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Joce Blake and Candace Bushnell

Source: Joce Blake / @joce_blake

In an unforgettable event at Canoe Place in Hampton Bays, NY, the essence of Carrie Bradshaw came alive. Candace Bushnell, the creator of Sex and the City and the iconic New York City figure Carrie Bradshaw, graced us with a live performance of her one-woman show, ‘True Tales of Sex, Success, and Sex and the City.’ For that single night, we were treated to a whirlwind of captivating stories that intertwined fashion, literature, and the ever-intriguing subject of relationships.

As a Black fashion writer with innate style, I adored Carrie Bradshaw for her fearless approach to fashion and unapologetic self-expression. Her vibrant wardrobe resonated with my love for creativity, and her unique journey mirrored my own aspirations, making her an inspiring symbol of empowerment and individuality. To say I was excited to attend this event is an understatement. While Carrie Bradshaw via Sarah Jessica Parker taught me so much, I was excited to learn from the real Carrie. Bushnell ran through some dope lessons during her performance, but these are the gems I appreciated most.

Lesson 1: “If you don’t do it, someone else will.” This lesson underscores the importance of seizing opportunities before they slip away. Opportunities are often fleeting, and if we don’t act on them, they may be gone forever. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that someone else will take advantage of the opportunity before you do.

Lesson 2: “Men lie about everything.” A reminder of the complexities within relationships and the necessity of navigating truths. While it’s a huge generalization, I must say that watching the SATC series and my lived experiences have shown this to be true. I am open to being proved wrong, though.

Lesson 3: “Being with a Pulitzer Prize winner doesn’t make you one yourself.” This lesson speaks to the need to cultivate our own paths to success. You were given specific talents because you were meant to bring them to fruition.

Lesson 4: “Maybe because I try to twist myself into what a guy wants, I get depressed.” Prioritizing mental well-being and authenticity is key because it allows you to be the best version of yourself. When you are mentally healthy, you are able to think clearly and make sound decisions. When you are authentic, you are more likely to be happy and fulfilled.

Lesson 5: “If you’re a woman with a dream, you may have to give up the basics.” The sacrifices often required to chase our aspirations are sometimes out of this world. Black women forge paths of resilience, making dreams reality amidst unique challenges. Balancing aspirations with societal expectations, they embody strength in the face of adversity, proving that sacrifices made along the journey only amplify the triumphs that follow.

Lesson 6: “My biggest dream is coming true at the same time as my worst nightmare.” My therapist has been helping me accept the “BOTH AND” mantra for quite some time. Navigating the dual nature of life’s moments teaches resilience. This is because when we achieve our dreams, we often face new challenges and responsibilities that we never anticipated. It is important to remember that our dreams are constantly evolving. 

Lesson 7: “I made the right choice betting on myself.” This empowering message highlights the value of self-confidence and calculated risks. I can also attest to the painful and beautiful journey that is choosing to invest in yourself. Sometimes it’s lonely, but it’s always worth it.

Lesson 8: “Be specific about what you want.” There’s so much power in naming it and claiming it. Effective communication is a great way to get your point across. Being specific about what you want makes it easier for people to understand you, and it helps to avoid misunderstandings. It also makes it more likely that you’ll achieve your goals. When you’re clear about what you want, you can make better decisions and take more focused actions. This can lead to a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

Lesson 9: “You can’t rely on a relationship for your happiness or a roof over your head.” This lesson stresses self-sufficiency and independence. While on my self-love journey over the years, I have learned that you must be whole and healing before seeking a partner. They should be an addition to your joy and happiness. 

Lesson 10: “I’ve helped change the way the world looks at women.” The gradual yet meaningful transformation of how women have been portrayed on television and in literature speaks to the power of women. I agree that Bushnell helped shape that lens with the creation of “Sex and The City,” just as Mara Brock Akil changed the game with “Girlfriends” because we need to see ourselves in our truest forms.

Lesson 11: The biggest lesson of all is to diversify your friend group. While I greatly appreciated being at this event, I couldn’t help but wonder why I was the only Black woman in the room. This is something that the new series, And Just Like That, attempts to address because it is essential to have a bevy of perspectives around you as you move through this world. Including Black women, in general, authentically reflects the diversity of modern urban life. Their inclusion enriches storylines, offers diverse perspectives on relationships and culture, and fosters meaningful conversations about intersectionality.


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Men Lie About Everything: 11 Life Lessons I learned From The Real Carrie Bradshaw  was originally published on