Conversations with My Teenage Self
In 2020, writer Laura Leigh Abby realized that everywhere she looked there was early 2000s nostalgia: fashion, music, and movie remakes.
The early aughts is when she came of age, and it made her wonder: was this a wonderful time to be a teenager or was it terrible?
Memory is slippery, but luckily, she documented everything. Laura wrote in her journal every single day. Now, she has the opportunity to step into the mind of her 17-year-old self and find answers.
SEVENTEEN is dialogue between young Laura and adult Laura, now 36. The listeners travel back through teenage Laura’s life by way of her journal entries, read by an actress.
Adult Laura reflects on her past experiences—with sex, friendships, grief and shame. She also discovers repressed traumatic events and interviews some of her journal’s major players.
SEVENTEEN is nostalgic of a time before social media and smartphones, while also acknowledging the glorified misogyny of the time. Adult Laura addresses journal entries that contain problematic sexual encounters, and explores how a generation of would-be feminists were influenced by the mixed signals of pop culture.
FEBRUARY 7, 2022
EXCERPT: Episode 4 : What Does He Possibly See In Me?
Laura recalls a high school relationship that never quite materializes, and reaches out to the guy—Nick—to get his take on their would-have-been romance. Early in the conversation he denies ever having feelings for her, and Laura must navigate the rest of the interview, now confronted with the possibility that her complicated feelings were one-sided.
Laura Leigh Abby is a writer who focuses on memoir and personal essay. She lives in the Hudson Valley in an old farmhouse with her wife Sam and their two young boys. Laura and Sam appeared on the second season of Bravo TV’s "Newlyweds: The First Year" and are active in the LGBTQ+ community. Together Laura and Sam own a fitness studio in Beacon, New York, where Laura is an indoor cycling and boxing group-fitness instructor. Her essays have been featured in publications like Cosmopolitan, the Washington Post, Vice, and Conde Nast’s them., among others. Her 2016 Amazon Kindle Single "The Rush" was a memoir about falling in love with her sorority sister in college. Spoiler alert: They’re still together. Her book "2Brides2Be: A Same Sex Guide for the Modern Bride" was published in 2017 and features a mix of memoir and practical advice for couples planning two-bride weddings.
Laura is originally from Long Island, New York, but spent 6 years of her youth in Ontario, Canada where she became a dual citizen. She majored in Creative Writing at Emerson College and went on to The New School for her MFA. The most consistent feedback she gets about her writing is also the most gratifying, and it is that she’s “relatable.” She writes to share her truth because she believes that there are other women living out a similar experience. Whether she’s sharing what it feels like to get a perineal massage from her wife to prepare for childbirth—not good—what it’s like to choose a sperm donor, or why keeping a journal helped her accept her sexuality, she believes that there are always other people out there who can relate to her experience, and who are grateful that someone is willing to open up about it.
Writer and Host: Laura Leigh Abby
Producers: Molly O’Keefe and Yael Even Or
Executive Producer: Emi Norris
Paradiso Head of Production: Benoît Dunaigre
Paradiso Chief Content Officer: Louis Daboussy
Associate Producer: Brendan Galbreath
Featuring: Leia Immanuel as Young Laura, Michael Graham as Young Nick
Featured interviews: Kathleen Hicks, Annie Marshall-Helin, Nicholas Mitrani,
Jackee Redko, Irene Semon and Ryan Semon
Editor and Sound Design: Yael Even Or
Additional Sound Design and Mix: Adrien Le Blond and Jimmy Bardin
Original Music: Guillaume Zolnierowski
Music Supervisor: Benoît Dunaigre
Post production assistant: Aimie Faconnier
Recording Engineer: Jonny Taylor at Beacon AV Lab
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