A number of years ago, some online friends and I were playing a game. “What’s a phrase you would use to describe me.” Someone came along and said, “Manic Pixie Dream Girl”. I had no idea what he meant, but for some damn reason I respected his opinion enough to go look it up. And…I. Was. Pissed.
What is a Manic Pixie Dream Girl? It’s a movie trope. The exact terms used to describe her are: “the MPDG exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures” and “has no discernible inner life and usually exists only to provide the protagonist some important life lessons.”
What. The. Fuck?
The examples given were Jess (New Girl) or basically any Zooey Deschanel character…Ruby Sparks…any other QUIRKY female film character. Apparently being quirky means you have no point to your existence?
Seriously, this bothered me for A LONG ASS TIME.
But why? Why did it bother me so much? First of all, I get compared to Zooey Deschanel characters A LOT. lol Secondly…dude…sometimes I WISH I had less of a discernible inner life. Lol
But, mostly…it hurt because I could see how he got there.
I had a therapist once who begged me to get a Masters in Psychology. “You have this ability…to understand people…their motives…who they can be…that is beyond anything I’ve seen. It’s HORRIBLE for you because it makes it very hard for you to get angry, because you can understand the why of their view and actions. But it’s great for the people around you.”
That trait of mine…is the base root of my relationship issues. That was my real epiphany this morning.
I was thinking about a conversation I had with a friend about an ex the other day. About who they have decided to be. And I was thinking, “I’ll always love that person because he mattered to me once and because I know who he is deep down…but, MAN, I don’t like him.”
That’s when it hit me. I can say that about pretty much everyone I’ve ever dated. I love them for who they are inside, but I sincerely dislike who they choose to be.
This led me back to the MPDG trope.
In many past relationships, I’ve lost myself. I gave up things that mattered to me to support the things that mattered to them. I lost things and people I loved as I tried to be there for my person.
I forgot to keep being my own person.
Then I went the opposite direction. I remember a couple of summers ago. I had gone out with someone a few times. I was stressed about things I needed to do. He told me, “Ok. We need to sit down together and refigure your priorities.” The. FUCK. We. Do! My priorities are just fine, but you just became not one! (You guys know me…I always go to the extreme…lol)
I kind of became a Manic Pixie Fuck Off Girl.
But, even on both ends of the extreme, I always have had my own thoughts…my own wishes…my own dreams.
I’m Quirky as hell, but I am most definitely not here only for the benefit of helping someone become their best self.
If I help them find their best self in the process of being my own best self, bonus.
But no one will ever again say to me that I make a great partner because I’m “so easy to be with”, “malleable” or “too nice”.
I’ll be the Manic Pixie I Hope We Fit In Each Other’s Worlds Girl.