I am not a whole person. Ideas of wholeness and togetherness of self are, at the very least, extremely disappointing and destructive things to assume of a person but it is something we are inundated with either very openly or subliminally the moment we (Millennial People) leave school or home or whatever.
What makes us whole? What makes us finally have it together? At which point am I both whole and together and, if it's now, why do I feel this way, this awful about not living up to expectations set out for me? Someone said to me once that I am still forming as a human; that the world is still this figurative womb, though larger, scarier, and far less nurturing, where whatever or whoever we are meant to be outside of the confines of our already developed physical bodies is still coming together. That person, of course, is my wise and witchy mother who raised me to be a human first, a woman second, and be good at both of those always.
I'm an adult now, I guess. I pay rent for the basement apartment I share with my roommate; I have an exorbitant amount of student and personal debt; I know how to deal with a flood or a leaky ceiling; I have multiple credit cards; I don't drive but my sense of direction is sharp and my feet will take me anywhere a car can't. I've never had a long-term serious relationship though, but quite recently had my heart shattered by the potential of one after he left me so abruptly. I loved him. I really did. He could have loved me too but was maybe afraid. Or maybe social media and texting killed it; I will never know. I felt it all deeply and mourned the loss of that intimacy and My Person.
But these are arbitrary markers of adultness, of togetherness, of wholeness. Does one suggest more maturity over the other? Am I in some ways less whole, less of an adult or person because I haven't had a real relationship or because I don't drive or live on my own? Few markers in life make me want to pay attention to the delineation of time and what or who I have become in that period. When I turned 25 though, something switched on, or perhaps off, to signal in a 'Here I Am World' kind of way that I finally became an adult. I finally became whole. But I'm not and it's the most horrible façade to wear.
The finale of Girls, and largely the entire season, was rife with the struggle of becoming someone totally formed, a together adult, a person made whole. Jessa excluded, the main characters spent the episode together, figuring out (separately and together) how life began to unravel the way it had. Shosh wouldn't graduate and wanted to feel "right" by being with Ray again; Marnie, desperate and lonely, sought out someone already committed to another woman; and Hannah's relationship fell apart as she professionally succeeded after months of worry over the lack of substance and legitimacy in her work and life. Jessa's path to attrition is on another level.
Marnie began the season by exalting that she worked in the city, had friends, would get an apartment, and would essentially get it her shit together. That after having her heart shattered by Charlie and his lovely facial hair, she would become someone, something complete. The theme of the season was bookended by this idea of growing up and into something complete. Hannah's 25th birthday party was a marker for supposed wholeness. She had reached 25 (!!!), you guys!
The Hamptons getaway weekend to reinforce (the illusion of) female friendship marked adultness for the group, or maybe just for Marnie; those julienned vegetables are forever etched into my brain. Hannah landing a job at GQ that, though I know does exist, is still really, incredibly out of reach for us normal humans, indicated some kind of togetherness. A regular paycheque with benefits is incredibly alluring and also where most people stop all that developing as a human and say yes, right here, right now, I am together because of this monetary fulfillment.
Time doesn't really afford us that kind of luxury to be thorough in our approach to who we will become and really search. Like most things in life, expectation, along with a shiny pedestal attached to it, becomes the focal point of any interaction, any job, any experience. What will I get out of this? What will this do to make me more adult, the most together?
Arguably the most together Girls character, and my personal choice for someone I'd like to resemble, is Ray. I identify most with Ray (which may make me some kind of pretentious snob with an affinity for Andy Kauffman) because his path and the way he lives are the most real to me. I get unsatisfied professionally like Ray did (and I still believe does.) I weep very publicly about being alone but also have the gumption to pull myself up and do what needs to be done. I don't flit about my choices though take the time to actually come to them and be okay with it. I also can't stand basic people.
It isn't very Ray to feel things but he really does. His feels are just hidden far better than anyone else's. When Shoshanna begged to be with him again for her own fulfillment and togetherness he said no, he said he was finally becoming something, but he never said he was totally whole. Ray's too smart for that. He is together insofar as where he wants to be or how he can be, accepting that there is still a ways to go.
What they don't tell you is the growing pains we feel never stop; you just can't feel them in your shins or calves because they reside in your heart now. My very exuberant friend from journalism school used to say in a rather exasperated way that she was going to get it together and that sort of became our catchphrase for life, for love, for whatever. It just fit. She'd extend her arms or cover her face and bemoan whatever was happening and simply say, "we'll get it together" and float away, trying to actually get it the fuck together.
What I will say is I am getting it together, the only way I can, and will it leave it at that.
ALSO ON HUFFPOST: