Skip to main content

The Simple Girls

Simple Girls
I was watching an episode of Grey’s Anatomy the other day. Dr. Christina Yang was experiencing PTSD after a mass shooting at Seattle Grace/Mercy West Hospital.  She was also in the process of planning her wedding to Dr. Hunt. While flipping through bridal magazines, she says to the therapist:
“The women in these magazines, some of them are actually brides, you know. They’re not all models--All smiling. It’s like the only thing in the world that matters is that they find the perfect shoe to match that dress…I knew these girls…I used to feel sorry for them. They’re simple girls. They just wanna find the guy and get married, you know. ..I think you’re either born simple or you’re born…me…I wanna be simple, because no one holds a gun to the head of a simple girl.”
I thought a lot about what she said. In London this past sumer I had a conversation with some women about life and goals. One woman said that after graduating from Berkelee College of Music, she wants to get into the Music Business. Another said she wants to pursue a career in Criminal Justice. Of course I want to do EVERYTHING! Typical. J However, one young woman said that she’ll probably graduate, get married and start a family. My initial reaction, in my head of course, was “What!!!?” What kind of life goal is that? Isn’t there something you feel passionate about besides marrying in your hometown and breeding a caravan of small imposters that will dictate the rest of life?
To me, there’s always been more to life than being a future soccer mom—than carpooling and play dates. There’s always been more to life than picking the flowers for my wedding day or the color of my bridesmaid dresses. As a performing artist, singer-songwriter, teacher, activist, writer, composer, arranger, dancer, choreographer—and the list goes on—I have so many life goals I want to achieve, so many lives I want to touch. Getting married and/or having children any time soon falls at the bottom of my list. Okay, not at the bottom, but the top is asking too much. I want to get married and have children—lots of children. Someday.

Recently, I started thinking about how I too used to laugh and make fun of the “simple girls.” By simple, I don’t mean intellectually insufficient. I simply mean those women who aren’t….like me. For the longest I just couldn’t understand how a woman could dedicate her entire life to taking care of her spouse and raising children. HER ENTIRE LIFE! And then it hit me. PURPOSE. That may be her purpose. And who am I to ridicule or poke fun at a lifestyle choice other than my own. I feel that some people are born to be political activists, artists, professors, performers, surgeons, lawyers. And others are built to be leaders of the carpool, house parents, encouragers, supporters. And some are a mixture. And that’s okay. Somedays I wonder, "What if I was simpler?"-- If I could just have one passion instead of 20? Somedays I want to be the girl who marries her college sweetheart and settles down at age 22 to start a family in a small town. Sometimes, internally, I long to be the girl who’s greatest goal is the find that perfect pair of shoes to match that dress. Somedays. But most days, I don’t. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

I'm A Quitter...So What!?

When I was 8, I went to a cousin's wedding in Lansing, Michigan. My mom and I stayed after the wedding festivities to sight-see. One afternoon, we were walking to the public bus and it flew passed us to the bus stop, a good distance away. My mom told me to run! I took off jogging, casually. Frustrated and annoyed, I stopped running. I turned around and proclaimed that I was tired and our efforts were futile. She told me to keep running. Rolling my eyes, I took off in a light sprint and the bus driver was gracious enough to wait for us to catch up (this clearly wasn't anything like the brutal NYC transit operators who could care less about you). We winded-ly climbed on the bus and to this day, my mother uses this story to lecture me about the benefits of not giving up--of not quitting.
Although my mother would never want me to stay in a toxic situation, that experience has shaped the narrative around my vigorous fight against being labeled "quitter."

I'm an overa…

For Colored Girls Who Aren't Afraid to Acknowledge Their Therapist, Pt. 2

A lot of people have read my earlier post (For Colored Girls Who Aren't Afraid to Acknowledge Their Therapist, Pt. 1) about being a strong black woman who unashamedly has a therapist. I've gotten a few comments like:
"Mia! You've always seemed like you had it all together! I'm surprised."
"Mia, this is my life! I've had/I'm having trouble finding a therapist too!"
"I had no idea therapy costs that much! Why won't insurance cover mental health care like they cover everything else?"
1.So, let me say this: I'm grateful to know that I am not alone in this process--that there are friends and colleagues who are doing or want to do work on themselves so that they, too, can be healthy. My generation might be deemed selfish or self-absorbed by older onlookers, but many of us are outchea tryna to cultivate the best version of ourselves--the version our families and communities expect from us. We ain't just outchea overachieving for …

Having a Baby, Pt. 2

I've talked previously about Having a Baby on here-

Not just having a baby but not feeling like I need a man to do it. It was a revolutionary act of self-love to declare, this past January, that I wasn't waiting on the perfect partner, the right time, or the best financial situation to have a baby. Black women, in particular, have it hard out here. For those of us who didn't accidentally get pregnant at 17, we were told by many to wait--to wait until we got settled into our careers, to wait until we made partner at the firm and then wait 3 years after that so that we could keep partner...to wait until we made tenure at whatever university...to wait until we got our first church or our first job as pastor...to wait and wait and wait....until our eggs disappear or we can no longer carry a child to term because we've reached advanced maternal age. I've heard the stories--both dictated to me in private and publicly shared in books and interviews [Read Gabrielle Union&#…