Life Lessons

What Netflix taught me about life

I love Netflix. I love that there are so many different options I can choose from… I really love that they just added every season of Gilmore Girls. Personally, I think there’s something magical about being able to binge watch endless hours of one of my favorite TV shows whenever I want… Well, maybe magical isn’t the right word, but those who have watched Netflix understand where I’m coming from. Despite all the wonderful things about Netflix, there is one part of the whole experience I’m not too fond of.

It’s when you finish a show you’ve spent countless hours watching. I always know when I’m on the last episode, know when it’s about to end. I sit in front of the TV with a feeling that is half parts anticipation and half parts dread knowing it will soon be over. Knowing that in 30-40 minutes, I’ll be sitting there thinking, “now what?”

Having this experience show after show reminds of me of some bittersweet experiences I’ve had in my own life. When I was 16, I knew what I wanted to go to school for and eventually get a job doing. Needless to say, that didn’t work out. I recently applied for a job I just knew I was going to get. That also didn’t pan out. I could go on and on with stories just like these. Not that any of these stories actually have to do with Netflix, but there is one similarity there: after all these situations didn’t work out, I was left with that same feeling. You know the one I’m talking about…. “now what?”

So this got me thinking. I realized I was living my life with a “now what?” mentality. Always waiting for the next thing to come along, and when that didn’t work out, there it was again. That feeling deep down in my gut where two little words say so much:

  • It’s your own fault that didn’t work.
  • You could have handled that better.
  • If only you had planned that out more, it would have worked.

The list goes on. And on. And on. I would hear these phrases over and over again in my head. Phrases that whispered I wasn’t good enough, and I would never measure up. Or my personal favorite: you’ll just have to wait for something else to come along. So being the introverted processor that I am, realizing this got me thinking even more.

“What if I don’t have to live my life with a “now what?” mentality? What if these things I keep waiting on to happen are not happening because I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be?” The more I thought these thoughts, the more I realized how true they were. They resonated with me in a deep place in my soul in a way I can only recognize as truth. I don’t have to live my life with that mentality, and I am exactly where I’m supposed to be. So now, that voice inside my head doesn’t pick out all the why’s behind something not working out. Instead, I hear myself saying:

  • How am I going to love the people in front of me today?
  • What can I do today that will still matter tomorrow? And the next day?
  • Who is being placed in my life that needs to be seen? To be valued?

That’s what I’m asking myself now. No more “now what?”s. And I have to say, they’re infinitely better questions to be asking.

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