Sitting on My Bed, Writing on My Laptop: Am I Carrie Bradshaw or Hannah Horvath?

It is important that I preface this article with this photo of myself sitting on my bed writing on my laptop so that you understand how committed I am to the idea of being "a writer". It's also important to know that sitting hunched over with bad posture looking down at the tiny screen is not comfortable, that I would be much warmer in my usual sweatpants and sweatshirt, I never make my bed, and that those glasses are not prescription, merely a fashion accessory. Despite the impracticalities of this scene I have created, I have created it for a reason. I blame Carrie Bradshaw. She was often seen writing her intelligent and witty life observations while sitting on her bed in a casually adorable outfit. 

I've been watching Sex and the City since high school which gave me many unrealistic and false impressions of what it meant to be a 30-something single woman (and we can talk about those later), including the idea of what it meant to be a writer. 

All my life I've dreamed of future jobs/careers I might want, all of them being entrepreneurial and creative in some way, and thanks to Sex and the City, just writing about whatever was going on in my life for a newspaper column became a job possibility in my mind. And, later, with the popularity of all types of blogs popping up all over the internet, just living your life, doing whatever vaguely creative things you do, as long as you had pretty photos and words to share with people, became a legitimate job opportunity as well. And, so, my young mind has believed, I suspect somewhat falsely, that I can make money for just being myself, as long as I could also present my life in an audience appealing way; ie. blogs & videos.

This myth of using your own life, through your creative talents, to create your dream job, has been perpetuated in the last couple years by the show Girls. Of course, Hannah Horvath is a hopeless, pathetic mess compared to our glamorous, grown-up Carrie, but I don't think it would be too much of a stretch to say Carrie could have been a struggling writer like Hannah in her early twenties, and Hannah has a chance of getting her shit together (professionally, at least) and becoming not unlike Carrie Bradshaw in her thirties. They both use their own lives as fodder for their writing (Hannah, personal essays; Carrie, a weekly relationship column) but they have very different styles of writing. Hannah likes to write about her fairly mundane, common life experiences like they are extraordinary pieces of a remarkable life, the likes of which no one has ever heard of, whereas Carrie focuses on her current life, mainly relationships, includes her friends' lives as points of reference, and seems to be more realistically self-aware.

Watching Girls, I both hate and relate to Hannah. I hate her neediness, her trademark combination of low and high self esteem (constantly letting people insult her and insulting herself, but also telling herself, and others, that she is so much better than everyone else), and her apparent lack of care for her personal appearance. And, yet, as I'm chastising Hannah for procrastinating writing her book by reading a magazine, I realize that I am also procrastinating on my personal projects by watching Girls. Like Hannah, I like to think that I am brilliant, that I am a writer (also, video-maker, blogger, artist, baker, etc.) but my laziness & procrastination get in my way of actually having anything to show for it. 

Watching Sex and the City, I envy how easy Carrie makes life look. She spends most of her time having brunch with her friends, going on dates, shopping, or just hanging out around New York City. And she's only occasionally alone on her adventures. I only wish I had enough friends and/or friends with free schedules who could accompany me on running errands, shopping, or just enjoying a martini in the afternoon while we discuss their relationship problems, which I will later use for my column, drawing some clever correlation between another situation going on in my and/or my friend's life, resulting in a very subtle, but clever pun. Only rarely do we hear her say to a boyfriend "I have to work." or "I have a deadline." and that's usually only as an excuse to get out of a situation. Carrie's life seems to be a little work, but mostly play. I guess when your play is research for your work, it all blends together. Except for those few brief, but magical moments when we glimpse Carrie sitting on her bed sucking on a popsicle, or sitting with her legs up on the desk, while she melds her recent life adventures into a single, poignant, piece of literature. One part memoir, one part advice, and a dash of humor.

I suppose at this point, as I sit here on my bed typing on my laptop, the best I can hope for is that I can make the transition from self-doubting Hannah to effortlessly confident Carrie someday. Perhaps, someday I will be sitting in bed typing up something on my laptop that I know will be published for a regular readership to enjoy, not just sitting in bed typing up something on my laptop that I will just post on my blog for almost no one (probably not even my friends) to read.

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