So I finally finished watching the Gilmore Girls’ yesterday. When the series began in the year 2000, Rory Gilmore wasn’t necessarily someone I could relate to but it’s just so refreshing to see where her character arc has gone. The fact that Rory is now a 30-something that doesn’t have her shit together makes her more of a universal truth.
Of course it’s hard not to frame Rory in the context of the world we are now living in. In the original series, the season finale saw Rory leaving to cover Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. The Gilmore Girls’ return to our screens as his final term is drawing to an end.
When Gilmore Girls’ ended back in 2007, like so many other women, I was about the same age as Rory. Having finished my Masters, I turned down the then love-of-my-life and left for Karachi to embark on a dream internship in broadcast journalism at a leading television network channel. I believed I was on the cusp of greatness. (I too covered Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.)
After almost a decade of unwise decisions about men (except one), some career path twists and turns and being terrible at keeping in touch with friends because I spent seven years couch surfing, like Rory, I’m often at odds with the choices that brought me to what is currently known as my life. I moved to Toronto to be in a relationship and I’m happy for it, is it the choice a younger twenty-something version of myself would have made?
It’s too painful to miss the old Rory. It would mean acknowledging my own grief over the loss of something I too once believed about myself. A Vox article about the revival series written by Aja Romano has many truths that struck a chord but perhaps this one drove home the point most of all. “Or we could assume that, despite what we were led to believe during Gilmore Girls’ original run, Rory genuinely never had the ambition, nor the drive, nor the talent, nor the passion to actually become a journalist.”
I don’t want to believe that about Rory, let alone myself but it’s something that has been gnawing at me for a while. So much so that I haven’t felt safe around Ben & Jerry’s for months and even I know melting chocolate chips with dry-roasted peanuts, SkinnyPop and crispy rice puffs is so unnecessary for a Tuesday afternoon.
After calling my Dad up and balling my eyes out over being 32 for the second time this year, I contemplate buying Eat, Pray, Love. I realize my Amazon Prime two-day shipping trial has expired and I’m not going to pay express delivery for this madness.
Of course this past decade was not without achievement. Because I did manage to get a certificate in psychotherapy at some point, the tears made way for some eventual perspective. It’s true, the revival of the Gilmore Girls’ does make us re-think everything we know about Rory but it also made me and plenty of others reflect on our own lives as well.
Sure, on some level I do believe she is playing out a script (l mean aren’t we all) in order to make sense of her own patterns and behaviours but it’s not the end of the world. So what if like Rory, we aren’t where we imagined we would be? I’m not saying her unprofessional behaviour is on fleek but I’ve been there, haven’t you?
What is so beautiful about Rory now is that she is more human than ever, she hasn’t given up and is still trying to figure it out. While a lot of fans were left enraged at Rory’s final words, I love that Rory was left so unfinished and so many questions were left so unanswered, it gives our girl and our imagination somewhere still to go.