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The Young Bradshaw in All of Us

Sex and the City has always fascinated me. When I was younger, the name itself was daunting and somewhat rebellious. Who was Carrie Bradshaw? And why was there so much sex in the city? I’ve only seen a few episodes here and there—my curious self was way too vulnerable to hit ‘play’ at age fifteen—but I have yet to commit wholeheartedly. The Carrie Diaries, however, was something entirely different. My underclassman-self made the time to watch it. This was my chance to learn about the Carrie Bradshaw at a young, entirely relatable point in her life. My mom wouldn’t scold me for watching it and I could take it as a chance to prepare to watch the real thing; it was perfect. But then, yes, spoiler, the show was canceled after only two seasons. Only the good die young, I suppose. Let’s just say that I was more distraught than when I found out Camila Cabello left Fifth Harmony (or should I say Fourth Harmony?). Either way, things just wouldn’t be the same.

The young Carrie thriving in New York City was my idea of perfection. This girl was in high school working for some swanky New York fashion magazine without telling her father. Oh, and she always had a cute boyfriend. And amazing outfits. And the motivation to write in a journal every night. She was rebellious, yet chic; flawed, yet poised. She was a girl that could make mistakes and grow from them. I mean, really, who has the time to work full time, go to school and write a thorough diary entry every night? I’ve purchased so many journals from Paper Source that I have yet to even touch. What’s the secret? Where’s the HTML code?

My point is, Carrie is pretty unreal. Her world is a fictional one, but it wasn’t all built up on luck. She was a character that had to work for it. She had downfalls, mistakes and run-ins with decision-making that were anything but easy. She had her cringe-worthy moments, but let’s not forget her perseverance. If something went wrong, that girl picked herself up and put her heels back on a minute later. Teenage Bradshaw, in short, was one hell of a fighter that inspired me to put on my own boxing gloves. With the lessons learned from this prequel’s short life, I felt like I was one step closer to the shining lights and crowded streets of NYC. She was a boss lady with a strong future in sight. And, thanks to the following quotas of Bradshaw, I've realized that, hell, so am I.

Embrace natural hair.

Why waste time curling or straightening? Trust me, I still need to work on this myself—my pink Chi is my very best friend—but these tools should never be depended on. Can’t make time to flatten your hair? That’s okay. Curls are natural and they don’t always have to be tamed. Using them should never be a requirement to achieve confidence. Nope, no way, nuh-uh. Carrie didn’t straighten her hair 24/7 and still managed to be a queen 24/7. See ya on the flip side, hair tools. You’ve burned my hands long enough and I’m sick of it.

Work harder. Always.

Your work ethic can always be strengthened, and so can your career. Not happy with where you’re at? Good. Take that lousy, understandable outlook and use it to fuel your engines. Raise your hand, offer to help others, take on a new responsibility in the workplace; stand out and do it with a good purpose. You can’t just expect bigger and better opportunities to fall into your lap: you have to do the dirty work first (and with a meaningful smile on your face at the same time). Carrie didn’t land a magazine career just by sitting around Larissa’s office. She went nuts to get remotely close to writing her first article and took any chance to jumpstart her career. We all have to start somewhere, don’t we?

Secure a healthy balance in life.

Work, friends, family, school, sleep, health, food—ugh. What do they all have in common? They all fight for your love and attention numerous times throughout the day. It’s difficult (I still struggle with this), but any of these commitments can be managed and fit into your schedule. You can work hard, yes, but it’s important to recognize that your health and well-being come first. Hang out with friends after working all day and be sure to get to bed early to regulate more energy the next morning. Know where you’re at and what’s coming next. Take the time to rest and if things become too much, recognize that. Do what you have to do to maintain a healthy and happy body. If that gets destroyed, so does your will to reach even higher towards success.

Keep friends and family close. And enemies? No thanks.

There’s no reason to keep your enemies “even closer” when you have the confidence to keep going on your own terms. Put them aside and avoid the drama that comes with them at all costs. Friends and family are what matter most. Those people that keep putting you down? They aren’t worth an ounce of your time. Prove them wrong, slay at what you’re doing, and take the time to surround yourself with those you adore. Haters can be your motivators, but they should never reside at the forefront of your mind. Take that white-out and block them out as much as you can. Bye, Regina. See you later, Massie Block. Go away, Donna LaDonna.

Take that purse and make it your very best friend.

Who says your purse has to be one color? Make it your own. Take that initiative and jazz it up. Try something new that goes beyond what’s expected. Remember when Carrie practically got recruited because of her stellar purse? Take that little piece of news and deck out your new Kate Spade purse and Michael Kors backpack. Who’s to say it won’t get you recognized by famous fashionistas in the near future? The streets are a jungle and you never know what could happen.

Long story short: there’s a young Bradshaw in all of us. We just need to take that leap into the unknown before we can really accept our poised, capable selves that have been there all along. Recognize your worth, work hard and make time for those you love. With these three things in mind (and a bedazzled purse in hand), you’re ready to take on the world. The only thing that’s missing is great '80s music and neon clothing. And Austin Butler, of course. But don’t even get me started on that.

A sophomore Marketing Communications major who cares way too much about pastel coats and hazelnut coffee.
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