To say that I am a pop culture fanatic is to put it lightly. As I have said before, I have the habit of playing out the lives of characters from movies and TV in my head as if it were my own life. I like to think of this as having a very active and healthy imagination. While other people may call me crazy, I’m fine with that. I think as a writer it’s an important quality. I feel like I’ve learned a lot about relationships and the type of guy I wanted to be with by watching movies and TV. Even though they sometimes gave me unrealistic expectations, they also taught me that anything is possible and that relationships take a lot of time and nurturing. In High school, I was on the eternal quest for a “Pacey”, in college for a “Big”, now I like to say I found a mix of all of my favorite leading men.
“Dawson’s Creek” wasn’t just a TV show for me it was Wednesday night obsession. That show spoke to me on a level I had never before experienced. These characters were living out my same awkward moments with crushes and showcasing all of my same hopes and fears. In High School, I was painfully shy, a bit awkward, and miles away from my first venture into love, so when these characters fell in love, so did I and I fell hard. I wished for nothing more than a slacker boyfriend with a heart of gold, that would buy me a wall, paint on it a declaration of love and then sweep me onto his boat for a summer of romance, then when the time came I would recite all the wonderful, little things he does for me everyday as the reason why I was finally ready to sleep with him. (Author’s note: none of this has played out in my real life, but I remain optimistic).
In college, it was the world of “Sex and The City” that pulled me in. Along with every other girl who loved the show, I believed I was the perfect mixture of Carrie and Charlotte. Although, at first I couldn’t understand why Carrie would walk away from a guy like Aidan to only be heart broken time and again by Big, I soon found out the hard way. A great guy like Aidan is just that, no mystery, no danger, and no stomach full of crazed butterflies. Big, on the other hand, well he was a challenge wrapped in mystery and topped with a buttload of crazy butterflies and with all that sometimes arises a great love. In college, for me, this wasn’t the case but I finally understood what Carrie saw in Big, he was full of flaws and so was she and it makes perfect sense that it took the whole series for them to end up together because a love like that takes time and a lot of growing up.
Life is full of expectations and fantasies of how things will play out. I may not have ended up with a Pacey or a Big or a Noah Calhoun, I may not be exactly where I thought I would be in my life by this age, but I know I am in a good place and at the end of the day that’s really all that matters. In college, especially, we are testing boundaries and comfort zones in both life and love. We feel like we are adults because we are out there in the world, staying out as late as we want and not answering to our parents everyday, but for the most part we are still figuring it all out (heck, I’m still figuring it all out). Even though, for most people college is the time of their lives, we also look forward to the bright future that this time has hopefully laid out for us. We pick a major that will hopefully lead into a career, we studied abroad to expand our life experience, and we dated a lot of Mr. Wrong’s in hopes that beyond college we will find Mr. Right. The total independence and responsibility of being out of college is a terrifying mix of excitement and panic. But as idealistic as we are coming out of college it doesn’t always play out like we hoped it would and that’s okay, because most likely you are going to end up in a career you never imagined you’d be in, with a guy you never would of given a second glance and life full of happiness because sometimes real life is better than the fairy tale.
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