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Why Do I Blog?

Sometimes I wonder why I keep blogging.

It’s certainly not for the numbers. Every time someone asks me how many subscribers I have, I don’t like telling them because it’s a really low number. My stats are not amazing. Anytime someone says they have low stats, I want to say “you don’t know low stats.” I do know that a few people read almost everything I post, but otherwise I have no idea who actually reads my blog on a regular basis. While I share new blog posts on social media, unless someone tells me that they read something, I just assume no one reads it. I don’t expect any of my friends to actually read this. There are days when I get really excited about writing a post and I put a lot of time and effort into it only to have nobody even click on the post at all much less read or comment on it.

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It’s not for exposure. I’m not getting famous by doing this. I’m not expecting any of my posts to go viral, for me to get discovered, or for me to get a book deal out of this. Nor am I doing this in order to work on my writing so that I can go somewhere with it. It’d be cool if this could lead towards a job because of my blogging but as of right now that’s not happening.

And contrary to popular belief, this blog is not so I can write about everything that happens in my life. It’s not like I’m waiting around for events to happen so I can talk about them on here.

You may think I’m being completely open on my blog and to some extent I am. But I don’t treat this like a diary and there are a lot of things that I am not going to overshare with the rest of the world. At least not on a public platform like my blog. Therefore if you only read my posts but never actually talk to me, you only have a one-sided view of what I’m really like.

No, the real reason why I started blogging again was because I want others to know that they are not alone.

There’s a difference in wanting to be by yourself and then feeling like you’re alone in what you’re going through.

I know that one of the first things I do when I go through a crisis or situation is to Google it. Because I want to believe that I can’t possibly be the only person that’s going through this situation. Surely there must be someone in the world who knows what I’m going through and I’m not just some freak of nature that this is happening to.

A lot of times however I can’t. And while some of you are perfectly fine in situations where you’re the only person, I know for me it is super hard because I feel like I’m drowning and there is no one who can help me. I don’t like the feeling of being the odd person out in a negative way. When I feel like nobody understands what I’m going through, trying to make things better is a very steep uphill climb.

So with this blog, in case someone happens to stumble up on it, I just want them know they aren’t alone. Whether that’s a someone who suddenly has a completely random thought and is curious if anyone else thought it, or someone who happens to like watching the Olympics AND Doctor Who and wonders if it’s possible to like sports AND be a geek, or if someone is struggling with an issue and worries they are the only ones going through this: YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

While it doesn’t have the highest amount of hits, the post on my blog that constantly gets viewed every week is my post on Trusting God When Things Seem Impossible. Out of all the posts I’ve written on this blog, every week since I first posted in October, this post is the most searched and most regularly visited. There have been so many variations of the phrase of trusting God in impossible times used in search engines to find that post. Which to me seems that there are many people who feel the same way I did and they want to know what to do and to know that they are not alone in that situation. I don’t know if my blog helps. I’d like to think that what I said has some impact and can give them some reassurance and advice but I’m not sure. What I do know is that for me, every time I see that post appearing in my stats for the day, it helps to remind ME that God is still working in my life and that I need to trust him even when I have no idea how things will work out for myself.

I just feel like I am meant to do this right now. I may feel like stopping at some point but for now this is what I feel like I’m being led to do. Like I’ve said before, I have a story. Several stories actually. And if I can help others somehow with my story and make an impact in their lives, then that’s what I want to continue doing. I’m pretty sure I’m getting better at it and will continue to do more so in the future.

Writing this blog has also helped me a lot. It’s keeping me disciplined and accountable as I’ve kept up with my schedule of posting three times a week. It’s helped me become more creative and allows an outlet for me to let it out. Even if I’m not actively trying to have a writing career, I am writing more and I do believe it is improving. Doing this has also helping me figure out more things about myself. And that’s always a good thing.

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How to Win and Lose at Series Finales

WARNING. THERE BE SPOILERS IN THIS POST. YOU WERE WARNED! THIS IS ALSO A REALLY LONG POST!

Unless you just avoided social media and entertainment this past week or you just don’t care, you may have seen that How I Met Your Mother ended this week after nine years. You also probably saw that the series finale had very mixed emotions from viewers ranging from “Great!” to “WORST THING EVER”.

Series finales are tough to do. How do you end a show for good after it has become loved and adored by millions of viewers? It’s really hard to try to answer every question, wrap up ever story line, or make everyone happy. Should you cater to the fans and give them what they want or do what you as the creator/writer wanted to do from the beginning?

Disclaimer: I’m one of the few who did like the series finale of Lost. I felt like that needed to be said.

I’m one of those people who has issues with continuity. I realize that sometimes it is hard to keep track of everything that happens. But what I don’t understand is when writers (of books, movies, and TV shows) just ignore everything that happens in the past and just tries to write around it and pretend it never happened. I’m not talking about a remake or a reboot. I’m talking about kids disappearing halfway through the show only to show up in the finale like it never took place.

There are the shows that end up getting cancelled way before the creators intended it to. Sometimes it’s right in the middle of a story line that leaves major cliffhangers. Other times the show gets cancelled abruptly and the last episode is not a farewell episode at all and is pretty bland. An example of the latter is the series finale of Full House. Sure Steve comes back in a cameo appearance but the rest of the episode doesn’t tie up series loose ends (Will Danny ever remarry? Will Jesse and Becky stay in the house forever? Why is Michelle still there?) and just leaves the viewers thinking that next year everything will be the same. Except there wasn’t a next year. There have been series finales when it turns out everything was just a dream (St. Elsewhere, Newhart) and ones where it turns out to just be a backdoor to another series (Andy Griffith Show). Then there’s the series finale of M*A*S*H which is the mother of all series finales because everyone and their mother in the US was watching it as its STILL the most watch series finale in history, and until Superbowl XLIV, the most watched television broadcast show in American history.

Let me give two examples of what I thought were good series finales to me.

1) Breaking Bad – As someone who had only started (binge) watching in the last few weeks of the show, I hadn’t been invested for a long time period as others from the beginning. But still there was great anticipation for how everything was going to play out. And as the weeks kept going by, the shows creators and writers managed to fulfill every thing I could think of. By the time the end credits rolled, I was completely satisfied. I did not need a spin off, I didn’t want to throw my remote at the TV, I was able to be like “Yes, this is how its done.” Loose ends were tied up, questions were answered, what I wanted to happened did, there was pretty much no other way it could have ended. Well done. Yes there’s going to be a prequel but the story is essentially done.

2) The Office – I was a big fan of The Office, until Steve Carrell left the show and then I stopped watching for several years. To me, Michael Scott WAS the show and without him, it wasn’t the same. But when the series finale came, since I had invested several years into it, I tuned it. And it was lovely. Even though I didn’t know who some of the people were, even though I didn’t know what some of the subplots were about, even though I still need to update myself with my favorite characters’ lives, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I even cried. I felt that the writers realized that old fans were going to return and made the episode a good bit of nostalgia mixed with the current trajectory of the show. (They even added in David Brent!) And it was a great sendoff and good closure.

Basically it’s like when I close a book. If I am satisfied with the story and I don’t need more, when I feel like I can let the characters or their legacy live on without more episodes, without spinoffs, or even a prequel, then that’s when the show has closed out for good for me. It doesn’t have to end happily. People do not even need to be alive. But I don’t want to see sloppy writing or rushed events or to play with the viewers’ emotions just for the sake of ratings or other things.

And in my personal opinion: How I Met Your Mother did not have a good series finale. I did not enjoy it. I’m not going to argue with you if you liked it. I’m not going to try to convince you to NOT like it nor are you going to be able to convince me on why I SHOULD like it. For me, personally it hit a little too close to home. You can read here about my love for the show. Basically I started watching it because I was in a Ted/Robin situation and I had to find a way to distract myself when things didn’t go as I planned. And it kept mirroring my life and I grew heavily invested in the show and the characters’ lives. To me the ending was basically the creators fulfilling a slap bet with me and delivering one to MY face. And the best part? There are so many people who felt the same way.

You can argue against me all you want and completely disagree with me and that’s fine. It’s not going to change my mind. It was a personal experience and we’re all going to think differently. But I’m just going to state why it was not good for me.

Barney and Robin get divorced within 15 minutes of the show’s opening. We just spent AN ENTIRE SEASON having their wedding shoved down their throats. We were forced to witness this wedding hour by hour. WE INVESTED TIME IN THIS WEDDING. Only to have it casually end as soon as the broadcast starts. I’m not denying that this doesn’t happen in real life. But I’m thinking the only reason why the wedding weekend lasted so long was because the writers weren’t sure that Season 9 was going to happen at all, and when they were granted the opportunity they had to find some way to milk it out. And so they did, forcing the viewers to become emotionally invested in something and then just act like it didn’t matter at all.

Ted finally meets the mother. And it was glorious. I loved their meeting. It was everything I wished it would be. Except. They don’t get married for 5 years, even after two kids. In what world, does Ted Mosby NOT marry the mother of his children? Don’t tell me that Ted finally learned what love really is. No. If you love someone, you will want to commit to them and marriage is that. And PLUS: during the episode “Trilogy Time” in 2015 while Ted is holding baby Penny, HE IS WEARING A WEDDING RING. It’s not that hard to go back and check on this!!

The mother dying. Honestly I’m ok with this. It’s sad and I would have loved a happy ending but it happens. No, what my issue is we never see Ted mourn. We grew to love the mother with the mythology and build up over the years and then Cristin Milioti was just fantastic. But we never see get to really see Ted with her. Had the show done it right, I feel like we would have at least had time to process and then not gotten our hearts stomped on and be forced to accept that….

THE MOTHER WAS A RED HERRING ALL ALONG. The show has always been how Ted and ROBIN were meant to be together. Because in the last few minutes, we find out that Ted has basically told the story to his kids and it’s really asking their permission to ask out “Aunt Robin” which the kids give because “Mom was barely in this story!” (The scene with the kids was taped before season 2. So all along they were going to kill the mom and have Ted end up with Robin. I despise this. I feel like they forced themselves into this.) The entire series we’ve been so sick and tired of Ted and Robin, will they, won’t they? Because Robin made her decision. She has shown over and over that she only wants things when she can’t have them. Robin is the girl every guy dreams of. No emotional crisis, drinks Scotch, smokes cigars, loves sports, and is super hot. In this sense she is perfect for Barney. But that even couldn’t last. Ted was willing to be everything she wanted and needed and she still didn’t want him. So he FINALLY lets her go. They made Robin LITERALLY float away. Ted meets the mother.

Tracy (the mother) is basically the woman who gave Ted kids because Robin could never do this. Yes, she is the perfect woman for Ted but not the love of his life. Ted is a suburban dad with two teenagers. Robin is TV anchor who travels, lives in the city by herself, with 5 dogs and is independent. Is she really going to drop all that for Ted’s life? Ted has been holding onto a hope for Robin ALL THESE YEARS. I got out of this, “Hey! That guy I’ve been in love with for years that I keep waiting and hoping on? I’m going to let him go literally and figuratively. Then I’m going to meet the guy who is going to be the perfect guy for me. And we will be happy for a few years. And then he’s going to die. But there’s a happy ending because I will still get to end up with the first guy!”

I have other issues but I will leave you with this Buzzfeed post which other than number 14 (mixed emotions? no, I know how I feel) is exactly how I view this situation.

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Wait, they don’t love you like I love you…

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” – C.S. Lewis

I am fairly confident that I would say about 98% of people who are reading this post have been in love at some point in their life. You may not have told the person the actual words of “I love you” but it’s probably a safe guess that you have held feeling of that nature towards someone else.  And it’s probably a pretty good guess that a good majority of those folks have also been in love with someone who doesn’t love them back.

Now either you actually told them how you felt and then were disappointed when they said they couldn’t return the feelings or you loved the person from afar and watched as they gave those feelings away to someone else. Either way, unless you have an unbreakable heart or cannot feel things, you have experienced pain and heartache. When you feel deeply for someone and they can’t return those feelings, it hurts like crap. And because you’ve essentially offered up yourself only to be rejected, what usually follows are feelings of wondering what is wrong with you and what does someone else have that you don’t.

The emo song of all girls everywhere who love a guy that doesn’t love her back.

Because we feel better knowing that we’re not alone in feeling this way, I’ve chosen three examples from TV shows and movies that I believe describes the feelings that come with having a love that is unrequited.

WARNING! THERE BE SPOILERS THROUGHOUT! YOU WERE WARNED!!!!!

The first clip is from the 1994 version of Little Women, starring Winona Ryder as Jo and Christian Bale as Laurie. Jo and Laurie have been best friends for several years. Jo wants to go out, make her mark in the world, and live out her life, before even considering to think about settling down and getting married.Laurie, meanwhile, has decided he knows what he wants now. Every time I watch this scene, I’m like “Who on earth would say no to Christian Bale????” Laurie’s pain is very evident here as shown here by the words he says to her refusal. Unfortunately I believe what he does later on in the story and who he ends up with is purely a rebound from this scene. Start at the :52 mark.

The next scene is from the series 3 finale of Doctor Who, where Martha leaves the Tenth Doctor as his companion. Even though the two became extremely close friends, Martha had the unfortunate opportunity of being the companion following Rose Tyler who had been very close to the Doctor. Martha is a very smart and independent woman, herself a medical student, but she falls in love with the Doctor who doesn’t love her back. Some people aren’t a fan of Martha for this reason (they must be Rose fans). Throughout most of her season, you can see Martha struggling with her feelings, hoping that he’ll change his mind but he doesn’t. There is one episode where he does fall in love with someone, but it isn’t her and it pains her tremendously. The following clip is when Martha finally realizes what she has to do in order to help herself. Start at the 1:40 mark.

The final clip is from How I Met Your Mother. The majority of the entire series deals with Ted and Robin’s relationship. Ted and Robin are best friends. Ted has been in love with Robin from the beginning of this story and it is because of their relationship that triggers the search for the mother. From the very first episode, Ted has had strong feelings from Robin that have pretty much never wavered. Robin, on the other hand, has been pretty unsure about her feelings for Ted. She cares for him, but not as much as he does. Ted has lost several relationships because of his continued feelings for Robin and it is something that he keeps struggling with because she is one of his best friends. However, this scene marks a strong turning point for Ted in terms of their relationship. (The original clip got removed so I’ve replaced it. For the most part it’s the same thing)

The biggest thing to remember when your love isn’t returned that is you can’t let the hurt take over you. Yes, perhaps you do have some flaws but so does everyone. However just because the other person can’t return how you feel doesn’t mean you are a failure. Do not put the other person on a pedestal and think that their love is more worthy than yours They aren’t perfect and they are just as flawed as you are. You are not any less worthy a person just because one person doesn’t love you back. Having their love will not validate you as a person and they will not fix you. Only you can do that.

However, it’s perfectly normal to feel like you’re in the worst pain that you’ve ever felt in your life. Being rejected no matter how nice the other person was about it still sucks. You’ve basically offered what you thought was the best of you only to get turned down. And yes, there is the temptation to become bitter and angsty (and sometimes pyscho) and wish that one day this would happen to the other person so they can in turn understand all the hurt that you’re going through now. I caution against that. Accept the hurt. Mourn the loss. Let the pain happen. It sucks. It’s painful. Don’t try to play it off as it’s nothing and shove those feelings under a rug and ignore them.

BUT don’t let it take over you. It’s not always going to feel like that. You’re going to be ok. Things will get better. Or I’ll let Iris (Kate Winslet) from The Holiday explain it:

You may be in that deep, dark hole right now. You may feel like your heart has been ripped apart. You can cry and yell and curse at the world. But soon you will want to look up. And you will see the light trying to reach into that pit. And you will crawl out of there. And you will have hope. And you will be whole again.

  • “I called on your name, Lord, from the depths of the pit. You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.” You came near when I called you, and you said, “Do not fear.” You, Lord, took up my case; you redeemed my life.”  (Lamentations 3:55-58)
  • “Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish. Look on my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins.” (Psalm 25:16-18)
  • “Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” (Hosea 6:1-3)
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Legen….wait for it…….

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I’ve mentioned that I’ve been binge watching shows lately in hopes to catch up with current episodes on air now.  The first show that I ever did this to was How I Met Your Mother.  I have several friends who are heavily into the show and they kept telling me I needed to watch it.  “It’s exactly what we as late 20-somethings are going through!” is what they kept telling me.  I had been hesitant because the ads for the show never really got to me and plus I wasn’t really a big comedy watcher.

Then last fall, I was going through a rough time emotionally and I wanted to distract myself from all that emotional angst and I gave in and started watching. HOLY FUDGE. I loved the show.  I loved the show so much (and apparently I needed a LOT of distracting) that I watched all six seasons that were available on Netflix in a month.  And then through a lot of pleading, begging, and bartering with friends, I was finally able to catch up on season 7 and 8 through their downloads in time to watch this season live with the rest of the world.

Warning: I am going to bank on the fact that you have already seen this show.  Therefore there will be a lot of spoilers. You’ve been warned.

I could SO relate to the show. I feel like I have friends who are just like Marshall and Lily (even down to having a baby and the guy being super tall! If you know who are you are….).  A lot of the things the group goes through (new jobs! finishing grad school! losing job! dating! breaking up! turning 30! getting engaged! people having babies!) is exactly what my friends and I are going through right now.

The girls, I can give or take on the show.  I do love the boots that they wear and I LOVE Lily’s hair in season 2.  But they drive me insane sometimes. I want to throttle Robin. I hope I don’t act like that in real life.  But I really enjoy how the show has portrayed the men.  I adore Marshall. Seriously, he is a favorite.  THAT is the type of guy I want.  Also it’s really interesting for me to see Jason Segel in this light, because I had only previously seen him in all those R-rated comedy films.  Had no idea he was such a sweetheart.  And Barney.  Oh Barney.  You are hilarious and bring the best comic relief to the show but stay away from me in real life.

And Teddy Boy.  Yes he has his moments (really, those red boots are super ugly) and there are times when I want to strangle him. He’s definitely not the perfect guy and it takes him a few seasons to realize that he wants to make his intentions serious. But you know what?  In a world where so many 20-something year old guys DON’T want to even pursue a girl let alone settle down, I want a Ted.  (Actually I would rather have a Rory, but that’s another show)  I would love to meet a guy who is attractive as Ted, has a steady job, and knows he wants to find a woman to be serious about with the intention to at least consider settling down and getting married.

I just wish he could get over Robin.  And I know that it’s going to happen.  It’s just…he’s in a bad situation where he’s not going to get over her very easily, as we’ve seen over the past 8 seasons.  You can’t fall in love with your best friend, break up, stay friends, try to keep those feelings reigned in only to have them date/marry your other best friend, and not be emotionally affected unless you are a Dalek. Ted compared every girl he dated to Robin and therefore was unable to move on.  It also didn’t help that she was RIGHT THERE all the time.  Actually this kind of frustrated me.  Why did Robin choose Barney over Ted?  Ted LOVES her and from their interactions they would make a great couple.  Barney loves her too, but I feel like Barney loves Robin best when she acts like a bro.  When she acts like a girl, he’s not there.  Unfortunately Ted is.  And yet Robin doesn’t see this.   And so Ted is stuck.  Because her friends are his friends.  And he can’t really escape it if he stays.  And so he has to face his hurt every time they all hang out, which seems to be all the time. And so even though I feel it’s been dragged out for a loooooong time and I throw my head in my hands every time it happens, I think it’s actually quite realistic to see Ted’s struggle with this. Because it does take a long time for the feelings to go away and it’s hard and it sucks. The joy and pain of falling in love with someone you are very close to and then realizing they don’t feel the same way. I get you, Ted. (But that’s another post for another day).

There are way too many funny instances in the show for me to highlight any (though I do love when Future Ted, played by Bob Saget, says that he was a fan of Dave Coulier). So as we are into the final season of the show, I’m looking forward to seeing how everything turns out. I’m hoping for a good send off and that they properly end all story lines (more slaps! and I just saw Bryan Cranston is coming back for an episode!). I think I tuned into the show at just the right time in my life.  Any earlier or later, and it wouldn’t have the same impact that it does now on me. It would be totally awesome if one day I can tell a similar story to my kids on how I met their father (granted, it won’t be this long and I wouldn’t tell them as much as Ted has).