Eternal limbo

by Meritxell Riera Prims


Anna Camp as Caitlin D’Arcy in the CBS TV show The Good Wife

Recently I was binge-watching the first three seasons of the CBS TV show The Good Wife, when I suddenly came accross a scene that somewhat reminded me of something I’m experiencing at this very moment.

Caitlin (played by the talented, beautiful and underrated Anna Camp), a young lawyer, a freshwoman who’s just began to work for an important firm, is about to be hired having proven her skills and fullfilled the expectations of their bosses and beyond. To her boss and mentor’s surprise, she turns the offer down. She’s pregnant, and she wants to get married, dedicate herself to raising her children, being a housewife and taking care of her husband. Her mentor tries to tell her out of what she -a woman who’s devoted 15 years of her life to bringing up two kids, and who’s just recently regained her economic and personal autonomy by resuming her work as a lawyer, and act as the provider in the family while her husband was in jail- considers to be a suicidal decision.

The young woman’s reply goes “Maybe it’s different for my generation, but I don’t have to prove anything. Or, if I have to, I don’t want to.” *

I assume this scene is intended to bring about the controversy of the increasing number of women in the industrialized world, that with the global crisis are quitting the labor market and returning to ‘house duties’. Perhaps it is meant as an alert about chosing the ‘easy path’ (and I stress the quotation marks) and become dependent -after all, the fact that she can make a choice is precisely because women who came before her had to work hard to obtain for themselves and their successors the same rights men had in public life. After all, the show is about women who are highly-capable, hard-working, and independent, much as the targeted audience.

But either way, I don’t care. That’s not my point. I don’t mean to address the feminist angle of the show. To me it means something completely different, such as breaking everyone’s expectations and following your heart, even if that means making a mistake. It’s just like saying ‘Alright. I wanted to know if I could do it. Now that I know that I do, I don’t need to go on competing any longer.’

Me, I’m in the middle of the worst crisis I’ve ever undergone in my entire life. If I could die and be born again, under diferent circumstances, being a completely different being, in a different place and so on, I would. Maybe that’s why I can relate to Caitlin’s point.

I’ve been trying to prove myself all my life-because I thought that people loved me for being good at almost everything I accomplished -or so I thought, because no one ever contradicted me on that or told me ‘Ok, you suck at this, but it’s okay, nobody’s perfect and we love you just the same.’… (Ok, I don’t believe that’s Caitlin’s case: she’s a young beautiful woman, who precisely because of that might have never been taken seriously as a lawyer if, in an act of nepotism, her uncle hadn’t pressured the firm to hire her, even if later on she proves to be more than merely a capable professional.)

This reminds me of Lisa Simpson voluntarily entering a military school, but when realising the challenge is tougher than she’d expected, admitting she was ready for a challenge… she could actually do.

Fucking control freak… No one ever prepared me for failure. I’m sick of it. I seclude myself in intellectualism, the only place where my damn ego is safe… even if it’s wrong.

And of course I’m obsessed with perfection… In latin, perfect means ‘finished’. Therefore, the only way to reach perfection would be Death.

I’m tired of praying everynight for everything to have miraculously changed in the morning without any true commitment whatsoever on my part.

A very wise person I once knew told me that I was born because I chose to. Because at a certain point, I pushed my way out of my mother’s womb. This might be true, but I definitely didn’t chose to be born in this time, place, family, body…

And I certainly didn’t chose to be born and grow this unhappy, this unsatisfied… And I’ve never chosen to be stuck in this limbo for ages.