She is, without a doubt, my favorite icon. Carrie Bradshaw. Some will argue that she cannot, in fact, be an icon because she is not a real person. Well, I would argue with those people that some real people aren’t even real people. Is a pulse the sole factor in establishing the imaginary from all else?
Icon. Candace Bushnell, in The Carrie Diaries, writes, Audiences often ask if characters are based on ‘real people.’ Indeed, the impulse of the amateur is to write about “who one knows.” The professional, on the other hand, understands the impossibility of such a task. The “creator” of the character must know more about the character than on could ever possibly know about a “real person.” The author must possess complete knowledge: what the character was wearing on Christmas morning when he or she was five, what presents he or she received, who gave them, and how they were given. A “character,” therefore, is a “real person” who exists in another plane, a parallel universe based on the authors’s perception of reality.
So, then, is it me that makes her real? Real enough to be my icon at least. I met Carrie at a very…mm interesting time in my life. A time when little made sense, but all was well-if that makes sense. I dared not question things that seemed well enough, but you always kind of have a feeling something isn’t as it should be. At this house that wasn’t mine. In this family that felt so superficial, one Christmas Eve when the interior decorator was over strategically placing our gifts under the tree instead of at home with his family, I met Carrie. Initially turned off by her, I found her flaky and pathetic. I-in short-judged her, albeit very prematurely. I did not see her quiet strength or take notice to her humor. I hated her clothes, I wrote her off as melodramatic and quite frankly unnecessary. I don’t think it was until the series ended…until I owned all 6 seasons and began watching them, sequentially, obsessively, that I began to idolize Carrie.
How she led with her heart, fearless…or perhaps not, but in spite of the fear-which is even more courageous. How she was loyal and trustworthy…accepting. How she was naked with her loved ones. I admired that. I still do. I think that my writing is the shedding of my clothes. Here I stand completely exposed by my words, its freeing. The human spirit might rival the human form for beauty. If one is able to capture the vulnerability of both, he has hit the jackpot. More over, Carrie knew what she was, and what she was not. I think perhaps my favorite line of any movie ever made comes from Juno, when she says “I don’t know what kind of girl I am.” Because for a long while I didn’t. I think I have a good idea now.
I’m the kind of girl who leads with her heart.
I’m the kind of girl who sees herself in everybody, a little, and finds it utterly exhausting to hate.
I’m the kind of girl who laughs loudly at a good joke.
I’m the kind of girl who writes abstract notes to herself, thinks in lymrics, and dreams in prose.
I’m not “just” anything.
I’m learning that I’m not fearless, I’m learning to forgive myself for fear. I’m learning to act in spite of it.
I’m the kind of girl who finds it all leads back to love.
I’m the kind of girl who finds joy in that.
I may not be “a Carrie.” And then again, I may. I’m not setting out to be anything other than myself, because well…that’s all we can be. Even in trying I am only myself imitating any such thing. I am exploring every facet of me. Learning my ins and outs, and making note of it all. I find me fascinating. I find great power in the journey.
Thank you Carrie Bradshaw. For making imperfect, just right.