What to Do When Everything is Changing and You Don't Know What to Do

Before Christmas, I went to see La La Land (@ me in the comments about how this, the best movie of all time, changed your life). One week later, I went to see it again. And then I went one more time. Before that, I could count the movies I’ve seen more than once on one hand - really only Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Hot Rod. Last week, I started rewatching Gossip Girl, and while we all can agree that Gossip Girl is the best show on the planet, because you can’t be upset about your problems when you’re watching teenage socialites stab each other in the back, I kinda expected to leave that show in college. I’ve abandoned nonfiction and have started reading exclusively novels, preferably novels I’ve read at least 100 times before. And yet, it was only last week that I connected all of this.

Things are hard right now. It’s peak Seasonal Affective Disorder season - the part of the year where the cold and unending night really starts to suck the marrow from your bones. It’s inauguration time, and every time I go near the internet I discover a new and troubling way that America is being Made Great Again. Not to mention the way we are Growing Up and Everything is Changing All the Time.

I read an article once about how our generation has more nostalgia than any generation before us because so much has changed in our lifetime. We’re already rhapsodizing about our blissful, tech-free childhoods, even though they were only a few years ago.  

In a lot of ways, everything still feels like it’s changing. Every few months a new technology comes out. There are more books, shows, and movies than ever, and it seems like there are 1,000 ways to fall behind culturally if we don’t keep our eyes wide open and pointed at screens 21ish hours a day.

I think that right now, a few years out of college, all of that has built to a breaking point. As interested as I am in the new, the up-and-coming, and the changing, it feels a little safer to relive something than it does to risk something new. When I look around, not that much is familiar. Not one thing about my life is the same as it was last January (man, that’s crazy isn’t it?), but I know how this book makes me feel. I can predict the ending.

When I look around, I see my friends doing the same thing. We’re rewatching Harry Potter and listening to Everything In Transit by Jack’s Mannequin for the 4,000th time. Reverting to the familiar, the old, and the worn out is a covert strategy to cope with all this New New New. And you know what? It’s really working.