It’s been a couple of weeks since I had the satisfaction of finally seeing Hamilton the Musical and I am no less obsessed with the story and the performance that unfolded before my eyes. I want to take a minute to dig down into some of the aspects of the story that stick with me.
I know that many people list “My Shot” as their favorite song from the show, but that’s not the one that I can’t shake. From the first time I heard, “Satisfied” I wondered how Lin-Manuel Miranda managed to crawl into one of those deep dark places that a lot of women struggle with in silence. And before this musical, I never really made the connection between the shared commonalities of two distinctly different forms of imposter syndrome that really branch from a similar tree.
The fictional depiction of Angelica Schuyler meets Alexander Hamilton and connects with him instantly as a kindred spirit. I don’t equate this encounter to the infatuation typically attributed to meeting someone and falling in love. The connection in this instance was a meeting of minds and shared ambition. These two recognize almost instantly that they are both struggling to BECOME.
You strike me, as a woman who has never been satisfied.
Now that is a heck of a line, but then he follows that with a phrase that makes it less of a line and more of a plea.
You’re like me, I’m never satisfied, I have never been satisfied…
They are both highly intelligent, but feel held back from distinguishing themselves in the world due to disadvantages of birth. In the case of Angelica she was born the eldest of three sisters with no brother to inherit and provide for their care if she did not marry a man of his own means. It didn’t matter how bright she was, she had a duty to her family to marry well and not be a burden to her father.
Alexander had a different disadvantage which people discuss at length. Being born a bastard with no name of standing and no wealth or estate to inherit he had to “write his way out”. He took a military post and launched himself into a career because it was the only pathway accessible to him at the time.
Interestingly, when it came down to making the decision, it was Angelica who helped them both stay “on course” by choosing to introduce her sister to Alexander, a decision that she regretted in some ways for the rest of her life.
Have you ever met a person who you clicked with like that? What did you do?
How many women do you think make similar decisions that they have to learn to live with for the rest of their lives?
I’d love to go to law school and one day be a Supreme Court Justice, but if I do that how can I have time to marry, have kids and not mess one or all of those things up?
I’ve been married for 20 years to my partner who I am fond of but we’ve changed and we’re both bored and counseling isn’t working, is it wrong for me to want more or is it my duty to stick this out even though I’m not fulfilled anymore.
I don’t want to be married, but if I live a life of sexual independence I will be labeled as a slut because a monogamous marriage simply isn’t something that I aspire to ever…
Yeah, these aren’t just the short descriptions of Lifetime movies. I have heard versions of these types of scenarios for years. So here is the big question…
Should we strive for satisfaction in this life at any cost?
I can see where that might be a slightly terrifying idea to many. What if we were all honest about what we really need and want to be happy? And why is it that we tend to examine these tough questions in the medium of the arts rather than having these questions in our schools, churches, boardrooms, bedrooms and governing offices? You know, the rooms where so much of our lives happen.
Or does this blog title belong in the category of a similar sounding Chinese that is more of a curse than an encouragement, “May you live in interesting times…”.
Marta C. Youngblood is a writer, education and social entrepreneur based in Hot Springs, Arkansas. For more information on her current projects visit https://about.me/MCyoungblood.