During the past year, I can say with absolute certainty that I've watched more Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Apple TV (jesus, there's a new form of streaming daily isn't there) than I would like to admit. I not only have devoured new shows likes Flight Attendant, SnowPiercer, Bridgerton, and Queen's Gambit, but I re-binged shows. Gossip Girl, Nashville, Jane the Virgin, One Tree Hill and of course, Gilmore Girls all came back onto my radar.
My boyfriend, for some crazy reason, had never seen the illustrious Gilmore Girls. So, we started it together and may I say if you watched it when you were younger, it's time to restart and relearn. I cried more than I ever remember, realized I drink close to the same amount of coffee as Lorelai, and walked away with some lessons that I didn't grasp watching it the first time as a 15 year old.
1. Don't be afraid to ask for help, even if it's from your parents.
I, like Lorelai, absolutely hate asking my parents for help. I like to stand on my own two feet and only admit defeat when I have to, and when the pandemic began, I was back home, quite literally stuck. Now, I don't think I'll ever have the relationship that Lorelai and Rory do, but let me tell you, I wouldn't have survived the year of hell that is 2020 without my Mom and Dad. If you have someone in your life right now that you can lean on, no questions asked - call or text them and say thank you, they probably don't hear it enough, especially your parents.
2. Women are taking over.
I work in the Entertainment Industry, which has been male-dominated since it's creation, however, if there was ever a time for women to claim their time - it's now. Watching Rory read, write, and never take no for an answer when it came to just about anything was inspiring. Even more so, was Lorelai telling her she could do anything that came her way. It's women supporting women that help us rise. Lorelai instills that in Rory and every woman around her. The entirety of the Gilmore Girls story is a riches to rags and back to riches. It's all about a woman wanting better for herself, her daughter, and ultimately leaving comfortability for happiness and working her way back up from there.
3. Being stubborn should be seen as strong.
I have an Italian grandmother, and if you were to look in the dictionary under stubborn, it'd be a picture of her and Emily Gilmore. All the Gilmore women are increasingly stubborn and they all get it from the queen herself, Emily. The first time watching Gilmore Girls, Emily annoyed me and I never saw her point of view. However, as I've gotten older and come to understand not only myself, but my parents, I've also understood the character of Emily and her arc on the series. She's stubborn, yes, but it's because she knows what she wants, she goes for it, and she tells everyone exactly how it is, including her husband (as seen below). She drinks when and what she wants, she won't settle for anything less than perfection, and she is unapologetically herself, right or wrong. Next time someone calls you stubborn, remember that the best women are.
4. Surround yourself with people who show up.
After college, I cut a lot of people out of my life. Not because they were bad people or they necessarily treated me badly, (although, there were a couple of those, too) but because I realized that I was putting so much effort into people that I wasn't getting in return. I wanted a Luke. The relationship that Luke and Lorelai had, obviously pre-dating & engagement and after, was raw and real. They had fights, arguments, and big disagreements, especially when Jess was in the picture, however they never stopped showing up for each other. The people that show up for you for all the moments of your life, especially the bad ones, are the ones worth keeping around.
5. Cry it out.
Just like being stubborn is strong, crying does not make you weak. Have you ever had a good cry your heart out, vent your deepest thoughts, breakdown? The scene that got me was Lorelai, after having dinner with her parents and grandmother, and Rory being forced to drop a class at Yale, crying to Luke and Dean about being "failures." I cried. I sobbed. I absolutely had an epiphany in that moment. During 2020, and probably 20 or so times before that, I had that "I'm a failure. My parents aren't proud. I'll never amount to anything moment" breakdown. The true raw reality of this show is moments like that and the parallel they make between two women at completely different ages and times in their life - feeling like failures. They cried and as soon as they finally let out how they were feeling, they were able to make their next move, their next plan, and they were able to clearly see that they were not failures, but truly just needed a good cry.
6. Listen to your body.
There are three things the Gilmore Girls do best: eat, sleep, and drink coffee. In March of 2019, I took four months off of coffee and let me tell you - it was horrible. I had headaches, backaches, and I was tired constantly. The day I got back on coffee, I realized it wasn't about putting it down cold turkey, it was all about moderation. I just needed to not have three or four cups a day. Although, I still have at least the equivalent of two. The same thing works for sleep, it's really called beauty sleep for a reason and my body without a doubt thanks me for it. If the Gilmore Girls Thanksgiving episodes or fridge of takeout containers tell you anything, it's that you can eat more than a salad, obviously take care of yourself and eat healthy, but there is a difference between eating your portions and starving yourself for the sake of a six pack.
7. There really is someone for everyone.
Sometimes being single for too long or going through relationships that end when you think you've found the one, make you think - "I'll just be alone forever." Look to the examples of Gilmore Girls for redemption. Sookie and Jackson were right in front of eachother from the beginning, they fought, they dated, they were awkward with each other and they fell in love with each other - quirks and all. Take Lane and Zack, a match we never saw coming, and yet somehow, we grew to love as we watched them, and Ms. Kim, fight for their love, and become parents. If these weren't enough, we look to the queen of quirks and insanity - Paris Geller. From Jamie, to Asher Flemming, to ultimately Doyle. The characters embody that no matter your quirks, your faults, and your career path, love exists for everyone. Being yourself is the only way to let someone truly love you.
8. Don't be afraid to take a risk, anything can happen.
If Logan Huntsberger taught Rory anything, it's that you can have dreams, a career, and organization in your life, but not without a little risk. The Life and Death Brigade, the topic Rory's first big story as a journalist at Yale, stands by their motto of 'In Omnia Paratus', which means 'ready for anything'. If the year 2020 taught us anything it's that anything can happen when you least expect it and the Life and Death Brigade take every opportunity to live their lives to the fullest. The cast of Gilmore Girls embody this lesson in their 2015 revival as well, after the passing of Richard Gilmore, better known as, Edward Herrmann. The cast felt the absense, as did the audience that grew to love the Gilmore Family. It truly makes you understand: Be ready for anything and don't let your life pass you by.
9. Don't be so serious.
If I got anything from my first Gilmore Girls run, it was my sarcasm. If I realized anything the second time around is that I really do act like Lorelai Gilmore, my boyfriend even told me so. I think I've always used humor in awkward situations and I know how to make someone laugh. There is a time and place to be serious, and while Lorelai may not always know when that it, she does it with flare. Don't be afraid to make others laugh, and maybe even yourself every now and then. Watch a comedy, play a boardgame, and make the best of every moment and teach your children to do the same. Being silly means you're comfortable with yourself and the people around you.
10. It's okay to not know what's next.
It's been almost three years since I graduated from college, and yet, it feels like I haven't even left yet. That pit in your stomach feeling that your future is completely unknown, you don't know your next plan, let alone your next meal. Rory's breakdown as she sits on the bathroom floor with her newly dyed pink hair was relatable in every way possible. She feels as though everyone around her has their life together post-graduation, and she's just struggling to get by. Newsflash for anyone that feels this way: No one knows what they are doing. No one has all the answers. Anyone that seems like they have it all together, is lying. It's perfectly okay to not know what's next. It's okay to have a plan and have it not work out. You'll figure it out along the way, just like everyone else.
Now, some of these may be self-explanitory and things we already knew. And yet, sometimes we all need a reminder. It's okay to not be okay. It's okay to be stubborn. You can do anything you put your mind to. I think Gilmore Girls is one of those shows that shows the real true grit of the world, mixed with a little humor, the ups and downs of relationships both familial and romantic, and a lots and lots of coffee.
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