Over the past several months, as the pain in my jaw increased and I had to take more and more pain medication to manage it, I ended up spending a lot of time in bed, reading or watching shows on Netflix or other subscriptions. One such show I found myself binge watching recently is the show on Prime Video called Younger, which originally aired on MTV and was recently canceled.
Younger is described as follows:
Follows 40-year-old Liza (Foster), a suddenly single mother who tries to get back into the working world, only to find out it’s nearly impossible to start at the bottom at her age. When a chance encounter with a 20-something guy at a bar convinces her she looks younger than she is, Liza tries to pass herself off as 26 — with the help of a makeover, courtesy of her best friend Maggie (Mazar). Armed with new confidence, she lands a job as an assistant to the temperamental Diana (Shor) and teams up with her new co-worker and fellow 20-something Kelsey (Duff) to make it in the career of her dreams.https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3288518/
At first, the show appeared to be light and silly, all about someone reliving their glory days, staying out late and getting drunk and going home with random people. That wasn’t my experience at that age (or any age) and I certainly didn’t wear the clothes that were depicted, then or now, but it was a fun diversion, at first.
Then, I realized that there were so many different themes underneath the fluff. Bear with me here, I realize some of this may feel like I’m reaching, but stay with me …
First, there is something fascinating about watching someone pretend to be another person, to project an alter ego, really for any purpose. As the show progressed and it became more difficult for the main character to maintain her “cover,” she found that it took so much energy to put on that mask each day and was more and more inclined to out herself to the others. The main character discovered that lying about herself to those she loved was harming those relationships, perhaps irrevocably.
I see this so much in those of living with MBC. We can carry on as if we are just the same as before we were diagnosed, yet there are always those yearnings to be real, to be open, to be transparent. Living the lie that we are the same, that we can pass for healthy, that we can be something we’re not is wearing and, in the end, unhealthy for us and for those around us.
Second, I’ve nearly always had friends across different ages and derived different thing from those different friendships, but there is a time and a place for connections with people who are going through the same things, experiencing life in similar ways. Now these connections can transcend age; at the same time, it’s harder. The main character in Younger connected with those younger than her, but her closest relationship was with a woman of her own age, someone who had watched and experienced the ups and downs of life with her over time. There is a girl scout song I’ve included in other posts: “Make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver and the other gold.” It’s important to remember that those who have known us through time may have different perspectives that those who know us in a specific context, all valuable, just different.
Third, different seasons of life will take us to different places and jobs and spending time in specific places. Sometimes a season is a transition, sometimes a season is where we are supposed to settle, sometimes a season is the end of an experience. We won’t always know which type of season we are in until perhaps the middle or end of said season, yet all of these seasons are there to teach us something. If we learn what we need to learn, then that season may end gracefully and without regrets. If not, well, sometimes people get stuck.
Fourth, regret can make us all do odd things. Regret can look a lot like desperation or perhaps the two commingle. One thing the main character learned (and we who live with MBC learn quickly) is that regret is like a poison. To avoid regret, we need to seize the day, do the thing we want/need to do, travel where we want to go, wear the special outfit, get the haircut or massage or whatever will make us feel fulfilled now, in this moment. No regrets.
Fifth and finally, sometimes it’s just fun to watch a show for the clothes and the fluff and the silliness and not look beneath the surface. Yep, it can be a waste of time, but sometimes it’s all you can do when pain and medication rob you of productivity and motivation and energy.
No regrets, but I am thankful that I’m no longer in pain and am off all the opioids that were causing me to feel blah and want to just lay around all day.