If you're a fan of the show Girls, you may know exactly what I'm talking about and maybe you felt all the feels like I felt when I watched this episode.
If you're not, it's okay. I'm going to break it down for you.
I love the show Girls because it feeds the deep, dark and twisty parts of my soul while also being so real and can simultaneously makes me laugh.
I started it last year and got through all four seasons in one massive binge--how else does one watch a show?
Girls follows the life, friendship, relationships, jobs etc of 4 girls who live in NYC. In the season 5 episode titled Panic In Central Park, we follow Marnie for a day. She recently got married to a man that we all didn't want her to marry, but ya know, so the story goes of being young and thinking you're in love, and thinking you know everything (been there, done that.).
This episode is completely centered around one day in Marnie's life. Opening up with a fight between her and her now husband, they are fighting about something so small and she can't take it so she gets up and leaves.
She's walking through NYC (swoon) when she hears her name called out, Turning around she locks eyes with her ex-boyfriend. She hasn't seen him in years, and now he's changed. He has a beard and we find out that he's a drug dealer latter on.
However in this moment, he asks her to spend the day with him. On a whim and in her anger and sadness she says yes. He walks her through Brooklyn, taking her to buy a dress, then going to an Italian restaurant. We are walked through her happiness and pure joy of feeling at home with this familiar love.
They continue to steal a boat in Central Park, kiss in said boat before tipping over, then they both fall into the water. Which I like to imagine is like her rebirth, her awakening of "holy shit, what I have done, how did I get here?".
In the moments between getting back to his house and waking up in the morning, they plan on running away together and resuming where they left off years ago, until ultimately Marnie finds out he's using drugs and walks the street of Brooklyn home.
When she gets home she finds her husband sitting on their stairs waiting for her.
"I don't want to be married anymore." She says. " I just didn't want to give up on yet another dream. I don't know who I am right now and I'm like a ghost of myself. I don't know what I'm doing here or anywhere else, but I don't want to be married to you."
In watching this last winter, having been almost a year out of leaving my own marriage--my heart hurt, felt liberated and happy all at once.
"I just didn't want to give up on yet another dream".
I think we all feel that way, about marriages and even relationships. We don't want to give up on what is suppose to be "good" or "right". So we stay in relationships, in my case a marriage, as we slowly begin to lose ourselves because it isn't right. It isn't you. It isn't what you want. It's what you thought you wanted, but now we sit in what was the idea of happiness and not actual happiness. Does that make sense?
Maybe you've experienced your own panic in Central Park. Or maybe you're there right now, realizing that where you are isn't where you want to be.
It's okay to leave the things that are no longer serving you, the things that leave you feeling like a ghost of yourself. It's okay to leave something even though it's "good" or "right" in the eyes of others.
And to you, the one that has experienced your own version of the panic in Central Park, and now you're sitting on the other side of it all, I hope you can sit with your pain and growth and not rush through it. Knowing that listening to your truth and making moves to be aligned with your purpose and make your soul happy is why we are here.
It doesn't matter if you're 21, 29, 37, 55 or 93-- you may wake up one day and be like what in the actual fuck have I done? How have I gotten here?
In those moments where your truth is so alive in you and know something must change in order for your soul to survive life without turning into a ghost, I hope you have the courage to leave, flee and be who are and who you want to be. I hope you have the courage to be Marnie, to be Cheryl Strayed and break your own heart. To be the truest and most raw version of you.
We are all just trying to figure out who we are and what we want. Sometimes we make legal binding contracts with the state because we feel that's what is "right". Then we find ourselves like "oh shit, this isn't right, who am I?"
So we choose compassion to each feeling that arises and affirm to ourselves that we are worthy of living a whole life in which we feel complete and happy. We affirm that our happiness matters. We affirm that it's okay to be brave. We affirm that it's okay to shake up our lives for our highest and best good.
Marnie's Panic In Central Park was a full circle moment for me. It was a little sign from the universe that speaking my truth saved me, brought me back into my body and allowed me to be here--whole, happy and writing this, helping other women find their truth.
I hope you can listen to your truth, and if you're going through your own panic in Central Park, know that you are not alone.
It's not your fault. I knew I shouldn't have married you