I recently went to the movies with my friends to see “Girls Trip”. And I must say, it was amazing! You know those laughs where you slap your thighs and the little tears come? Yeah, I had some of those. But apart from the laughter it brought, this great production sure helped me to reflect.
Having attended an all-girls high school, the bond shared between the actresses, Ryan (Regina Hall), Sasha (Queen Latifah), Lisa (Jada Pinkett-Smith) and Dina (Tiffany Haddish) was all too familiar. I could easily recall lunch times in sixth form full of “gimmicks” and the sharing of food and speaking of the future ahead of us among other things. We had our quarrels and little fights just like any other group but we always found ways to resolve them.
Now being in university, being away from those girls, I realize I took many of those moments for granted and I do wish I could go back in time and even record them just to have something to watch in my times of missing my girls.
We have all taken different paths and are in different places. But one thing is for sure, just like the girls in the movie, one day, we will be reunited with a million and one stories to tell.
Apart from reflecting on my moments with my girls, the movie taught or better yet reminded me of some lessons, which I want to share with you:
- You don’t always have to have it all together – In the movie, Ryan Pierce (Regina Hall) promoted the idea of “having it all”, which made me smile because this is a concept that I embrace. However, it got to a point where in order to have it all, or to appear to, she chose to sacrifice her self-worth and accept less than she deserved from her unfaithful husband, so as not to, in her head, “disappoint” people who looked up to her and admired her life. Life is full of obstacles and setbacks. It isn’t perfect. Some things will be out of your control. There are things that you will not be able to fix/repair. Let go off those things. Don’t sacrifice your sanity to promote perfection and bliss.
- The best way to inspire is to be your true, authentic self – Believe it or not, you don’t need airs or a look of perfection to inspire people. When Ryan finally spoke out and showed her supporters her reality, her moments of vulnerability and weakness, they were inspired by her strength to be brave and say it as it was. To say that her life was not perfect but she was doing the best she could. And that reminds me of one of my favourite quotes, “there’s no need to be perfect to inspire others. Let people be inspired by how you deal with your imperfections.”
- Keep friends who will call you out on your bs – This is self-explanatory. Don’t keep friends who see you on a path to self-destruction and allow you to go on full speed ahead. Have friends who will let you know straight up that what you are doing with your life is crazy and is not the best thing for you. You need to have people around you who will tell you to your face that you’ve made a big mistake or that you’re making bad moves. And even greater, keep friends who will try their best to help you to fix whatever bad situation you got caught up in. Those are true friends.
4. Remember to check up on that “strong friend” of yours – In our friend groups, we all have that “strong friend”. You know that friend who seems to have it all together, who seems to always be on point with his/her life, knows what he/she wants, works hard, and is successful at most things he/she does? The friend that most people turn to when they have problems, or they need support or good advice? Yeah that friend. Often times in our friendships, we are so focused on focusing on our own issues that we forget that maybe, just maybe that strong friend needs a shoulder to cry on or advice themselves. That strong friend will probably not say it outright that life is going haywire. And I can say from experience that maybe that strong friend is the way he/she is because during their lifetime, no one ever reached out to them or showed them that there was someone walking with them so over time, they just grew to depend on themselves, fight their own battles and be very independent. But even the strongest soldier gets tired. Show your strong friend that you got his/her back and you’re in this thing called life together. Ryan, had it not been for her friends, would have probably had a greater meltdown than she did. Don’t forget to check on your strong friend.
5. Don’t settle in your relationships – Don’t ever settle for something just because it looks good. If it doesn’t feel right, then it isn’t right. Ryan’s relationship with her husband looked great in the public’s eye but behind closed doors, there were way too many arguments and tears. Don’t be afraid to walk away from someone who isn’t treating you as you deserve to be treated. Don’t be afraid to walk away from someone who hurts you over and over and comes back apologizing, promising to be better but never actually changes. Avoid being in relationships with manipulative individuals; those people who mess with your mind and guilt-trip you all the time when really the fault is not with you but with them. You don’t need that in your life.
And I am sure there are even more lessons which could be taken from this movie. Finally, I’ll say, cherish the moments you spend with your friends. This life is short. At the end of the day, your happiness will not be found in your loaded bank accounts, or your many cars, flashy clothes and fame but those great moments you spend with your tribe, those people who just get you and love you for you. No add-ons, nothing extra, just plain you. Treasure those moments and treasure those people. Life is good when you have good friends.