I was just watching the last two episodes of The Gilmore Girls (oh shut up…I loved this show) and a couple of things kept flitting through my mind. First, of course, is how gorgeous Lauren Graham is. I’m not talking arguably attractive but totally and empirically gorgeous. There are few women in the world that I’ve found so compelling…not from a prurient aspect, but an aesthetic one.
But aside from that, those last two episodes always spark a hopeful longing. When I look at young people in their early adulthood, I wonder what sorts of lives they are going to have. I know that the life I’ve had to this point isn’t anything like what I’d vaguely envisioned a few decades ago. When I look at the girls, I’m filled with a hope that however their lives turn out that they find that the journey was both worthwhile and fulfilling. It likely will not match their own expectations, but I think that if they keep an open mind about the causes and effects, the pushes and pulls, and the other conflicting aspects that all of life’s choices bring that they will be able to look back and think that they’d done OK. I’m reminded of this excerpt from the play You Can’t Take It With You:
How many of us would be willing to settle when we’re young for what we eventually get? All those plans we make…what happens to them? It’s only a handful of the lucky ones that can look back and say that they even came close.
I watched a production of that play very early in my college career. The message, so clearly and succinctly stated as above, sunk in. I like to think that it served in some way as the driving force that allowed me to be one of “the lucky ones”. Yes, there have been hard times, and I’m sure there might be unpleasant times yet to come, but I’ve known for a long time that it’s the journey and how you react to that journey which is so much more than the goals themselves. Reaching goals, especially hard-won goals is sweet, don’t get me wrong, but all they really signify is that one task has been completed and another is set to begin.
I think that is something that The Gilmore Girls gave me for about 22-episodes over the course of its long run: take what comes and do your best with it. it’s a show of hope. That’s what all well-lived lives are all about: hope. Sometimes you find that the universe has decided to poop on you. You can either despair that you’ve been shat on by an incredible amount, or you can choose to stand up and move on hoping that tomorrow will be relatively manure free.
I think of the guest character from the show Babylon 5 who said:
as well as
At first, these quotes seem depressing, but there is a germ of hope. Symetry is aesthetically good, so despite his sad life, there will be a goodness. Dirt…that’s a unifying factor, and is so much more easily available than other more stately edifaces. This is a character who, despite being a bit of a cynical curmudgeon, still have hope for goodness.
I remember that hope when I was in college. Seeing Rory Gilmore graduate from Yale reminded me of that. There is a whole wide world out there just waiting. It’s hard not to envy the young, and there’s really no need. I still have adventures aplenty currently unfolding. I’m sort of curious to see how they turn out.