I recently finished watching 11 seasons of "Grey's Anatomy" in about 11 weeks. The first thing my roommate said when I finished the last episode was, "this is the longest relationship you've had since we've lived together."
With that, I went back to my room to lament over Derek Shepherd's death and the fact that she was totally right. At least I can say I learned a lot about life in the wee hours of the night where I lost sleep and somewhat lost my mind watching that show.
So here are 11 life lessons from binge watching this, essentially f*cked up, series. Shonda Rhimes, I kind of hate you, but you're also kind of a rock star. Thank you for teaching me about being a grown up:
1. Don't work at Grey+Sloan Memorial Hospital
I mean, seriously, everyone there dies, gets shot, leaves, gets cancer, gets cheated on, loses a leg, gets electrocuted, goes blind, loses a parent, has a miscarriage, gets hit by a car, gets in a plane crash, or is in a bus explosion. It's a really, really dangerous place to work even if the doctors are all attractive, smart, and easy to love.
2. It's good to have a life outside of the workplace
Your dating and friend pool should exist in and out of work. Otherwise it leaves a lot of awkward elevator glances, endless roommate dilemmas, zero privacy, and lots of tension. I think it's important to have another reality you can relish in other than the one behind your salary.
3. Dancing it out makes your troubles disappear
This one is simple. When something is stressing you out or tearing you apart from the inside... Just grab a friend (and some tequila) and have a dance party. You'll feel better in no time.
4. Your ghosts will always come back to haunt you
This might come in the form of a spirit who you have sex with (weirdest plot twist ever), an estranged parent, or in a more realistic form. You have to learn to accept the past in order to move forward with the future. You must move on so your ghosts can, too.
5. Crying over Grey's is like crying over an ex
I knew the fate of Grey's before starting and still I cried a ton watching it. You know it's not real, you know you'll be fine, but it's still a connection you can't let go. It's like the line "you don't miss them -- you miss the thought of them," and yeah I really miss the thought of Derek, Denny, Mark, George, etc. (probably even more than the thought of my exes).
6. Don't run away from your problems
For metaphorical purposes only... Don't drown yourself, don't leave your husband to go into the army for an undetermined time, don't bake a thousand cakes, don't cheat to escape reality, don't go work for the President, and don't go to the cabin in the woods. Deal with your problems head on, because they'll still be there when you stop running.
7. We all have a dark and twisty side to us
It's okay to be dark and twisty. The darkest and more twisty parts of us are what make us strong and resilient. It's what prepares us for life and gets us closer to our destiny. It makes us interesting; it makes us hard to love but worth the fight.
8. Everyone needs to have their person
Everyone needs good company, but everyone especially needs that one person to crawl into bed with when you need to cry, to dance it out with, to call when you're in trouble, and to be the rock that keeps you standing. You don't have to go through life alone; it's better to go through it with someone that gets you and makes life better.
9. True love is real and should be voiced
True love is real. It is evident and it is strong even if it comes with hardship. It's something to work on and work for. It should be told always, often, and never told too late. It should be trusted and believed in. It should be embraced for all that it is even if it's simply written on a Post-It.
10. Never give up on yourself or your dream
Don't ever stop pursuing your passion, don't stop asking question, don't doubt yourself, and fight like hell for what you want. Be competitive, and even if you lose yourself along the way don't ever let go of your dream. You have the power to make that dream a reality.
11. Life is a bitch but you can (and will) survive
The world could be a cold, cruel place, but there's always worse. You'll survive and you'll be better for it. There is no good reason and no master plan for why shitty things happen to good people. The most important thing is to remain good and know good things will come too. You can do this fucked up thing called life -- you really can.
I also learned that I should probably cancel my Netflix account and finally get some sleep for once, but that's a whole other potential heartbreak.
So I'll leave you with one final thought: the carousel never stops turning and you can't get off; so we have to learn to enjoy the ride, to see things from a different perspective each time around, and embrace that life itself always comes full circle.
See you after season 12.
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