Strapping on that Prada


Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway in the movie.

Two posts in one day! This is a record for me.

What brought it on? Simple, I read ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ (by Lauren Weisberger) and realized I am not doing anything with my life. While the writing could have been improved, and the book’s narrative zipped kind of confusingly between timelines, I really enjoyed my time with it. It was easy to imagine myself in Andrea Sachs’ shoes, not only because I’m also 23 and at a first job, but also because I too often pause and wonder if ‘four years of deconstructing and diagramming novels, plays, short stories’ were for, well, this.

Also, I totally want to write for the New Yorker some day. And I know it’s a long, long climb.

But what the book has really done for me is to sort of push me into realizing that I have to work really, really hard to get anywhere, and especially to get to the pinnacle and definition of success I harbour in my head. I’ve been feeling rather uninspired these past few weeks, and not being at my bright and sparky best. It’s made me feel guilty, which is good, since guilt indicates that I care about being brilliant and am not content with just churning out what’s expected of me. I don’t want to just be good at what I do, I want to be exceptional.

I understand that everyone goes through periods of disillusionment and withdrawal at their jobs, especially the first one. But how long can that phase last? And, more importantly, isn’t it up to me how long it goes on? Yes, I may not have what it takes to be the best in this field (and I don’t think I can possibly be, yet), but shouldn’t I try anyway?

I watched the wonderful ‘Prada’ movie for the second time a couple of months ago, and saw so much more of myself in it than I had at the age of 19 (which is, I think, the age at which I first watched it). Of course, that’s thanks to the new angle that my freshly minted professional life brought to bear upon it. I saw people and situations from my own life in it, as usual. Most self-centred literature enthusiasts tend to do that, don’t they?

Though I must hasten to add here that my own boss is an amazing woman whom I completely adore. That was one aspect of Andrea’s life I do not and do not wish to have familiarity with.

Strange that a book I picked up for ‘light reading’ should have this sort of introspective effect on me. I think a few months of blogging have sort of changed my outlook on books though—I’m constantly thinking of what I can say about them, what makes a book and its characters, its story, important and relevant to me. In ‘Prada’, I found a companion for metro rides and lunch hours, a break from the depressing and nightmare inducing world of Alan Moore’s ‘Watchmen’. I also found a person who reminded me of what I need to do.

I need to get somewhere, and I need to bloody well work hard to make sure that happens. Thanks for the reminder, Andrea Sachs!

3 thoughts on “Strapping on that Prada

  1. Hi there! Your blog is cool 🙂
    I think this was the first time I actually liked a movie more than the book it was based on. The book was funny, and not a bad read at all, but I thought the film dealt so well with the plot, changing it quite a bit near the end, and gave Miranda a far more nuanced character than simply evil-bat-lady. And Nigel. Oh, Nigel.

    • Agreed, the movie was much better than the book. I think that’s mostly because the book spent far too much time DESCRIBING the world and the clothes and too little on character development. People sprang out of nowhere and then disappeared (like, who the hell was James? And what was that Nigel bit about?). And Miranda was, as you say it, just an evil-bat-lady.
      But add Meryl Streep to anything and it’s automatically cooler. 🙂

  2. Can I simply say what a relief to uncover somebody that genuinely knows what they
    are discussing over the internet. You certainly realize how
    to bring a problem to light and make it important. A lot more people ought to check this out and understand
    this side of your story. I can’t believe you are not more popular given that you certainly possess the gift.

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