The "Lady Bird" Epiphany

Six months after its release, I finally watched Lady Bird. I didn’t know much about the plot going in, only that it was a love/hate relationship between a mother and daughter. I related to Lady Bird on so many levels that it shocked me. Out of all the emotions I felt after watching, one stood out the most: pride. 

Lady Bird’s real name is Christine. She gave herself the name Lady Bird because she didn’t understand the concept of our parents giving us our names. Her real name was one of the many things she was ashamed of, because she felt that she needed more, something of her own. I understood her annoyance and disliking her name. For the longest time I wished I had a different name, too. A name that people wouldn’t constantly mispronounce. But the older I get, the more I love my name. My name translates to “white star,” and even though I’m named after my dad’s cousin, who I don’t know and my mom hates, I find it beautiful. I take pride in telling people my name, how it came to be and what it means.

Another thing Lady Bird was ashamed of is where she lived. She was adamant about her dissatisfaction with Sacramento and was desperate to move out of the state. She would say she lived on the “wrong side of the tracks” and told friends that she lived in a 3-story house in the fancy part of town. It isn’t until later that she realizes how beautiful Sacramento is. I am fortunate to live in the good part of my town, but like Lady Bird, I wanted more growing up. I wanted to live in a bigger and better house in a bigger and better town. Now there are times when I am driving through town, and I take in the familiarity, watch the local places that I grew up seeing aging along with me. They bring me comfort that I didn’t understand when I was younger. And I know if I follow Lady Bird’s shoes and move away, I'll miss it all.

The relationship Lady Bird has with her mother was the most realistic and accurately portrayed mother-daughter relationship I have seen on film. Every time they had an argument you couldn’t help but feel every emotion that Lady Bird was experiencing. It was almost like you were Lady Bird herself. There is a scene in which Lady Bird’s mother is telling her how much it costs to take care of her and how she is ungrateful. When Lady Bird gets frustrated and asks her mom to give her a ballpark number so she can pay her back when she’s older, her mom responds, “I don’t think you’ll find a job good enough to afford it.” I got so angry that I wanted to throw something, and as if Lady Bird could read my mind, she threw the notepad she was holding and walked away. 

I sat on my bed for a while after finishing the movie, trying to take in all of my emotions. The movie was able to beautifully capture how I felt growing up and how I feel now as I continue to grow and appreciate everything around me. It helped me truly realize how proud I am of my name, how I was brought up, and how one doesn’t know the beauty of what they have until they no longer have it. I know there will be moments in my life when I will feel unhappy with what I have, but I know in the end that I am proud of my life and how everything turned out. And part of it will be thanks to Lady Bird.

By Blanca Reyes

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