When I look back at my twenties now, I can see that they were all leading somewhere. As a story, they make sense. But at the time, as Hannah Horvath says, it didn’t feel like very much was happening. Most things felt haphazard, random, peripheral. I was making decisions, sometimes, without realizing it. Other times, they hit me square in the face, like that bus. Warning: this is the part where I quote Joan Didion. “That was the year, my twenty-eighth,” she wrote in “Goodbye to All That,” the urtext of twenties self-reflection, “when I was discovering that not all of the promises would be kept, that some things are in fact irrevocable and that it had counted after all, every evasion and every procrastination, every mistake, every word, all of it.” The twenties “count,” though they don’t always feel that way. You sleep through a law exam, cross the street listening to Jacques Brel, and it counts. It’s only when they’re over that you can see the shape of things.
April 28, 2016
Meryl Streep’s Twenties, and My Own
By Michael Schulman