; my nephew playing piano without ever having a lesson, seeing this gospel performance blow the roof off Lincoln Center, hearing that your friend has a cancer-free clean-bill of health.

And the little moments: My husband holding my hand on the subway, the snow-covered trees that look like floating pillows outside my office window, this Liv Warfield performance on Jimmy Fallon, an unexpected thank you from the UPS guy.

Not everything is worth 140 characters of OMFG.

But my eyes are still wide open.

Tell Us in the Comments

What do you think?

2 Responses

  1. Klcarlton

    I always wish there was a show called “girls at 40″ that runs in correlation with the current Girls season. The 40 year olds would be yelling at the young girls ” BAD DECISION!”

  2. Heather and Stacy

    I think you have a good idea there!


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