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Gilmore Girls Might Just Have Saved My 2020

“And if eating cake is wrong, I don’t want to be right.”

I’m sure many people have had it a million times worse. I still have a job, a roof over my head, and enough coffee in my cupboard. So who am I to complain?

But 2020 has forced me to reconsider my life choices, to find out what is truly important to me. I’m not quite there yet, but there is one thing that helped me keep at least a tiny little bit of my optimism:

Gilmore Girls.

As ridiculous as it may sound, Lorelai, Rory, and Emily Gilmore might just have saved my life this year. I started watching the show right when the pandemic hit – what else was I to do with all the empty time on my hands?

“I can be flexible. As long as everything is exactly the way I want it, I’m totally flexible.”

— Lorelai Gilmore

Being a 90es-kid, I have no idea why I had never watched this legendary series before. I watched Parenthood in 2019 and fell in love with Lauren Graham, so I jumped into Gilmore Girls just because I wanted more from her.

Maybe this is how it was always meant to be. Maybe the show was silently sitting there all the time, waiting to come in and save me at the time I needed it the most.

I have since engaged in the most fangirlish behavior of my life. I have read and watched every single interview with the actors and set a wallpaper of Lorelai and Rory on my phone. Now that it’s over and I’ve devoured every single episode including the remake, I am wondering why these characters — Lorelai especially — have come to mean so much to me.

I think I found my answer:

Lorelai Gilmore is such a perfectly imperfect character who is struggling and struggling and struggling her way through life and yet never loses her optimism. Yes, she wallows, she is frustrated and tired at times, but she always finds her way out of it. Always.

In this sense, she is so much like a dancer. She refuses to give up, no matter how hard it is.

I have been on the verge of giving up so many times this year. It would have been so easy to stop dancing, to never go back to competitions, to quit writing that novel I never seem to get finished, to just give up and hide in bed until this nightmare of a year is over.

Some days, I could hardly get out of bed in the morning. Not because I didn’t get enough sleep, but because I simply feel like I couldn’t face another day. The prospect of watching half an episode of Gilmore Girls during my lunch break and another one before dinner was what made me get up eventually. It was what helped me get through all the work and other stressful things on my to-do list.

I know this sounds dramatic, but I really don’t know what I would have done without it.

Gilmore Girls gave me so much hope. The little town of Stars Hollow and their amazing sense of community, the bond between Lorelai and Rory and even Emily, the strong friendships between the characters — all of this gave me hope. For myself and for humanity.

And this, my friends, is the power of fiction. It allows you a glimpse into someone else’s head, into someone else’s life, and it makes you realize: You’re not alone.

There are people in this world who are going through the same shit as you, there are people in this world who care about you, even if you haven’t found them yet.

There are people in this world, and together, we will get through this.

“It’s all any of us wants, to find a nice person to hang out with ’til we drop dead. Not a lot to ask.”

— Lorelai Gilmore

Freelance Editor • Cultural Journalist. I talk language, freelance writing, and books — in no particular order.

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