Where she’s not part of someone else’s story. Where she’s not a plot twist. Where she’s not a writing technique.
Where she’s a whole person outside of her love for The Shins, which wasn’t an eye-opening experience for some guy who was struggling to forgive his mother. Where she had layers beyond helping someone find himself in a field at dusk. Where her tattoos were cool, absolutely, but not some metaphor for taking chances on the unknown.
Because Manic Pixie Dream Girl deserved something more than what David or Daniel or whatever his name was could have possibly given her, Shins soundtrack accompanying it or otherwise.
So what about the MPDG? What kind of life should she have that exists outside of saving someone’s life with her vinyl collection surrounded by succulents and affinity for overalls?
Well maybe Manic Pixie Dream Girl teamed up with Sarcastic Nightmare Downer Girl or someone else entirely and decided that they didn’t need a sensitive yet ultimately generic skinny guy with ~big creative dreams~ and Warby Parker glasses to complete them. So they rode off into the sunset, while still respecting the speed limit and wearing their seatbelts, together in search of a life outside of being someone else’s life lesson.
They built a life that didn’t have just walls that “no one had seen before” and contained stories that may not have been routinely told but were fascinating none-the-less. A life where no one was right about something she hadn’t believed in, and if she changed her mind she did so on her own. A life where her happiness wasn’t determined and quantified by her attachment to someone else.
And in this life Manic Pixie Dream Girl didn’t play the ukulele because it made her charming, she played it because she fucking liked to. In this version her bangs weren’t a characterization, they were just part of her hair and she thought they were cute AF even if they did stick to her forehead in July. Here she forgot all about…what was his name? Brian? Ryan? Oh whatever it doesn’t matter because he didn’t actually matter and that’s why she forgot all about him. Except when he made that impossible by every now and then DMing her a heart eyes emoji in response to her Instagram Story Selfies that she would ignore with an eye roll every single time.
And she and the downer girl became each other’s teammates. Each other’s rock. Instead of relying on guys who were far too damaged to actually be there for them unless it had to do with his own journey, they relied on themselves. She had an apartment with hardwood floors and rugs that maybe had a few red wine stains adorning the corners and there was an adopted dog roaming around somewhere, but ultimately she didn’t need some guy like Tom’s monologue to validate its existence. And more importantly, she didn’t need that from him to validate her own.
Maybe she did fall in love again. Maybe more than once. Maybe to some people who ended up being little chips in her heart that ended up on the pages of poetry books or songs she penned while playing the piano by candlelight. But there was a certain level of respect to that love, to those people, she always was sure to uphold. Because she saw them as equals, as partners; not as a fetish or someone to put on a pedestal claiming they were “out of her league” or otherwise unobtainable.
Regardless of whatever circumstances she carried on, she evolved, she grew. She had adventures that involved figuring out what to do when your car breaks down on the side of the road in the desert but didn’t involve quirkily hitch hiking your way back with hippie strangers. She sang karaoke, sometimes alone, but it was never about upping her cool girl status. She never felt the need to make big speeches containing “I like you” manifestos, because frankly those just seem honestly unnecessary.
She wasn’t “completely unlike any other girl.” She was just herself.
And that, that comfortable existence, was something wonderful in and of itself.
But ultimately, maybe Manic Pixie Dream Girl simply decided to be happy. Unquestionably, peacefully, happy. Content. Content in her existence outside of someone else’s narrative. Where she wasn’t necessarily looking to be the hero of a story, where she was just looking to be.
And so she did.