What I Learned From Maya Wilkes

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Enter Maya: Maya Wilkes is the quintessential girlfriend who keeps it "real."  You know, the girlfriend who will tell you that outfit isn't working for you, that shade of lipstick is all wrong, and that jerk you're dating is no good for you.  She was the one to tell you like it is, whether you liked it or not.  Maya started off as Joan's assistant, then William's assistant, and eventually pursued a career as an author.  She was all about handling her business, taking care of home, and doing what she had to do to make it.

How I identify with Maya:  Like Maya, I am also seen as the married mother (before Toni) among my friends.  Sometimes this has its advantages, other times it does not.  This means that while many of them were continuing their educations, I was building my family and tackling "the real world."  Once everyone has degrees and are ready to find Mr. Right, I am just finishing my education and entering into my career.  I also feel that I am quite sassy like Maya's character.  If I'm comfortable with you, I tend to speak my mind in a very colorful way!

Below are five things I learned from Maya Denise Wilkes throughout the show's tenure:

1.  We can rise above the labels society places on us.  We are more than statistics and stereotypes.  For much of the show's airing, we see Maya as the girlfriend of a lower tax-bracket.  She becomes a teen mom and marries her high-school sweetheart, two real-life situations that can cause one to be at a financial disadvantage.  Though she appears to be struggling her way through life in the beginning, we find Maya doing quite well by the show's closing.  She is a thriving author, her husband has his own business, and they own a lavish home in a beautiful upscale neighborhood.  
2.  Being a full-time worker, student, and parent is possible.  Though Maya was a devoted mother and wife, she was also a full-time student and legal assistant.  Though she appeared to often be stressed and overwhelmed, she held it together most of the time.  She was an active mother, and worked hard to pay her tuition (even when faced with having to repeat classes).  Maya was ambitious and determined to make a better life for herself and her son, Jabari.
3. SOMETIMES we can find love in our rearview and mend broken ties.  In the early seasons of Girlfriends, we find that high-school sweethearts Maya and Darnell begin to experience problems and separate.  During their time of separation, Maya spent time figuring out who she was as a person and what she wanted out of life.  While she dated others, Darnell became involved with another and became engaged.  In spite of their being apart and Darnell's new relationship, the two were able to salvage their own relationship and get back together!  I suppose true love does wait and gives second chances!
4. There's nothing wrong with "keepin' it real."  Never forget where you come from.  Though Maya's attitude may have been a little sassy and off-center for some, I loved it.  I admired the "homegirl" vibe she was giving. She wasn't ashamed of where she had come from or the mistakes she made in the past.  Instead, she used these things as her motivation.
5.  Sometimes you have to "hustle" your way to your dreams.  When Maya first penned her book Oh Hell Yes, she did not have a literary agent or publicist.  That did not stop her from selling her dream!  Maya even sold books from the trunk of her car, seen in an episode where she and her son Jabari hustled books on the street.  She also peddled books in her cousin Ronnie's hair salon.  This wise move gave Maya the popularity she needed to warrant her first big break.  How many of us are ambitious enough to do that?

How did you feel about Maya's character? Could you relate to her?  Could you see yourself being friends with someone like her?  Why or why not? Be sure to check the past post about her fellow girlfriend Joan here.
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