Hello Mr. Magazine - - GROW TO UNDERSTAND - By Jack Arthur Smith

MAM: a mo­ment in life worth liv­ing for.

I think I was twenty when my mum planted a par­tic­u­larly well-thumbed-through pa­per­back of Ar­mis­tead Maupin’s Tales of the City in my hand, the first in his se­ries of eight nov­els fol­low­ing the aptly named Miss Mary Ann Sin­gle­ton af­ter she im­pul­sively aban­doned her dull life in Cleve­land, Ohio, to try her luck in San Fran­cisco.

Now, much more Maupin later, liv­ing on the other side of the planet in Syd­ney with my Aus­tralian boyfriend and won­der­ing where the time goes, I find my­self think­ing back to a sim­pler age when univer­sity dead­lines, drive-thrus, and hair­dos were at the top of my im­por­tant-pile.

And while I’m no sin­gle lady de­ter­mined to have it all, nor have I ever been to San Fran­cisco and paid rent to a mar­i­juana-grow­ing land­lady, when I con­sider ev­ery­thing that’s led up to right here right now, I can’t help but re­late with Mary Ann and her ea­ger­ness for a bet­ter life. More to the point, we all can.

Like the ini­tially naïve Miss Sin­gle­ton who one day chose to break free from her aver­age Amer­i­can ex­is­tence, turn a va­cay into a staycay and start liv­ing the way she wanted, we too have that power to change our lives for good. We too have our very own Mary Ann mo­ments and it’s up to us to act on them.

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