Self

I Have Always Been — And Proudly Always Will Be — 'A Miranda' From 'Sex And The City'

Photo: Everett Collection/Shutterstock
the cast of "Sex and the City"

Keeping it real can be a struggle.

While I was a late joiner to the "Sex & The City" phenomenon back in the day, I quickly became — like millions of women — a super fan, obsessing over every romantic and friendship melodrama, currently experiencing a revival in the form of "And Just Like That" on HBO.

I even spent a decade in a very Carrie-esque career — writing about breakups, dating, and relationships for a living.

After going through my own Big Breakup in 2004, I launched a popular breakup blog, wrote and published three best-selling books, two e-books, hundreds of articles, and appeared on T.V., radio, and the media dozens of times.

RELATED: As I Rewatched 'Sex And The City', I Couldn’t Help But Wonder — Didn’t Carrie Deserve Better?

But when it comes to keeping it real, I'm not Carrie Bradshaw — I'm Miranda Hobbes.

With no degrees behind my name, I — like Carrie — was schooled in the real world, mining my personal experiences and talking to hundreds of thousands of women every day online about how letting go of Mr. Wrong was the best thing that could ever happen to you, even if it hurt like hell. 

While my professional life mirrored Carrie’s, my personal life did not. I dated plenty of Mr. Wrongs along the way to meeting and marrying my husband, a man with the steady sweetness of Steve and the snarky, unexpected sexy of Harry.

Unlike Carrie, I eventually wised up to the fact that taming and living happily ever after with the bad boy was a Carrie-Tale not based in reality. 

During my first book tour, I had the privilege of meeting "Sex & The City" OG, Candace Bushnell, and chatting about the Real Mr. Big on her Sirius XM radio show. Both of us recognized that in the real world, Carrie and Big just didn’t work. 

Over the years, while my friends relished their identity as a creative, bohemian Carrie or sweet, wife material Charlotte or free-spirited, sexually empowered Samantha, I embraced my Miranda-ness.

From the minute we met her, Miranda was — and continues to be — a fully realized, wonderfully flawed, struggling to accept herself, work-in-progress. 

Miranda, played deftly by Cynthia Nixon, is the embodiment of a woman who’s much more comfortable with anger than sadness.

She lashes out at the people she loves to avoid feeling vulnerable. At the same time, she’s fiercely loyal, will fight to the death for the people she loves, and is always (eventually) willing to take responsibility for her actions and own her mistakes.

She’s also a grower, open to evolving with the times, even if she gets off to a bumpy start. 

Miranda lives in the real world and she has real problems — that’s relatable AF.

She has a career she cares about, a boss to answer to, a wonderfully imperfect husband who handles her all-ness with compassion, relatable in-law drama, a son who’s also portrayed as a whole person complete with a pot habit, cringeworthy sexually active relationship with his girlfriend, and not- always-nice-to-his-mom realness. 

Sure, Charlotte struggled with IVF, pregnancy, and the overwhelm of young children. But her still-chasing-the-perfection-of-Park-Avenue-life isn’t terribly relatable to most of us. 

Carrie and Big’s choice to remain child-free afforded them the luxury of fewer problems.

My husband and I made this same choice, relishing our role as D.I.N.Ks (dual income, no kids) for the first six years of our relationship until we took in his sister’s one-year-old daughter with just nine days' notice and realized just how challenging raising a child can be.

Miranda is the only character who’s had to consistently make sacrifices for her life and the ones she loves. 

Carrie cheated on Aidan with Big and got to marry Big, live in her dream Manhattan house, and keep her bonus apartment as storage for her designer labels. Even as a widow, she’ll never have to worry about money or sacrifice her lifestyle to make ends meet. 

Charlotte divorced Trey, kept the Manhattan apartment, and married Harry. Yes, she had to become a Jew to do it, but that’s not a sacrifice. That’s a choice. And, yes, the struggle to have a baby was most definitely real, a struggle 10% of women in America also face. 

Even with her presumably 6-figure salary, Miranda had to move out of her dream neighborhood, relocating to gentrifying Brooklyn to make room for her growing family. 

The sacrifice isn’t tragic. it’s a privileged position to be in given that 21 million Americans can’t afford the luxury of homeownership. Still, it was a sacrifice none of her friends had to make. 

Miranda somehow managed to balance her busy law career with raising a child, caring for an in-law with a failing memory, and having a social life. 

She lost a parent, experienced infidelity, gone to therapy, and done the work. Who doesn’t relate to that? 

RELATED: I Love 'Sex In The City', But We Don't Need This Revival

What I love most about Miranda is who she’s becoming in mid-life. 

She’s letting her hair go gray, shifted her fashion choices to sensible shoes while remaining impeccably stylish, embraced the lines and wrinkles on her face, and is unapologetic about being middle-aged. 

Like so many perimenopausal and menopausal women in the real world, Miranda’s libido has waned. 

Admittedly, she and Steve haven’t had sex in over a year. That’s so real!

My sex life has definitely shifted since turning 50 this year. As my nearing-60-year-old, post-menopausal friend recently told me, "Mid-life sex is a choice. I choose it, but it’s different." 

Honestly, I love that sex becomes a conscious choice rather than a biological imperative. It feels like women’s agency comes into focus. 

Miranda, like so many mid-life women, worries that she’s become too complacent in her marriage.

I like to think she’s earned a Netflix & Chill partner in crime. 

And while my husband and I skip the dessert with toppings in favor of craft cocktails or wine with our regular movie dates on the couch, I love how Miranda and Steve portray mid-life marriage with depth and heart. 

For me, Miranda embodies the quintessential midlife woman — satisfied with her life and life choices and accepting of the road not taken. 

Unlike the very certain Carrie who always knew being a parent wasn’t part of her life path and the unwaveringly sure Charlotte who moved heaven and earth to have children, Miranda was always a reluctant mother.

So when Nya asks her if motherhood is worth it and she responds, "It depends on the day," I fell in love with her a little bit more. That’s as real an answer as any parent can give you, especially a mid-life parent who’s been through the tender tween and hormone-challenged teen years. 

Miranda continues pursuing new dreams and I love her for it. 

Some of my mid-life friends are in the countdown to retirement, waiting for the end of work rather than exploring something that excites or inspires them.

But the ones who seem most satisfied with mid-life are the ones embracing something new, whether that’s a new career path, hobby, or something else.

My husband took up gardening during the pandemic and relishes his morning ritual of visiting the plants while drinking his morning coffee. For Miranda, that new dream includes quitting her 30-year corporate law career to get a Master's in human rights. 

Miranda struggles to adapt to how the world is changing. 

Carrie is finding her way with gender roles and sexual identities on her podcast. Charlotte’s trying to expand her social circle to be more diverse.

But Miranda’s the one who's most likely to be labeled a Karen for her missteps in the classroom and real world. And yet, she persists, finding her way like the rest of us.

As a white woman in corporate America, I didn’t at first understand my role or contribution to making a change in the world and in the workplace when it came to matters of diversity.

In joining my company’s DEI team, I now ask questions, listen intently, and look for ways to be part of the solution. Miranda’s doing the same. It’s humbling and admirable. 

Miranda is keeping it real. 

Wife. Mom. Lawyer. Friend. Advocate. Miranda wears a lot of hats. And what I appreciate most about that is her take on having it all.

"You can," she tells Nya. "It’s just really f*cking hard."

And this is why I am and will always be a Miranda Hobbes because I believe in having it all, even it sometimes feels like too much.

RELATED: I'm An NYC-Based Sex Writer & Here's How Carrie Bradshaw Continues To Fail Women When It Comes To Sex

Lisa Steadman is a breakup expert, bestselling author, media personality, and highly sought after voice for women who are redefining what Having It All looks like. For more information, visit her website.

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