It Felt Good To Know Rory Gilmore Doesn't Have It Figured Out Either
By Megan MacNee
First things first, if you haven’t already finished all four episodes of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life please stop reading this immediately. Well, at least if you care about how the series ends. I have no interest in spoiling this for anyone but haven’t been able to wait to discuss it with everyone who has.
If you’ve paid any attention to all the media leading up to the Gilmore Girls revival you would have seen that the majority of it was all about who Rory Gilmore would be dating and what her job would be.
It turns out that the answer to both was that Rory didn’t know.
Much like Rory, I grew up with a plan. From middle school on I always knew where I wanted to go to college and what I wanted to do, mind you mine changed much more frequently than Rory’s, but there was always a plan. Now at 30, much like Rory, I’m a little lost both professionally and romantically, trying to figure out what in the world to do next.
From 12 to 22, like many, I was always moving along a well-defined list of goals to be accomplished. Now I am one of many in the exact same place as Rory as we head into our early thirties. Not sure if we’ve gotten to where we wanted to be or even if we soon will, unsure if it’s really where we want to be.
Being lost at 30 isn’t something we talk about, instead, we talk to our teenagers and college students as if when they leave those hallways they’ll be working towards the one clear goal you want right then for the rest of our lives. Asking them well what do you want to do with your life?
In reality, most of my friends in our late 20’s and early 30’s are just starting to figure out what we actually want out of our lives. I have friends who have gone from 9 to 5 political jobs to running their own fitness business. I have friends making solid six-figures who are realizing how boring the work they do is and trying to find another path. I also have friends who’ve spent a decade in a career they were once passionate about but now feel entirely jaded by not knowing where to go next.
Are we all having a third life crisis? Or are we just approaching a period of life that generations before us have faced but was never talked about?
In the revival, Rory has found above average success in her freelancing career, which is clear if she’s flying back and forth from London all the time, but she isn’t happy with where she is. In many ways, she is trying to convince herself that she still wants what she wanted a decade ago.
While a few people I know want at 32 what they wanted at 22, for the most of us, somewhere between those two points we begin to redirect ourselves.
One thing Rory has, that many people don’t, is the freedom to explore where she is going. At 22 it’s easier to move back home and take an internship you’d like to try out. At 32, it’s harder to take the financial risk that often comes with starting a new career path where most people have to take a step back before moving forward again.
She has the financial freedom to consider going back to graduate school, when in real life those conversations involve how much debt you’ll take on, how much income you’ll lose if you go back full-time, and if you have or soon want kids, how you’d manage it.
While Rory may go through a privileged version of this struggle. I’m someone who’s always been just been a few years younger than Rory, I find this version of her story much more relatable than if she had the perfect job and perfect relationship that many were predicting of the character.
Rory’s story of struggling to find what she actually wants out of life in her early 30’s is far more a realistic ending and represents what so many of us hitting our 30’s are going through.