“You don’t save me. I save me.”
— Kim Wexler, Better Call Saul
I watched the episode of Better Call Saul where Kim says that a couple of weeks ago. On the show, Jimmy’s done something that caused Kim, a fellow lawyer, to be penalized at work, relegated to the windowless basement doing document review, the most menial work a lawyer can get. One night, Jimmy shows up and tells Kim he has a plan to fix everything and get her back to her rightful place in the office. She tells him she’s not interested and he persists; this goes on for several minutes. Finally, she shuts him down for good, making it plain that she’s the hero of her own story: “You don’t save me. I save me.”
I can’t stop thinking about that line. It echos in my head several times a day. I made it my tagline under my screen name on a forum I frequent. It speaks to me.
There are a number of things about my life that I wish were different. The specifics don’t matter. What matters is that I don’t do anything to change my circumstances, yet my frustration and sadness and disappointment at the current state of affairs is constant. I keep waiting . . . for . . . what, exactly? To be magically committed to making things different? To get to a point where I just accept what is and stop wishing things were different?
No, I think I’m waiting for someone else to make it happen. But when did I become that kind of person? When did I become the kind of person who complains about something but doesn’t do anything to fix it? The kind of person who knows what needs to be done but makes excuses about why she can’t do it? I have no idea, but I don’t like it.
I have a firm No Princesses rule in our house. We don’t buy any princess-themed books or toys or clothes, and any that we are given go right to the Goodwill pile. #sorrynotsorry The reason for that is because in most princess lore, the girl is portrayed as helpless, waiting in her castle for a man – preferably a prince – to come save her. My standard answer when someone asks me why I feel so strongly about this with respect to my daughter is, “I’m going to teach her to save herself.”
I can clearly see why Kim’s words have basically been haunting me: I’m pretty much just waiting for a Jimmy to show up and tell me how he’s going to fix everything for me.
I’m going to save me. I just need to find the door to my windowless basement.