Monday, 7 April 2014

Destiny, Nerve-Wracking, Eternity - all that and a bag of Grey's Anatomy

There must be something wrong with me.  I am not following 20 different series on Netflix or Hulu.
There must be something wrong with me.  I am a male and I watch Grey's Anatomy.
There must be something wrong with me.  Episode 17 of Season 10 has moved me.

When I pressed play on and waited for the episode to load, I had no idea what was to hit me.  Sure, I knew it would be subject to another absolutely smashing episode of Grey's Anatomy, as the show is always good.  But I didn't expect that a string of pictures could have me as scared deep down into my core.

This episode focusses on Christina and her relationship with Owen.  The episode basically asks the question, "Do you know who you are?".  Now, as a 20 year old still trying to figure out this thing we call life, I was already put aback.  Christina saves the life of a man who became paralyzed from the neck down and asks him (with his wife standing by) whether he wants to live or not, as he is being kept alive by a tube down his throat to sustain breathing.  The episode looks at two different outcomes and the effect they have on Christina.  In the first instance the man wants his tube removed.  Christina is moved by this and realises that she wants to be with Owen forever.  The episode flashes forward to their life together where the acquire a house, get a dog, have 2 children and culminates where Shane receives the Harper Avery Award for outstanding service in medicine.  Throughout out this eerie flash forward, a sense of dissatisfaction builds up in Christina.  During labour for her first child she screams  "This was a mistake!"  I do not know the last time when a string of four words rocking me as deeply to my core as those words did.  My head was ablaze with all kinds of possibilities.  What if my mother said that when I was born?  What if I might say that one day when my child is born?  What if cry that when standing on the front porch of my home at the age of 50, all alone?  I was terrified at this point in the episode.  The child was a great thing for Owen as he was the happiest he had ever been.

In the second instance the man says that he does not want his tube to be removed and Christina continues with her on and off relationship with Owen.  This way of life works very well with Christina, however, Owen grows ever more dissatisfied.  They break up and get back together numerous times.  Each time on the premise that Owen really doesn't want kids (even though his soul years for a child).  Owen reaches his defining moment during the rehabilitation of the man who chose to live.  His wife confides to Owen that she is deeply dissatisfied of who she is now.  She really wanted children, but never will.  This rocks Owen to his core as he realises that even though his love for Christina is immense, he cannot shake the fact that he wants children and she doesn't.  In the end Christina goes on to win the Harper Avery Award 4 consecutive times and she is clearly deeply content being one of the greatest surgeons in the world.  Owen is a broken mess and a slave to alcohol as he cannot shake his love for Christina or his desire for children.

There is much to be said of this episode.  Firstly, this episode looks at love.  Clearly Owen and Christina loves one another as much as a couple can. They are soulmates and made for one another.  The problem is that both of them want fundamentally different things in life.  Christina wants companionship and a world-class career , but Owen wants the love, a big happy family and a good career.  Their love shows to us that maybe love does not conquer all.  For them to be together one or the other has to give up something that is incredibly dear to them.  We can put up a strong face and bear a the burden of love, but if we are deeply dissatisfied to our core about where we are, what we are doing in life and who we are in life, then maybe this is the one thing love cannot cure.  Maybe this is the one time we must say no to love and rather be where our heart shall be at peace.  Not everybody is meant to follow the societal definition of life and happiness.  Children is not for everyone.  On the other hand there are some people who this way of life is perfect.  These people were born to live that way - maybe like Lilly and Marshall on How I Met Your Mother.  They were meant to be together but they also wanted the same things in life.  This episode taught me that when picking a spouse the most important certainly is not beauty or their job or their maybe even to an extent their character, but the most important thing is that you both should want the same fundamental things in life.  Another way to put it could be to say that both of you can find peace, rest, solace, serenity, satisfaction and contentment in the same things.  That, my friend, is your true companion.  There where your peace is, there is your love.

Finally, the episode addresses existential concerns all of have at some point or another.  "Who am I?" "What is my purpose?" "What will I do in this life?"  For people like me who are still young and haven't really found their true calling in life (or maybe might have been ignoring it this whole time?) these questions always rock us.  Seeing first hand how Christina is deeply dissatisfied with children and Owen deeply dissatisfied without children made me realise once again how important these questions are.  Until you can truly deeply answer these questions, you are not there yet.  Until you can see yourself doing this for the remainder of your days on the Great Green Menagerie, you are not there yet.  Until you can answer this question and pursue your purpose in this life even when every last thing is taken from you and you are still content, then you are not there yet. 
These questions are bloody tough.  Sorry for the power word, but honestly it is hard.  We cannot peer into the future and see all the possible outcomes of our actions now.  There is no true guarantee in this life.  Even if we could see into the future, that would sure spoil all the mystery, discovery and intrigue of becoming who you were destined to be.  Come on God, why do have to make it so hard for us?  Even the wise Solomon couldn't really answer these deep existential questions.  He said that one must do what your hand finds to do and serve God.  Maybe there is a gold nugget therein.  Those of us who are still seeking, still wandering, still discovering.  Maybe we must latch unto something we really like a lot and see where it takes us?  Cling to you boyfriend and maybe you'll end up in paradise.  Hold fast to your career and before you know it, you found peace.  Embrace God and trust that He would take you to your destiny.  Yeah, maybe that will work.

As Elliott Hulse would say, "Damned if you, damned if you don't."  If you "drift like a feather on a breeze" as Forrest Gump thought or found your purpose on day one of your life, we are all going to die either way.

Find what is good.
Find what is peace.
Find you.
Find eternity.

I'll never stop wandering