Saying Goodbye to HBO 'Girls'

*WARNING: Season 6 spoilers below*

After six seasons, the HBO series Girls is finally leaving us and I’m not ready for it. As a formal good, ye I restarted the entire series while simultaneously watching the final season, one of my brighter personal choices this whole year. In the New York Times article, "6 Ways 'Girls' Changed Television. Or Didn't.," writer A.O. Scott lists the reasons why (I infer, based on his conclusion and my own personal biases) the show did change television: by portraying realistic sex, recasting a woman's body, inciting a conversation about diversity, stinging the audience, chronicling think-piece culture, and sharing a distinct voice. Scott concludes that even if you feel you're nothing like Hannah, Lena Dunham has opened the door to more writers and more perspectives that may have felt they did not belong on screen prior to Girls.   

Moving on, there are way too many takeaways from this series to name even half of them. However, I would like to highlight two lessons that had the biggest impact on me. First, the validation/self-actualization/meaning that we are blindly looking for in our twenties can only be found through self-discovery, not another person. Second, as said by Hannah in the opening scene of the most recent episode, “Goodbye Tour,” “Lust fades, but friendship doesn’t, if you nurture it.”

Going back to the first lesson, that the validation/self-actualization/meaning we are blindly looking for in our twenties can only be found through self-discovery, not another person. I came to this conclusion after the dissolution of Adam and Hannah’s love story. I was always pro-Adam + Hannah (mostly because I love you, Adam Driver). The old seasons allowed me to reminisce and pretend like the Jessa situation never happened. Then in the final season's episode, “What Will We Do This Time About Adam?” he realizes he and Hannah might have unfinished business, like the beautiful romantic he is. He basically tells Jessa, "sorry, not sorry, history trumps whatever this was and I have to see if I can get back together with Hannah." And I’m just in my bed [email protected]#$#$, all my dreams are coming true. Adam finds Hannah and tells her he wants to raise her baby with her. Then they just have this perfect day together as if their love was never interrupted.

But at the end of the episode in a diner, they have an unspoken agreement that this, the two of them as a couple, will never work again. Being the hopeless optimist I am, my initial response was confusion. I believe the AV Club blog explains why the writers decided to end A+H this way, “If Girls is about maturation, an ending that dutifully slapped Hannah and Adam back together would have undercut any of Hannah’s efforts to grow up.” Self-discovery is reserved for your twenties, it is a solo trip and cannot be found through someone else no matter how hard we try.  We ask the most impossible task from our partner in young love, to answer the question "who am I? " for us. Our youthful mistake is thinking we can find ourselves in others and in intimate relationships. What I have found from my own personal crash-and-burns is that my attempts to hold on to young love was more about me wanting to be the person I was in that relationship. I'd give anything, even enter back into a toxic relationship, just to be that young, happy, stupid-in-love person I was just a few months prior. What I know now is that you cannot go back and find that happy version of yourself, life doesn’t allow it. You have to move forward and find a new version of a happy you. It’s harder, but doable. 

The second life lesson I learned from Girls: “Lust fades, but friendship doesn’t, if you nurture it.” In the opening scene, the very pregnant Hannah emerges on a college campus and feels compelled to urge these three friends laughing in the grass this advice. I came to this realization slightly earlier in my life, but Lena Dunham helped me put my thoughts into words, like always. I came to this realization when my best friend from high school and I both found ourselves in the exact same position: we had both ended relationships with our first loves. I remember this moment clearly, we were sitting in her car next to some view, emotional af, and she turned to me and said, “I just thought I was gonna spend the rest of my life with him. I thought he was my life partner.” My response to her surprised me too, “Maybe you’re my life partner and I’m yours. Maybe we were wrong on the definition of who are life partners are.” The more I thought about this, the more I felt it to be true, as if I cracked a social code. The U.S. divorce rate only continues to increase. And in the majority of marriages that actually do last, the lust/ real love is gone and what remains is the friendship, if that. That is why our lady friendships are so important and deserve the same energy/attention as we give to our f**k boys that most likely will be temporary. *Think about it* Lady friendships matter and we should all work harder in building more by respect for every woman who sweeps by you. Not just on National Women's Day, but every day. It’s 2017. It is petty to throw hate at other ladies for no reason. We shouldn’t only be nice to the ladies we know. We should smile more at each other, if you like another lady’s outfit (even if you don’t know her) tell her, hold the door open for others, etc. Do not downplay the power of individual acts because if you have ever stood in line for the bathroom @ Taylor's, then you know the numbers are there to make a potential difference.