Wednesday, August 19, 2009

07. City Self.

Juliana Ernst dreamed of city life for as long as she could remember but her idealistic fantasies were always grounded by the idiosyncrasies of suburban life; a force akin to gravity, so powerful and so predictable that it always brought her back to the place where lush trees lined every street and houses looked more and more identical, and men in matching jumpsuits raked leaves, picked up garbage, and polished the entrance sign welcoming you to upper middle class life. Yet for as long as Juliana could remember the dream of life in the city was always just a vague notion, merely what was expected of her; to move on to bigger and better things before inevitably ending up right where she stared, but this time on the other side of the coin as the mother, the nurturer, the planter of the Dream that was packaged and sold on the corner of any town in every city all across the great money capital of the world.

Juliana walked along the path set out for her by society of which her parents were a product so they expounded the same values that she saw all around her. She did the minimum to fit the mold never questioning what she did or why she wanted the things she did, so when she failed twice at moving to New York City it was probably because she just didn't want it that much even though she was raised to believe that that was the goal, the ultimate mark of success. Juliana would never know this because when she finally made it, she believed it was her own doing and not because she had a man in her life, which was another myth that she was taught to believe.

Juliana lived this life as best as she knew how but was merely the product of her generation where the media, models, and magazines tell young women what to wear and what not to wear, when you're ready to have sex and when you should wait because he's not "the one," who to be attracted to and how to shed those unattractive pounds. They told her what to be and who to be, but did they ever tell her to just be herself - whomever that may be. Did they ever tell her that outward appearances don't last forever, that beauty and perfection isn't everything? Did they ever tell her that all the makeup, and hair products, and fancy clothes were just layers upon layers that covered up the self? But they never asked Juliana if she would know her real self when she saw it?


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