At Penn Station yesterday, I picked up the latest issue of Rolling Stone, which has “Girls” creator Lena Dunham splashed across the front cover. In the past, I’ve kept my admiration of the show at arm’s length, but I absolutely could not contain myself upon reading the profile on 26-year-old Lena, who (with the exception of David Sedaris) is the only person to make me feel less weird and crazy about my twisted childhood antics and rituals.
In the magazine article, we learn that Lena has been terrified of death her whole life (ditto) and couldn’t sleep as a kid. She drove her entire household up the wall with her night episodes and OCD, which actually forced her to imagine an inappropriate experience with her mother:
In the throes of her number-eight obsession, Dunham put that ethos to the test. “I remember saying to my mom when I was little, ‘I just had to imagine having sex with you eight times,’ ” she says, “and she really took it in stride! She was like, ‘Well, it’s your imagination; it didn’t really happen.'”
As a child, I refused to eat at any restaurant table that had gum underneath it. Before every meal, I’d crawl under the table and check for gum, and if there was any at all in sight, I decided I was too disgusted to consume anything. It wasn’t until one of my parents pulled a piece of gum from underneath one of the tables and ate it that I saw how ridiculous my personal restriction was. I missed out on tons of good meals because of this, but I couldn’t stomach anything with food crumbs/remnants or gum nearby. I needed a completely clean, fresh eating space.
Like Lena, I had many sleepless nights growing up. I remember staring at the closet across the room for hours on end, shocked that I could entertain myself with my thoughts until morning. I always say I love to sleep so much now because I was awake for my entire childhood. I’m still catching up on all the rest I lost back in the day.
In addition to the funny/unusual childhood revelations, Lena also shares her experiences with anti-depressants and anti-anxiety pills. I’ve never been medicated, but I appreciate that she’s opening up the dialogue on having to take pills to calm down. It’s no wonder someone like Lena would need pills to chill out a little bit. She is incredibly accomplished and capable, and maybe her body can’t always keep up with her mind.
Grab a copy of the magazine if you get a chance. I want to keep the story forever and pull it out when someone comments on my finicky eating habits or sleep talking problem.