7 Life Lessons From Carrie Bradshaw

by Mary Grace Garis

You never know how hard it is to be a single girl until you've walked in their shoes. It's an earnest line that served as one of Carrie Bradshaw's most valued life lessons, yet it always felt that she was picking out the most expensive and painful pair to walk in. Though fun and fabulous, Carrie didn't always make the most practical decisions, and it was as educational as it was cringe-worthy. Truth is, Sex and the City armed me with a lot of harsh lessons about men, money and Manhattan, usually by way of Carrie's big mistakes.

Generally speaking, there's two kind of Carrie Bradshaw fans. There's the ones who buy her quotes on $12 plaques to hang up in the common room of their sorority house, and those of us who are a bit more cynical. Game to indulge in the fantasy, willing to acknowledge the cultural impact, but cynical.

As you may have guessed, I'm of the latter category. Maybe it's because there are moments where I relate a little too hard to her heartbreaks, or maybe it's because I don't live in a world where I can survive on one article a week. Either way, that bit of bitterness allows me to learn and grow from Carrie, not from her wisdom, but from her generally poor life choices.

And you can too! Enjoy these life lessons from the trials and mistrials of our favorite fictional fashionista.

You can get a pair of Louboutins or you can make rent, you can't do both.

People commonly wonder how Carrie could afford her lifestyle on a writer's salary, and the truth was, she couldn't. Spending $400 on shoes put her in CRAZY debt, so much that she had to get a loan from Charlotte (which, let's be real, she probably never paid back). Don't be that guy, especially when $400 a month barely covers

Sometimes have to put your artistic agenda on the back-burner for the greater good.

"We're not looking for Vogue according to your agenda. No one cares about your agenda." Harsh words from Carrie's Vogue editor Enid, but it says a lot about the nature of working in a creative field, especially modern journalism. For example, I personally consider myself very Type B and voice-y when it comes to writing, but sometimes an assignment doesn't call for that. I could not do it... and then I could not get paid.

The Carrie Bradshaw brand was essentially to selling her writing, make no mistake, and I am all for staying true to yourself. But when you're working for someone else and trying to match up with a pre-existing brand, you need to be malleable. Ultimately she wrote a piece that was a solid take on Vogue's agenda and her own style, and that's the compromise you want to make as a professional.

If your ex gets somehow engaged to a much younger woman with a bullshit name, he's just not that into you. But don't take it out on the wife.

It's his loss, and not really her fault. She was just there. Chances are it'll all fall apart anyway (fingers crossed).

To follow up, maybe marrying someone that's been so on and off with you for over a decade ISN'T the best idea. Maybe you shouldn't take him back after strike number one.

Come on, dude, Carrie and Big were still dealing with his commitment issues in their second year of marriage. People don't change, and that's the biggest thing you can take from that relationship.

Know your heart: if you're not gung-ho about a guy or not ready to take the next step, don't drag on the situation forever.

Although I'm not big on Big, I'm also not crazy about Aidan either. He's a bit too boring and Nice Guy for my taste, you know? THAT SAID, I am super against all of the shitty treatment Carrie puts him through, first with her Big affair and then with all her wishy-washiness that came with Carrie-and-Aidan Round Two.

Look. We all lead on a sweet guy at some point of our lives, often unintentionally. It happens. But dude, it should NEVER get to the point where you two are engaged and slated to move in with each other, that's not fair to anyone.

Cooking is a valuable life skill. I'm just saying.

I understand and respect that New York is a place where take-out runs supreme, and being domestically challenged myself I look forward to that lifestyle. However, if Carrie decided to make lunch for herself just once a week or even stayed in with a box of Spongebob mac n' cheese occasionally versus a sexy night out, she would've saved SO much money. Hell, she may have even been able to afford her shoe addiction.*

*She wouldn't.

There's a difference between taking a chance by making a proactive change and quitting your job so you can move to another non-English speaking country with your boyfriend of two months who you have nothing in common with.

It's really scary to be a single girl in the city, especially as you get older and society puts more and more pressure on you to settle down and couple up. Eventually you get sick of the chase and want a fresh change. SO YOU SIGN UP FOR OKCUPID, YOU DON'T MOVE OUT OF THE COUNTRY WITH YOUR 60-YEAR-OLD BOYFRIEND, OMG.

None out of none times does it work out the way that it did for Carrie, with her elusive, long lost love sweeping her off her feet. Worst case scenario you move back in with your parents and deal with your friends saying "I told you so" with their eyes during the post-mortem brunch. Best case scenario you move into a shitty studio apartment in Bushwick with your new rebound boytoy, a 31-year-old musician slash shoe store employee.

Image: HBO; Giphy (7)