I think I am probably the only person that actually likes Mellie from Scandal. I even feel bad for her--especially after the most recent episode.
For so many years (really decades) Mellie has been hurt and has been through so much as a woman, professional, wife, and mother. From sacrificing her own dreams because of Fitz, being raped, experiencing the death of her child, and watching her husband love another woman (and attempt to marry her), Mellie has been through it all. #LawdBeWithHer
Yes, we all know that Mellie has done her fair share of dirt, but no one deserves to go through what she has been through. It's been three years since Scandal first aired, and since then I have been on an emotional roller coaster with Mellie--I hated her, rooted for her, and finally I have learned from her.
If you have been keeping up with Scandal, you will see that Mellie is losing her job, her man, and her house (Fitz kicked her out last episode and with his lovely Liv on his arm as there isn't much room in the White House for Mellie). And in previous episodes, she has mentioned that she has lost her dignity along with everything else.
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Towards the end of the show, Fitz attempts to get Mellie to sign the divorce papers and it gets a little ugly. Mellie expresses how despite what he thinks, she has sacrificed SOOOOO much for him. She furiously told Fitz,
"My life would've meant something if it wasn't for you."
Sadly, even after Mellie told Fitz that, it seemed like he still didn't get it -- and he definitely didn't care. Trifling.
I have been #TeamScandal since it came on, and each season I've watched how Mellie has sacrificed her own dreams for Fitz. Mellie sacrificed her promising career as a lawyer to sit on the sidelines and be just a wife and later his side-kick (aka First Lady). She accepted that life with hope that it would make her marriage stronger, and so that it would help Fitz reach presidency. Despite her sacrifices, Mellie has received the shorter end of the stick and divorce papers.
Mellie also sacrificed her soul, dignity, and self-respect when she used the rape by her father in law as leverage to help her husband’s relationship with his father (this later helped him win his first big campaign). This was just one of the first, but many sacrifices by Mellie.
Were both sacrifices her choice? Yes. Does she still deserve sympathy? Of course.
Choosing to give up your dreams for multiple decades for someone else sounds terrible, and I cannot imagine how I would feel if I gave up years of my life and goals for another person.
As Mellie told Fitz:
"If you knew the sacrifices that I have made, the things that I have given up, the pieces of myself that I have given away for you…and you treat me this way? You declare war on me, and you shame me, and you make me beg for scraps when I have done nothing but fight for you. You don’t have to love me, but we are in this hell together and the flames are burning both of us with equal intensity, baby, so the least you could do is be my friend. Just a little bit. The least you could do is show up."
[Tweet "Never sacrifice your own dreams for the likes of someone else."]
Countless women give up promising careers for their marriages and for love, and when they get burned as Mellie has, we feel for them. We can't help but to. Too many times, we as women sometimes are so in love that we forget about our own dreams and are more focused on our man's dreams. We sometimes sacrifice our ambitions for our lovers, and build a life on fairytales and false expectations. I've done it before, and I'm sure I'm not alone. This is something that has to stop. I totally believe in supporting your man, but I also believe in never losing sight of your own aspirations.
I had my first and last taste of compromising my dreams for a man a few years ago. I have been with my love for almost five years now and although we are both successful in our own careers, there was a time when I sacrificed my happiness for his.
A few years ago after my college graduation, I had dreams of moving out of my hometown of Texas and finding a career in another state. However, my boyfriend was living in Texas so I felt obligated to stay there, just so that I could be close to him. I ignored job postings and offers that were not in Texas because I had this dream that we would graduate, stay in the same area, and continue to live happily ever after. A year after graduation I was forced to wake up from that dream. After I graduated, it was my boyfriend's turn to walk across the stage, and he was more open in finding opportunities outside of Texas. Honestly, he was praying to move out of Texas. Now here I was, feeling betrayed. I felt pissed off, and my feelings were hurt. I felt like he was supposed to stay where I had planted myself, because after all, I only decided to stay because of him.
One thing that I learned from this is that although I know our love is real, we are still young and have to do what makes us happy. We have to continue to try to reach all of our goals and live out our dreams - even if it means having a long distance relationship. We are still together to this day and will celebrate a five-year anniversary in January. No longer am I holding off on my dreams, or passing up opportunities because of someone else. I totally understand that if it is meant to be, it will be.
My advice is to be in a relationship where your dreams and his dreams are equally supported. While you are listening to his business plan, make sure you are doing what you need to do for your own. Most men prefer a woman with her own dreams and aspirations, so by living out your man's dreams and not your own, you are not doing anything but hurting yourself.
[Tweet "Focus on supporting your dreams before you support someone else."]
Love yourself first, and never lose sight of your dreams. Learn from Mellie and her mistakes in love. Always remember that you should never have to choose between having success or a relationship.