SPOILER ALERT: I will be discussing details of the episode so if you haven’t watched it yet get your priorities together and watch that shit.
The season four finale of “Girls”, big win for the ladies. Despite the stifling or disappointing men that the ladies have been involved with, Hannah, Jessa, Shoshanna, and Marni were celebrated for their individuality, independence, and strength; it was a true celebration of the female spirit.
Admittedly, I have been a bit down about my perpetually single state. When you see everyone around you coupling up and getting engaged (yes I am at the age where weddings and baby showers are the bulk of your social life) it’s easy to develop a bleak perspective towards dating. But watching the “Girls” season finale changed al of that.
When Shoshanna was offered a job in Japan, she was faced with deciding whether to embark on this new adventure, or explore a budding relationship that she had recently entered. Scott, Shosh’s latest flame, asked her not to take the job, to stay in New York and move in with him because he would be “in love with her soon.” It wasn’t until she talked to Ray’s boss – an unlikely yet wise mentor to Shosh- that she decided she would take the job. “Be the walker, not the dog,” he tells her, and references the Sheryl Sandberg novel “Lean In,” telling her that this was her lean in moment. Shosh took a risk, and took control of her own destiny. In sacrificing ‘soon to be love’, Shosh found her inner strength.
After Ray confronted Desi (finally telling him what we were all thinking – basically that he is a terrible human being in general) Marni was left without her partner on the night of her big show. After contemplating leaving, and a push from Ray, Marni find the strength within herself to get up on stage and sing un accompanied. While the majority of Marni’s solo performances have been cringe-worthy at best, this was Marni’s moment, her coming out. On that stage, she realized she had the strength to pursue her dreams on her own.
As Hannah and Adam admired his new niece, Jessa-Hannah, he asked her for another chance at their relationship. Now any “Girls” fan probably would have bet their car that she’d take him back. But in a truly shocking turn of events, she said no. Hannah realized that her life is taking her away from Adam, that the timing was all wrong for them. This was a huge moment of personal growth for Hannah, freeing herself from the memory of their relationship and allowing the both of them to move on and grow. The final scene of the episode shows Hannah and Fran, her coworker at the school whom she shared a shockingly terrible date with in a previous episode, in a relationship. Hannah has figured out what she needs and wants in life and has found herself a mature, realistic, drama free (we hope) relationship.
Hardly do we see Jessa as the voice of reason, but the mysterious creature that is Jessa is filled with surprises. Adam’s sister Caroline is in labor a month early, the baby is breached, and she insists on a home water birth. Jessa takes control of the situation, literally sticking her head in the tub to check on the baby, and convincing Laird, Caroline’s boyfriend, that they need to get her to a hospital immediately. At the end of the episode, Jessa declares that she is going to become a therapist. Helping in Caroline’s birth made Jessa realize that she has a strong maternal instinct and the innate ability to help others. She has found her place in the world, and with Jessa’s vulnerable, messy past, this is a monumental accomplishment.
This episode is the epitome of girl power. These ladies have all come into their own, they have harnessed their inner power, and are on the path to pursue their destiny. They are not living for anyone else, not making decisions based on a boyfriend or sacrificing for a relationship. They are living completely and fully for themselves.
After watching, I immediately deleted my online dating profile and the phone numbers of several guys who I have let string me along, who I text when I am feeling particularly lonely. I thought, screw this. I don’t need a relationship to feel validated. I will not base my self worth, my decisions, my happiness on my relationship status. Instead of focusing on finding a boyfriend, I need to be focusing on finding myself. On discovering what I love, what I want, what I want to do. Now I am not saying I am swearing off men, nor am I adapting a man-hating mentality, I am simply committing to myself. I am focusing on my career, my happiness, my future. The only relationship that will last forever is the one I have with myself, and that’s the relationship I am focusing on right now. Thank you “Girls” for inspiring that revelation.