“I made the effort! I put a bird on my head for him!” – Carrie Bradshaw, Sex & the City: The Movie
I hadn’t realized how much I’d missed Sex & the City, which ended its run in 2004, until I watched the movie, and just like the series, the movie didn’t disappoint. How I’d missed it all: the lives, the loves, the losses, the labels, and New York. I would sell my soul to be able to get on a plane and fly back there right this very second, to go back to a world where I was so much safer, in both body and heart — a world far, far away from this No Man’s Land I so rashly (or so it would seem) dragged myself back to, naïvely thinking I could finally find that silver lining that would make the upheaval less unbearable.
The movie taught me a lot, and even though they were lessons I’d probably already learned from watching the series prior, they still felt new and raw to me, possibly because of the circumstances in my own life right now. The three main lessons of the movie were:
Trust. We’re always afraid that something won’t work, that this time will just be like all the other times, that we’re only setting ourselves up for failure and bitter disappointment yet again. And yet we know deep down in our hearts that this time was not like all the other times, so we have to have that trust and faith — in ourselves, in anyone else involved, in our own judgment and in the fact that if we really do want everything to work out, it will in the end. So we wait, but is that a sign of unbreakable trust and unswerving faith, or just denial that everything has crumbled about our ears and it’s time to let go? And if one party gives up along the way, and the other follows suit, is it because they had no other choice, or because the trust and faith were somehow broken?
Taking risks. “How do I know she won’t keep punishing me for the rest of my life?” Steve asked, to which Miranda countered, “How do I know he won’t cheat on me again?” And their shrink replied very simply, “You don’t.” We don’t know what and how much we stand to lose by doing something until we actually do it, but that is the risk we all have to take if we want it. Similar to bungee jumping where the fear that the safety harness will break is ever-present, we are given the chance to reconsider our choices, and if we know we want to try it, we take a deep breath and jump, knowing full well the causes and consequences of our actions. If we fail, we know we can still hold our heads up and say, “At least I tried,” because no matter how much it hurts to fall, it would hurt more to stand in the sidelines and wonder what could have been.
Forgiveness. How apt that a movie like this featured India.Arie’s cover of Don Henley’s The Heart Of The Matter, incidentally one of my favorite songs ever. People make mistakes, people may not know what to do sometimes, but that is just human nature. But we look past all that and accept them just the way they are, because not to do so would mean that we can’t forgive them for being themselves instead of what we want them to be. It can’t always be all about us — what we think, what we feel, what we want. Sometimes we have to put ourselves aside and understand that this is how they are and know that we can love them for it. And it’s only when we forgive — ourselves and/or them — that we can move on, with or without them.