How Gilmore Girls Made Me Happy Again
listen in if you'd like
If you can believe it, I've never watched Gilmore Girls! I remember hearing about it when I was in middle and high school, but I never caught on to it. (This partly could be, because I didn't grow up with t.v., but I still don't know if it would have been a 'thing' for me in my early and later teen years...)
Recently, with the new mini-series and every season of the show joining the ranks of Netflix (and some of my favorite people getting beyond bubbly excited for it!) I figured I'd give it a try. I started with Season 1, Episode 1, naturally.
My first impression was that I seemed to be watching a show meant for someone much younger than me. But something kept me there, ready for the next episode as soon as the last one ended.
By the 4th time when the screen washed over in red foliage, with the titles in that traditional serif font, and the intro rolled into "Where you lead, I will follow/ Anywhere that you tell me to/ If you need, you need me to be with you/ I will follow where you lead." I was hooked. It was just light and simple, and I sunk into the happy reality and yummy confidence of the female friendship between Lorelai and Rory, the familiar and cozy small town feel, and the idea of warm mugs and sitting across from someone you completely adore.
I also loved that it wasn't cookie cutter, that it showed an entirely different kind of family, one with history and real life and not perfect situations. But shining and rocking because of it. (Does this make you think of anything, family related or not, in your life?)
When I let myself feel back to that time, exactly 16 years ago - a timespan of 7 years (from 2000-2007), I didn't have time for characters like Rory. Someone in a fresh world. Someone who was comfortable acting their age who had sing-song thoughts and age-appropriate friends.
I realize now I was actually a tad jealous of characters like that, because deep down, that's what I wanted too. I wanted to be happy and hopeful. Fresh-faced and proud of my own book-wormy desires and crafting dreams. But I wasn't. I was diving head first into tumultuous and troubled choices fueled by being mad at my family's circumstances and my parent's relationship, steeling myself so I didn't feel all of the pain that came from my own frustration and fear, and trying to run away from the present and as fast into the future as possible.
I now can clearly see my pain. I can also see my strength. I grew up fast.
The other day, a dear friend and I were having one of those heart-to-heart conversations that only can happen when there's 100% trust. I said, "I don't think I've changed. I think I'm just getting back to the girl I always was but that I had to iron-up, steel-up, and make titanium."
It makes me sad that my tender years were hardened. I can remember solidly deciding I was going to be different, my life was going to be different. I was going to be strong and make an impact and not break. That I would show them and leave a trail of spiraling success and fearless moments in my path. Can't touch, can't catch, can't reach me.
I chose. I put my head down. I focused as intently as possible at being a torpedo in every direction I was aiming for in my life.
This entire blog post began because as I was in the midst of tidying and straightening our house this afternoon, I hung my sweater neatly on the back of the dining room chair and was seized by such an unbridled joy in my heart of pure happiness, simplicity, grace, and appreciation, I thought my entire body might burst. (So, I ran to my desk and started typing instead :)
The cozy feeling I've gleaned from not even the entire first season may seem trivial, even a tad silly, but it's a full circle of coming back to my own young-hearted inner peace, giddy to see what happens after "The Breakup" amidst steam and the smell of boiling water post making hard boiled eggs. Luke's Coffee mingling with my white porcelain sink, gleaming from where I just scrubbed it. Fresh laundry ready for me in the basement, Stars Hollow waiting for me upstairs. And fully realizing I am not lonely, I am not cold, I survived, and the old winter in my heart has truly melted back into my spring.