Warning: Mini “Girls Trip” and “Insecure” spoilers ahead.
There are some women when asked “How are you?” will always say: “I’m good!” That’s me, and that’s Ryan from my new favorite movie of all time, “Girls Trip,” which I got to see with my FAMU BFF last Saturday.
Out of the group of four graduates (FAMU stand up!), Ryan is the one who looks like she’s doing the best but is really doing the most pretending. Why? Because she built her whole empire on the idea that “You can have it all,” and as her personal life starts to fall apart (or continue to do so), she feels as if she really can’t let that affect this grand career that she’s built.
But let me tell you, Ryan isn’t the only person pretending. Every time I say “I’m fine” when I want to say how stressed and exhausted I am, I’m pretending. Every time I smile when I kinda just want to cry because life is doing what life often does, I’m pretending. And honestly, I do this with my friends a lot.
Y’all. I. Am. Pretending.
And not in a deceptive way. Pretending you’re OK when you’re really not sometimes has nothing to do with other people and everything to do with how you feel about yourself. If I ignore that I have a problem, then that problem doesn’t really exist, right? I know that’s all wrong, but like in a meme I shared not too long ago: my favorite cardio is running away from my problems.
And what exactly is “having it all”? Honestly, it’s relative anyway. We can be the boss and not have “the perfect life,” and that’s pretty much because there is no such thing.
We all have our good stuff, and the crap we wanna hide. We all have those failures that are just as huge as our wins. And, we all have things that hurt us, that scratch our golden facades, and remind us that no person is immune from very normal stuff like heartache, disappointment, and insecurity. And just because we’re human doesn’t mean we aren’t thriving.
And then, I watch “Insecure” and my girl Molly is seeing her therapist. (Amen to her breakthrough on that because homegirl should’ve been on that couch last season.) She’s talking (finally) about what should be happening when her therapist stops her because of her continued use of the word “should.”
Gah! Who else loves to say how their life should be by now?
Gon’ head and raise your hand with me because many of us fall victim to this line of thinking every single day. “What should my life look like by now?” is a question I ask myself more than I’d like to admit.
But, looking back, if my life was exactly how I thought it should have been way back when, I’d be miserable. If you’d asked me a decade ago, I would’ve told you that in ten years I should be married (to my then husband), maybe with some more kids, and a blossoming career in supply chain or something like that.
And my real-life today looks nothing like what I would’ve imagined it would be. Divorce, when the marriage isn’t right, can be a blessing, y’all. I’m in a brand new career that I absolutely love and even though I wish I were more things — more established, made more money, dating more, whatever — I’m ecstatic to have this life. I’ve worked hard for it, I love that I have it, and I’m definitely not the girl I was back then.
There’s no way I could’ve outlined my life back when I didn’t even know who I was yet. And neither does Molly. She’s still figuring it all out. Heck, I am, too, and we’d be foolish not to push aside those fears that we aren’t making it simply because our present may look different that what we’d imagine.
So, to all the Ryans and Mollys, I see you, girl. You’re good. We’re good. We’re growing and glowing, and we gon’ be alright.