If you were alive during the 2000s, you probably caught at least one episode of the hit WB show Gilmore Girls. A heart-warming drama about a single mother, Lorelai Gilmore, raising a smarter-than-average daughter, Rory, in a quirky small-town struck a chord with America and the show has grown into a pop-culture touchstone.
I watched Gilmore Girls in its entirety during my second semester of freshman year which, you might be thinking, is a little late to hop on that bandwagon. But I became obsessed; like, rewatch every episode in chronological order at least twice a year. I attempt to corral friends into in-depth discussions of the show, most of them brushing me off with an “I don’t know, it’s been a while since I watched it, I just remember Lorelai was such a cool mom, etc.” No one seems to resonate with it the way that I did.
Maybe it’s because, like Rory, I was a reader from a very young age. Like Rory, I attended a prestigious private school on scholarship. Like Rory, I was from a small town that hailed me as the next author of the Great American Novel. I was transfixed by this character that seemed so similar to me, with experiences that were ripped from the pages of my own life.
Everything was going just the way I planned, but while I wasn’t looking, Fortuna’s Wheel continued to spin. My number was up.
Even the Gilmore girls themselves are starting to break down. The much-anticipated revival series felt like a punch to the gut for many fans. Gilmore Girls ceased to be the sugar-sweet sanctuary it once was; in the Netflix revival, Rory can’t get a job or keep a boyfriend and finds herself back in her hometown, directionless and flailing.
As of today, neither can I.
Unemployed, single, and facing the sobering reality of moving back into a bedroom bedecked with One Direction posters; gee, isn’t it great being young?
The thing that stings the most is that there was a time in my life when I would’ve given anything to be Rory Gilmore. I used to love when friends would compare us. Now, I do the comparisons myself and I feel a pit in my stomach.
When I first watched A Year in the Life, I was horrified by the fate of one of my favorite fictional heroines. How could she have let things get so bad? I scoffed. How could things go downhill so quickly for someone like Rory Gilmore?
Now I know.
I don’t pretend to know what my future holds: maybe I’ll get an 11th-hour job offer like Rory’s stint on the campaign trail, maybe I’ll find myself moving back home and scanning the Help Wanted section of the paper.
However, when I start to panic about my impending future, I come back to a quote from my own personal Rosetta Stone: “We’re almost there and nowhere near it. All that matters is we’re going.” Well said, Lorelai. On to the next episode.