We all have secrets that keep us going.
Little truths that we tuck into our souls, bury under our heart, fueling us to get through the day.
Now, I’m not talking about what drives us – wealth, passion, faith, the goal to see as many Jimmy Buffett concerts as possible. No, I’m talking about that moment when you feel completely overwhelmed by your work projects, and your cell phone is blowing up with angry texts from your [enter friend, child or significant other’s name here] because you forgot to [enter something you forgot to do here], and you didn’t make it to the gym (hell, do you even have a gym membership), and you forgot to send your grandmother a birthday card, and some high heeled, fur-wearing woman took the last seat in your subway car. That precise moment when the world is tumbling down around you, suffocating you in what’s honestly just another day – that moment is only relieved by your little secret.
Whatever it is that allows you to take a breath, focus, and put the world in right angles again. For some, they hold tight to the idea of just getting home and cracking open that bottle of wine. For others, it’s the lure of spending a night with their significant other. And still for some, it’s the cathartic action of cooking, or working out, or driving the long route home to avoid everyone and belt out your favorite songs.
And yet for others, like me, it’s the pure, unaltered joy of climbing into bed, and watching “Gilmore Girls.”
This, my friends, is my deep, dark secret.
It started when I moved to New York and lived alone. I wasn’t able to fall asleep without the tv on (ahorrible habit, I know, which I go through phrases of breaking and then picking up again). But I couldn’t fall asleep to just anything. A new tv show required my attention, made my brain stay awake and tuned in. A movie? Perhaps, but then if you drift off before the third act begins, you’re just left hanging.
So I started with television shows. “Friends,” “Will & Grace,” “Gilmore Girls,” “Fraiser.” Shows I had grown up with, shows I watched with my parents, shows that gave me a sense of comfort. But over the years, the laugh tracks on most shows kept my mind awake as my body tried to sleep. But ah, “Gilmore Girls” didn’t have laugh track. In fact, it had music that I somehow found soothing, calming.
And so soon, I was falling asleep to Lorelai and Rory every night. The world of Stars Hollow provided a safe haven, the characters so oddly real to me that just hearing their voices made me feel at home.
Perhaps that’s part of the connection as well. My Mom and I picked up “Gilmore Girls” halfway through the series, and the show reminds me of her. In fact, many of Rory’s Type-A personality quirks and college adventures seemed to strangely mirror my own life.
And so, every night when I go to bed, I flip on the DVD player and allow myself a brief respite from the bright lights of New York. I ignore whatever happened that day, the fact that I couldn’t come up with creative idea for a work project, or I didn’t make it to the gym, or I had an extra glass of wine at dinner when I’m counting calories – suddenly, it all goes away. And as I slip into sleep, my mind clears and is at ease.
So, okay. Maybe it’s a little a weird. Perhaps I should branch out on my television series. Maybe try reading before bed or doing mediation.
But then again, in this loud world that can be as wonderful as it is harsh, it’s nice to hold a comfort in the palm of your hand. To know that however the world treats you today, you can choose the ending.
After all, isn’t that what we’re all after?