The Girls Who Made Me

Tonight I am working on an essay about girls from literature that shaped my personality. Not influenced: shaped. Constructed. Without these girls in my life I would not be Julia. Their names are: Charlotte Doyle, Meg, Matilda, Turtle, Elizabeth Wakefield, Samantha, Mary, Anne of Green Gables, Anne Frank, Belle, Ariel, Margaret, Velvet, Clara, and Lyra. And, being entirely honest, half the members of the babysitters club. And, lord, DJ Tanner, too. Sorry, arbiters of taste.

There are also the ur-girls, the ones that even I knew were ur-girls at the time: Alice, Jo, and Dorothy. And the girls I recognize like cool cousins now, but are too late for personal impact: Hermione and Katniss.

I will write this essay because in some ways, I realize, this is the essay, the self that was created (I can't even bring myself to write "the self that I created" because the person that is "I" now is really the industrious work of these fictional hands; the "my" in myself feels collective) when I was busy making a person of myself. I am excited about it and somewhat scared by it. The adult version of this girl, these girls, is walking through adult looking glasses and accidentally stumbling onto tornados, chopping off hair, making the best of strange mansions. And this adult girl needs to go back to her younger self; but sadly, that younger self is fluidly swishing around in memories and ideas and doubt.

Luckily there are fragments of self dutifully recorded and mass-published. I will revisit and report back.

What do you think? Sound interesting?