I’ve started my road trip to Houston, and my first stop was Nashville. I am still here and I have been having such an amazing time. My last month in Columbus, OH was difficult though. Initially, I had this idea of how I wanted it to go. I wanted to participate in every festival, eat at every restaurant I would miss, and spend time with my girls. Since the move has been (and still is) financially demanding (moving an entire apartment, and two cars across country is no joke) I had to be an adult and plan accordingly. Because I was not able to enjoy my last month like I wanted, I fell into a mood. I was down. I basically spent my last month on my couch engrossed in Netflix shows. JC tried to get me out but I was not having it. I was fine and dandy creating my permanent body imprint on our couch. Until, I binge watched the latest season of “Being Mary Jane.”
No, Mary Jane’s story line does not include a woman who lives her life from her living room couch, but the show hits home nonetheless. “Being Mary Jane” high key illustrates a variety of issues that transpire in the lives of so many black women. I see myself and all my girlfriends in this one multifaceted character, and I appreciate that so much. Mary Jane epitomizes the struggle of the black woman in modern day society whether its dealing with being the rock of her family, maneuvering through and conquering her career field, accepting black beauty, defying black woman stereotypes, finding unequivocal and reciprocal love, learning to love herself above all, or juggling all these things…at the same damn time.
OK, back to how “Being Mary Jane” helped solve my moving across-country blues. For those of you who have never watched “Being Mary Jane,” she has this coping mechanism in which she writes quotes on sticky notes at times when she feels unhappy, disappointed, or overwhelmed. One episode, mid-season, she wrote this quote: “Let go of what you think is supposed to happen, and just let it be.” It seems as if I was sent a revelation upon reading that quote. I was sitting there miserable because my last month was not going according to my plan when I should have rolled with the punches. Although I was not able to do exactly what I wanted, I shouldn’t have put my life on hold in the way I did. I missed out on making more memories in this place where I spent four years of my life because of my stubbornness. This small, not so serious situation in my life is just an example of how things usually happen. I make plans, and although most of the time those plans come into fruition, when something goes wrong I become devastated. I beat myself up. I think about what I should have and could have done differently. Letting go and letting things be is challenging. It takes a lot of strength to give up control and to not fall into a gloominess when things go awry. Let me be clear, I am not saying that plans should never be made or goals should never be set. I’m just saying that being open to different paths to said goals is important.
Take Molly from insecure as another example of refusing to let things be. If you do not watch Insecure I’m side-eyeing the hell out of you, it’s a very relatable show about black millennials who are navigating through messy relationships and spirited friendships. The show brings up all too generationally and culturally relevant issues such as passive aggressive racism and sexism in the work place, the chaos of dating, and relationship dissatisfaction, just to name a few. On the latest episode, there was a scene in which the audience was given a glimpse into Molly’s therapy session. Molly’s therapist pointed out that she always talks about how things “should have” happened in her life instead of accepting what is. She feels as if she can control everything about her life, but unfortunately that need for control always results in her unhappiness. She constantly puts herself into uncomfortable situations because she’s chasing a life that she feels she should have instead of celebrating how far she has reached and how much she has accomplished presently. However, it is possible to celebrate now and continue to reach for greatness later.
I know Molly and Mary Jane because I see them in me. I see them in my friends. I see them on Instagram. I read them on Twitter and Facebook. I read them in books. They are women who make plans. Women who don’t have time for BS because they have things to do. Women who understand that they must work harder than most to get what they want, and are disappointed in themselves when they fall short of their own expectations. Women who refuse to give up chasing their dreams no matter how rocky the road has become. That strength is one of a kind. It’s inspiring. Its magnetic. But it can also be exhausting if you’re only looking towards the future and failing to notice all the different possibilities of right now.
After I watched the Being Mary Jane episode, I started watching Netflix less and doing other things I loved more. I spent time with friends and made new memories. I became vivacious and carefree again. I was smiling more. I was open and I was having more fun. I figured, this is the way life should be lived. Although I am still making plans, I am taking advantage of all the different possibilities of today, right here, right now. So, as soon as I am done writing, I am planning to put on a cute dress, throw some water and coconut oil in my fro, grab a bottle of water and go take in the sights of this beautiful city. With no direction or destination, I am planning to just Let it be.