Just when I thought I was out…
Did I really think that I’d dropped Mad Men though? I couldn’t. I wouldn’t. Not even in a box, accompanied by a fox. The show is just too fucking intoxicating. Having not watched an episode since June 2013, I’d forgotten so much of what drew me into the show. When you watch something this good it pulls you in. You’re pulled closer to the characters, the intimately chosen shot selection putting you right where you need to be. You’ve seen these actors grow into their characters and, by season 7, infuse them with the life these roles need to breathe. At this point does anyone even remember little Sally Draper before she became the emotional power house that soaks up any scene she’s in? Seeing shades of Don we’ve never before been exposed to, watching Peggy step further and further into his shadow the more she seeks to move away. Watching dynamics of status and control exchanged like currency, actions betrayed by motivations, feelings, failings. Soaking in these impossibly beautiful people, echoing the golden days of an era long past. Instilling in me this undeniable Midnight in Paris style desire, knowing full well how much I’d hate it there. How the hell did I put this show off for so long? At this point I’m finding it hard not to skip sleep in lieu of catching up. Do I really have to be an adult tonight?
Stories. Stories have this power. Channelling our desires to quest beyond the tedium into lives so far removed from our own. Oh the places I’d go if dreams could manifest in reality. If life could mirror our thirst for adventure, our cravings to be something, everything we’re not. To live these tales simply because we haven’t. We fear conflict in our own lives, but in stories we drift to it like moths to flame. Survival instincts tell us to keep our head down, but what would happen if we stood up instead? In the map of infinite possibility there’s a timeline where we cast off the trappings of society and make our lives echo our desires. We envision where we could be if not for those shackles holding us fast. Fear. Fear for safety, security. We seek to ameliorate the hurt that happenstance throws our way by steeling ourselves. We so rarely look beyond our obstacles, instead finding ways to go around or avoid them. It’s usually only when we seek to go through them that we achieve something. We make ourselves proud by combating opposition. In doing so, we become the stories.
So often we don’t. We stay back, look for reasons to justify our lack of commitment, our refusal of the call to adventure. So somebody else accepts the journey instead. They face the unfamiliar and adapt to it. They find what they wanted and pay the price. They return having changed. We listen, having not. We worry for what we could achieve because of what we may not. Fear steals our words, our courage, our future. So that timeline winks out of existence. The story disappears. We seek out the stories of others for fear of our own potential. We all have stories to tell and so rarely we do. What story lies in front of you if only you choose to follow it? What obstacles do you face and what course of action could take you through them? What future casts you in the lead, striding forward with head held up instead of bowed? What do you need to do in order to become the person you want to be? To write a story you can be proud of? You’ve got a lifetime. Why not use it?
Also when the hell did I become some knockoff televangelist? Have I got time to write a new ending?