I find myself in the midst of yet another finals week, this one less about horrifying tests than about keeping my motivation high enough to make it to Friday (and Lincoln, IL) in one piece. And along with countless hours spent taking practice tests and writing note packets has come the opportunity to indulge myself in episode after episode of Friday Night Lights.
Now this show, which is not TV gold by any means, is your typical weekly teen drama. It follows a group of kids who are trapped in high school indefinitely while ratings are high, ultimately defying the notion that a person only gets one senior year.
The whole reason I got hooked on the show was my obsession with its featured couples. Now you'd think I'd have learned my lesson by now to the tune of Blair and Chuck and Rory and Jess, but I just can't stop myself from using perfect TV couples as positive influences on my idealistic ideas about love.
But what I've realized- from within the depths of my snuggly comforter- is that the stories this show and shows like it are pushing is absolutely poisonous to the mindset of a young woman.
Friday Night Lights highlights (especially within Season 3) the ups and downs of Tim and Lyla. The dark, brooding Tim is a sex god of epic proportions in Dillon and can only be tamed by the beauty and kindheartedness of Lyla. We follow them through their arguments and loving moments, ultimately watching as they become yet another young couple not yet able to face the world as an eternal pair.
Pretty routine, right? And of course I ate it all up in one big bite. Episode after episode when I should have been learning the particle qualities of light.
But then one night the unpleasant underbelly of it all slapped me right in the face. The whole point of their relationship is that Lyla tames the wild Tim. Tames him. Like a lion or something. She works her pretty little butt off to make him live up to his potential and it's the love of a good woman that keeps him motivated.
Okay, so we all want to be a good woman, but do we all really want to be tamers of men?
Haha, before you purchase a nice whip, just hear me out.
If you start a relationship with someone knowing that there are changes to be made before you reach happily ever after, you've already made a misstep. What if the changes never happen? Can you live with that? Or will it eat at you, like you've failed him and yourself in some way?
There are plenty of men in the world available to be your guy. To let you be 'their gal.'
But how may of them are ready for you? Ready for you right now.
A relationship is a lot of hard work, no doubt about it. But the work should be learning how to take care of each other. Learning that the only thing that makes her feel better when she's sad is eating brownie batter or that he panics about what to get his mom for Christmas months in advance.
A relationship lives or dies on the ability for two people to work together to make it work. Not one person frantically trying to salvage some scrap of what the relationship could be two, three, maybe even six months in the future.
So give yourself a break, take a deep breath, and leave the Tim and Lyla kind of relationships for the television.
Find yourself a love that feels good right now and doesn't leave you running in place hoping that change is coming.
Change is our own responsibility. We do what feels right in our souls. We do what enables us to look in the mirror at the end of each day and be at peace.
It's an unending, ever-questioning process.
So don't take on that responsibility for two.
Quote of the day, from Le Petit Prince [The Little Prince]
"On ne voit bien qu'avec le coeur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux."
[One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.]
Peace, love and Panther football,