Like many 90s kids, I grew up on Disney. Cinderella, Dumbo, Lion King, you name it. If it was in the theaters or on TV at 8/7c, I was there. I loved those movies. I loved them because the endings were all predictable. They were all happy. Everything always worked out.
A few weeks ago, I found myself re-watching One Tree Hill for the umpteenth time. I thought to myself, “What is the purpose of this? Why do I keep binging on old shows when I already know how it’s going to end? Heck, if I think about it, I can probably say the lines to myself verbatim as I watch.” I then realized why I often fall into a pattern of re-watching old things instead of watching something new. Good or bad (and I say bad because OTH is literally so depressing), there’s no risk. I know what’s going to happen.
The little girl in me is still here. Somewhere deep inside, she’s still risk averse and would prefer to know what happens next in a world full of unfathomable events.
Nevertheless, I’m trying so hard to shake this habit. I’ve even resolved to reading Cosmopolitan just so I’m not re-watching cheesy high school TV and eating Sknnypop! For me, binging on old shows is more than just TV. It’s an entire psychological experience. And I really don’t know what to do about it.
I don’t need to have all the answers today, but I need to come up with an action plan. A plan that will help me to move forward with my life. We often start doing things or pick up old habits again when things get tough. There’s a reason old habits die hard. They’re comforting. Who doesn’t want to be comfortable?
I love re-watching old shows and movies because it helps me to connect back to how I felt the first time I watched them. I remember feeling happy and excited. So whenever I want to channel those emotions, I find myself taking a 42 minute long episode stroll down memory lane. But sometimes, 42 minutes turns into 420 minutes. Then, I started thinking about how much time has passed and how much I could have accomplished within time.
I’ve decided to start buying books again. By providing myself with more to read, I’m hoping that I’ll back away from the corny TV. A good book can be just as great as a good TV show after all. In addition, I’m starting to check in with myself every day. I do this by asking myself how I am feeling, why I am feeling that way, and what I’m going to do about it.
Somedays, I’m in a good mood, and my personal check might only span 20 seconds. Other days, if I’m not in a great mood, my personal check might last a few minutes. For example, yesterday, I had some serious nostalgia. I’m pretty sure I could’ve landed a spot in a soap opera with how dramatic I felt. After assessing how I felt in that moment, I realized that I was feeling stuck-stuck because my happy ending never materialized. No matter how much effort you put in to something, your efforts won’t always be recognized when it’s all said and done. Sometimes the awards ceremony is just a party of one. Sometimes that apology you’ve waited years for is never coming. Sometimes people walk out of your life for a reason or maybe no reason at all. Whatever the situation is, you have to keep moving. Time waits for no one. So you can do something predictable or venture down the path of discovery.