Have you seen Woody Allen's movie called "Midnight in Paris"? Well if you have, then you know me well, because I am Gil… Gil is me. Just like Gil, I also want to live in the past, I too do not like the present and wish that I was born at a different time. At a time in the past, long long ago, before cell phones, before computers, maybe even before airplanes and cars. I wish that I lived during simpler times when life was easier and well perhaps happier. A time when things moved slower, much much slower… slower and simpler. My logic is complicated.
I always considered myself a progressive and independent woman, one who broke glass ceilings. I seeked and completed a higher education, have independently made bold decisions, have held high and low level jobs, have traveled to many countries, have educated myself on multiple topics such as history, politics, sociology, etc. And finally, in my life, I have confidently and without regret broken many of my culture's expectations and rules for women.
After years of being a woman of today, for reasons unknown to myself I have come to a place in my life where I crave simplicity, tradition and culture. I slowly came to wish that I lived in a time when people's roles were pre determined and choices were limited. I wish that I did not know better and my knowledge was limited. The simple time when women were expected to get married young, be protected by their men and have a family. The time when women were not involved in the worlds of politics, finances and employment. I realize that this confession will rise fierce anger and judgment against me from the feminists and progressive friends, but all I ask is to be heard and not judged.
I feel that if I did not know about politics, I would not be so angry. If I did not know about art and culture and cinema, I did not feel the urgency to see and learn it all. If I did not have the option for a career, I would not be judged for not having one. I feel that life would be simple, no decisions to make, no glass ceiling to break. I feel that if my world and my mind consisted of housework and child rearing, my life would be simple and slow, no decisions to make, no choices to ponder, no ambition to be concerned about … and yet more content?
At the end of Allen's movie, Gil realizes that he has been wrong about living in the past because the past does not have Novocain or Antibiotics and he realizes that life in the past would eventually become difficult and dull for him just as the present. And as for me, I think what if I did live in the past but did not have the ignorance that I wish for? What if I am in the past with the current knowledge and thirst to learn and experience and explore? In the past, with no freedom and independence for women, an active and bright mind would live a hellish life in prison.