This season of HBO’s GIRLS has been quite the roller coaster ride and episode nine (“Flo”) is no exception. The subject of mortality surfaces when Hannah is summoned to the hospital by her mom’s family – her grandmother is gravely ill. To keep us on our toes, Hannah and her cousin, Rebecca, get into a car accident (albeit a minor one), and Hannah’s boyfriend, Adam, rushes out of the city to be by her side.
And then, a particular conversation occurs between Hannah and her mother in a scene that I deem pivotal and honest and unnerving.
“You’re so special,” her mom says. “You deserve everything and more. He’s really nice, but try to stay open to possibilities. He’s odd, he’s angry, he’s uncomfortable in his own skin, he bounces around from thing to thing. I don’t want you to spend your whole life socializing him like he’s a stray dog, making the world a friendlier place for him. It’s not easy being married to an odd man.”
Of course she says this with the utmost loving intentions; she’s her mother, and she’s concerned that her daughter sees this supposedly unstable guy as ‘the one.’ But when she explains where she’s coming from, she states it as if it’s blatantly obvious. As if it’s the only logical answer to a riddle. As if everyone on the outside has this instilled awareness that rings true. As if Hannah is the last person to be in on the joke.
Hannah, who was touched that Adam came to the hospital and met her grandmother, is now appearing a bit defeated. She shrugs her shoulders and defends her relationship. “How dare you talk about something you literally know nothing about.”
That moment with her mother was tough to swallow, even for me. Because while I know that her words are clearly coming from a good place, I can’t help but think that only Hannah is going to know what she truly deserves and what feels right.
I’m a firm believer in listening to your inner voice, to the voice that syncs with your choices and propels you forward on whatever road you’re walking. And if you journey down an avenue that doesn’t end well, that is on par with others’ contrasting opinions and insight, then at least you know that you did everything you could do. At least you know that you still explored the opportunity.
A couple of years ago, I found myself in a complex situation with someone, and multiple people cautioned me to stay away and to tread very carefully. And though it didn’t work out, and it was a hot mess, and it wasn’t meant to be, I have zero regrets about embarking on that path. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have found substantial closure – it wouldn’t have existed. I need the glass to break, and I need to see the pieces scattered on the floor.
And most likely, Hannah will continue her relationship with Adam, and if it turns out that he isn’t someone to be romantically involved with, she’ll discover that facet on her own.
When you listen to your inner voice, it will never steer you wrong.