It’s likely that by now you’ve seen the utterly adorable “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”, if only because it’s been plastered to the heading of most of our Netflix’s home pages for weeks. And if you have in fact seen it, you’ll know the movie 1) isn’t really about the boys LJ loved before, 2) pretty much stole the quirky attractiveness of Wes Anderson-esq shots and color schemes and 3) has a storyline that doesn’t really include any singular event that is extremely exciting…
so then WHY do we (i.e. all of Twitter-dom) love it so much?
Well. Peter Kavinsky my friends. Peter. Freaking. Kavinsky.
Which is also a little weird because on paper his character is just about as normal as the rest of the movie, yet so so endearing.
So here I am, Tuesday evening. It was a sick day for me, so I was stuffing my face with the only two things I really trust in Uganda-crackers and (cheap) imported wine, and decided it was a perfect night for this movie. I was genuinely hoping it would be some kind of reflection of all the boys in LJ’s life, that she’d transcend into a high-school version of Nola Darling, and I would go to bed feeling empowered in all of my womanhood. I was ready.
Rather, at 10:45 pm I was ready to sell my entire soul to the Lacrosse goalie of Adler High-MY WHOLE SOUL Y’ALL (good news is, he’s actually my age ;)). Frankly though, I was disappointed in myself. My impenetrable wall of ‘completely fine without a man I don’t need y’alls blah *explicit blah, I’m just fine here thanks’ literally melted in the hands of a Netflix producer with 100 minutes at his disposal. Who was Will Smith. Will, why did you come for me like this?
And yes, I could have (*read, should have) let this moment slip away into the privacy of my crappy couch cushions, but I guess I just wanted to tell all the girls who had a similar response this one thing:
Your hopes for love, and sometimes disappointment at its absence do not make you weak. You can (will) kill it with, or without a man. Some days of the single joy ride will feel like that. And some nights will feel less like it. And that’s totally okay.
I honestly feel like we’re a little stuck. If you’re in a committed relationship you’re the girl who just ‘doesn’t get’ the struggle. If you’re single and don’t want to be, you need to ‘find your worth in the Jesus, honey!’. And if you’re living life un-bothered you’re at risk of being ‘too’ whatever: feminist, disinterested, independent, fill in the blank.
I guess for me, I just thought I had to somehow prove the moment of singleness. Like the only brave way to approach it was was take it like someone handing me a trophy and give the best dang acceptance speech (even if I’m not even sure I wanted it).
But I-we don’t have to prove we’re anything to anyone. Not your friends, not your family-not your ex. You’re you now and you were you then. You’re growing, learning, becoming someone who knows best how they shine. You don’t have to prove you’re better now. You don’t have to combat the thought of another year of singleness with striving to be amazing in some other area of life. You just need to keep laying the bricks of what you know to be today’s best.
Your value doesn’t come from being with a man just as much as it doesn’t come from being perfectly fine without one. And I just feel like we need to get this.
The boys are, and always will be a piece of the puzzle. But a piece. The Pangaea of your world has plenty of other colliding and drifting land masses. I can weep at Peter Kavinsky (or you know, like other real humans it doesn’t work out with), send my requests up to the Lord, and still very much be a whole, healing woman who’s pursuing her passions and looking great while doing so.
So let’s dream the big dreams right now. If the right guy enters the scene, then great. If not, we’ll build an empire while we’re waiting.