Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Modern Holly Golightly

Taxi comes to a halt in front of Tiffany’s on the luxurious Fifth Avenue of New York City. Here enters Holly Golightly, draped in that iconic floor-length black dress, pearls grazing her neck, and her hair tied in a flawless updo. She floats gracefully to the display window, Henry Mancini’s “Moon River” heard in the background, setting the scene. A pastry in one hand and coffee in the other, she gazes dreamily through her dark sunglasses in the quiet of the early morning hours….Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

I can recall watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s for the very first time when I was a sophomore in high school. I was hooked at the opening scene. It was so…glamourous. However, my intrigue soon transformed into frustration as the movie progressed. Just moments after this famous, picturesque scene at Tiffany’s, the chaos of the reality of Miss Golightly’s life is brought center stage. Throughout the movie, she continuously loses her keys, parties until dawn, and then sleeps ‘til the afternoon hours creep up. Her apartment is unsettled, even mistaken for her just moving in and she has no real job, unless you count her duties giving the “weather report” at Sing Sing or the money she collects for “using the powder room.” Nothing in Holly’s life seems to be in order and she is often naïve to the world around her. In fact, Holly can’t even commit to naming her cat anything more than just that—Cat! She explains,
“I’m like cat here, a no-name slob. We belong to nobody, and nobody belongs to us. We don’t even belong to each other.” 
That “no-name slob” so perfectly symbolizes the freedom that Holly so desperately grasps onto throughout the film.

For years, I had trouble sympathizing with Holly. Why couldn’t she get her act together?! However, over the course of the past month, I have watched the film twice, and each time I sat there in awe as I realized how much I, now at the age of 23, can relate to this confusion and uncertainty of life.

When I was growing up, I thought I had it all figured out. I can recall one particular time in middle school, when my best friend and I stayed up late, writing down our goals and the specifics of where we would be in our twenties. (We were both going to attend NYU for journalism, if you are curious.)

So much passion. So much drive. So few doubts.

Time went by and each year I would sit down and reflect on the vision I have for my life. Soon life catches up to you and you hardly have time to catch your breath and are often left discombobulated. Eventually those dreams you were once so certain about are placed on the backburner.

In many ways, we are all a little like Holly in our twenties. We are unsure of where we will be when we graduate and whether anyone will even want to hire us. Will I ever settle down, or will I one day have a nameless cat too (though, I’d prefer a dog)—hanging onto my freedom, yet wondering if I’d be happier living another way. And while it’s frustrating, and sometimes even scary, not having the rest of your life planned out, it’s also an exciting part of the journey.

In her book Wanderlust, Elisabeth Eaves reflects,
"Everybody talked about finding themselves, but maybe you had to get lost first.” 
Sometimes we may not have all of the answers to the questions in our lives, and you know what, that’s okay. Sometimes being lost is precisely what you need to do in order to stumble on where you are supposed to be. Eaves later declares,
“I’d get to the place I was meant to be, even if I wasn’t sure where that was.”

I can’t tell you where I am going to be five years from now. Heck, I can hardly tell you where I will be tomorrow. But I can tell you that no matter what happens, I am going to enjoy the journey along the way.

Enjoy your journey, friend. For one day you will look back and it will all make perfect sense.

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