Any celebrity-news loving denizen of the free world can't have missed the absolute take over of Shailene Woodley in the last year. From her role as Amy in The Spectacular Now to her powerful portrayal of Tris in Divergent and the highly anticipated Fault in Our Stars, Woodley has had a huge year, resulting in countless interviews, magazine covers, and international acclaim. However, her talent isn't the only reason she's making headlines.
Woodley is what one might call a free spirit, from her confused ideas of feminism to her love of eating dirt and herbs to her belief that your hoo-ha benefits from a little sunshine now and then, she is a far cry from the average Hollywood glamazon that we've come to expect. But what are we actually to make of Hollywood's newest superstar? One thing we can be sure of is that Woodley has our full attention. How could she not, with those elf-like, vagina-tan, and plant-loving ways?
In the same way that everyone in the world wants to get a facial or have a beer with Jennifer Lawrence, I foresee Woodley joining those same hallowed ranks of heavy girl crush-ery. New York Magazine recently published a positively glowing profile on Woodley's friendship with Brie Larson, and there has also been a slew of coverage on how Woodley is in love with Anais Nin.
Therefore, I have imagined a day being Woodley's friend. For the record, if this ever actually does happen, and it gets made into a documentary/movie, please, will someone call it "My Day With Shai"? Thanks.
Let's get started.
I wake up slowly to the sound of a weird scrabbling on the floor boards. Turning over blearily, I open my sleep-encrusted eyes only to find Shailene sitting cross legged on the floor, smiling excitedly at the turtle that she has brought in with her, and who is now ambling gently toward my open suitcase.
"What the hell, man?" I say, rubbing my eyes and glaring a little, "I only agreed to stay over on the one condition that you'd let me sleep. What gives?"
She jumps up, grabbing the turtle and bringing him over, letting him loose on my bed as she says, "Well I was going to let you sleep, but then the sun came up, and Springhealer the turtle here was just dying to see you, and besides, if you don't get up now, you won't have time to eat before we head out. I was meditating this morning and my spirit guide told me that you and I absolutely have to be out on the ridge by 11 AM so come on, get up!"
She frolics out of the room in a blur as I rub my bedhead and grab my toothbrush. "Ridge?" I ask myself as I stumble to the bathroom.
Despite my wildest hopes that by "ridge," Shailene means something related to potato chips, we are half way up a large hill, making our way toward a stone area that serves as her the spiritual place. (It's where she goes when her moon-cycle throws her out of sync.) Suddenly, we break into a clearing of sorts, where the sun dapples long, soft-looking grass; a marked difference from the scrubby path we have been walking through the forest. "This place is PERFECT" squeals Shailene, throwing her pack down and running into the middle of the clearing. I go looking for an optimal spot in which to wilder-pee.
Standing up, I can't see Shailene anywhere, so I shout her name. "Over here!" she says from somewhere in the grass, and I follow the sound until I am confronted by the rather gynecological view of Shailene in the grass, naked from the bottom down with her knees splayed out. She gestures at me, "Come on, lie down and get some sun! I knew I was going to need to get an energy boost before we hit the ridge" she says.
"Um... yes. Cool. Definitely." I lay down gingerly like whatever, my friends get their lady bits out around me all the time, and besides, I'm totally progressive enough to not be shocked by the casual vag-situation that I am currently a part of. I close my eyes for a second, replacing the intimate view with a much more calming vision of the sun, getting lost in the red spots through my closed eyelids.
Shai and I are now within a half hour's walk from home, and I look at the full bucket of unidentifiable leaves, roots, and buds that she has gathered over the course of our hike. "Is that for the turtle?" I ask, as we jump over a small stream. "No way," she says, looking fondly into her bucket of greens. "These are for our lunch, with the stuff I've found we can make a lamb's lettuce, orange blossom and wild chive salad to go along with the tahini-carrot burgers I prepared for us this morning. How amazing does that sound?"I quietly have quasi-sexual daydreams about steak. I do not respond, I am too busy suppressing an actual moan which results from overly enthusiastic imaginings of hamburgers.
"But do you honestly believe that you gain meaningful interactions, that you talk more to people as a result of being plugged into your phone and social media?" Shailene says, her hand spreading on the table and twitching a little with feeling, "I just feel like being tied to these physical objects, nice houses or phones or whatever, that's all just one step away from giving into society's oppressive demands on how we make ourselves available. I refuse to bow to these demands, you know?" She sits back, staring at me intently.
I touch my phone self-consciously, "Well, I really only have one for work, you know? I need to be available, so I put up with this stupid electric umbilical cord, what can you do, right?" I smile insincerely, knowing that I just completely lied, given that my phone usage is easily 60 percent Pinterest scrolling, 20 percent texting my friends about how hungry I am, 17 percent calls to my boyfriend because I am bored/crying/both and only about 3 percent work.
She nods, suggesting a quick post-lunch yoga session. I acquiesce, and we head silently to the yoga mats she keeps on her wraparound porch. I am not even remotely surprised that the only pose I am better at than her is the child pose.
Dusk is slowly moving in on Shailene's peaceful cottage as I begin to extricate myself from the trippiest 24 hours I have ever had. Gathering my things together, I begin to move toward the door when Shailene grabs my arm and presses a book into my hand, a meaningful look in her pretty eyes. I look down and it's a well-worn copy of Anais Nin's Delta of Venus.
"I think you need this more than I do," she says, gently closing my fingers around the book. "Internalize your female beauty, and grow from it." I nod, but I don't exactly know what that means. I glance back at the front porch as I walk to my car, and see one last glimpse of Shailene, petting a tree and speaking to it gently as I drive home.