So, I have just finished watching 13 Going on 30 for the first time in my 19 years (I know, shameful). It is an absolute classic amongst millennials and a right of teen movie passage. I mean it made it into the Thank u, Next video which pretty much solidifies its place in the hall of fame.
Aside from the heart warming and romantic nature of this movie it was the story of Jenna that really touched me. I am turning 20 this year which I know to many people is still incredibly young, and it is. But do you remember how old 20 was when you were 13? I’d look up to my cousins in their late 20’s and think ‘wow you guys are really grown up’. Jobs, boyfriends, university, it all seemed like an adult Disneyland that was totally impenetrable as a youngster. What I couldn’t see back then were the stresses, strains and changes that come alongside the fun of adult life. That doesn’t make it into many of the teen movies.
I am totally grateful for my life and where it’s going, in fact I’m incredibly excited. But I can’t help but think back to little Rosie who just wanted to be a Disney Princess married to Justin Bieber, I mean was that too much to ask! My biggest worries were bad skin and a lack of Herbal Essences straight, swooshy hair. But those worries felt so big! Remember when your crush didn’t like you and the pain was literally like you’d gone through a divorce? I can’t help but miss the newness, excitement and freedom of my pre-adolescent days.
You spend your whole childhood looking forward and now I can’t help but look back, just for a second at the past. I am well aware that I am living young Rosie’s dream and I realised this just as Jenna was realising that perhaps being 13 wasn’t so bad.
I have the confidence I had always wished for, I have maintained my best friends from school and we go out and party the way that I had once wished that we would. Some of the crushes that I spent hours writing about in my candy pink, glittered diary have become the same people I’ve dated in my adult life. And I can’t help but feel like the same wishing dust that threw Jenna into her future has struck me.
I feel incredibly blessed with where my life is but I owe that to little Rosie. I haven’t forgotten her and I think we could all benefit from taking a minute to thank our younger selves and get back in touch with them. We become so caught up in the adult rat race that at times I feel we can all lose touch with our inner child. The real us.
Part of the beauty of 13 Going on 30 is that it challenges us to look at our adult selves through the eyes of Jenna. Her 13 year-old self is ashamed of her adult behaviour and the behaviour of her adult peers. She is brought to the point of tears at the cut throat nature of her job and her childhood friends moving on. And this is what got me thinking, would little Rosie be proud of me? I think she would be, but there would be no harm in me taking a couple leaves out of her book.
Growing up is a part of life and we can’t forget where we want to go, but please NEVER let us forget where we came from.