Inspiration: HBO’s Girls

The really wonderful part of a seventeen-hour flight is the uninterrupted opportunity to catch up on any pop-culture phenomena you may have missed in the past year.  Thanks to a recent visit to Hong Kong, I finally saw Girls on the way back to New York.  

So far, my favorite episode includes Marnie’s discovery of her ex-boyfriend’s success and concludes with her friend, Ray, bestowing excellent morsels of wisdom.  This scene resonated so strongly with me that I rewound and watched it five times.  Below is the best excerpt: 

Marnie: I thought he was gonna be broken for at least six years.  Charlie {her ex-boyfriend} is living the dream.  I, like, mentally budgeted for six years of brokenness, but he’s not broken at all.  And it just proves to me, it doesn’t matter how right you do things, because you know who ends up living their dreams?  Sad messes like Charlie.  And people who end up flailing behind are the people like me! Who have their shit together! 

 Ray: Marnie learned another life lesson.  How adorable.  Want a gummy frog? 

(She eats one and throws a few on the floor) 

Ray: I’m gonna have you retrieve that when you’re less upset.  Okay, look.  You’re mad because you want what he has.  So stop thinking and start doing.

Marnie: I don’t understand.

Ray: Okay Marnie, what’s your dream?  Hmm?  What do you really, really want to do?  You wanna be a curator?  Open up a small gallery in an old burrito factory.  You wanna be a mother?  Get fucking pregnant.  Turn this potential energy into kinetic energy.  Stop being a cartographer and start being an explorer.  What do you really want to do?  What’s your dream?  Stop thinking and just tell me.

Marnie: I want to sing.  That’s my dream

(She begins to sing.  For a long time.)

Ray:  Ok, it’s getting a little intimate for me now, so I’m going to stop you now.  Marnie, if you wanna sing, if you really wanna sing, then you have to sing and you have to do it nowNow is the time.  Right now.  

This dialogue was the face slap I desperately needed, and forced the realization that my long-time behavior was not unlike Marnie’s.  Rather than choosing a positive mindset and taking proactive steps towards my goals, I channeled my energy into negative thoughts about other people’s success. I wanted what they had, but I couldn’t see that scowling in the corner wasn’t a healthy or helpful mentality.  This year, I’m shifting my focus from other’s success towards finding my own path.  So far, it feels like just the change I needed.  

Photos courtesy of: Huffington PostPop Break and Gavo Capote

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