Monday, March 25, 2013

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Parenthood Season 4, Episode 9 – “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” [Original air date: Nov. 27, 2012]

If we always got what we wanted when we wanted it exactly how we wanted it, there would be very little reason for living. It is the fact that we do not always get what we want which allows us to grow both personally and professionally. This episode of Parenthood stands as a reminder that we become better and stronger individuals by not constantly getting what we want, but by working towards our goals and learning how to overcome the challenges and obstacles life may throw our way.

Time is precious, and it is true that anyone’s time can come to an end at any given moment. “I don’t know how much time there is, none of us do. I don’t want to miss out on any milestones,” Kristina says to Adam in regards to Max not wanting to attend the school dance. We do not want to live life being so cautious and worried we fail to enjoy ourselves, nor do we want to live life so on the edge we put ourselves at risk by making questionable and dangerous decisions, but we do want to live life to the fullest. It is cliché and rather unrealistic to say you should live every moment as if it is your last, but it is crucial to find out what in life is important to you and to live life with those aspects in mind.

Do you. We as humans strive to please everyone around us, but it is impossible to make everyone happy even if we wanted to. We may often find we overbook ourselves or stretch ourselves too thin. At some point we have to learn to say no. Sarah feels obligated to her boss Hank and she often gets guilt tripped by him and his messed up personal situations. She has a hard time letting anyone down, and by having that mentality it only seems she hurts others and lets herself down. Her Fiancé Mark accuses her of putting Hank before him. Still, Sarah, played by actress Lauren Graham, tries to get ahead while keeping it all together (a theme we are to see in Graham’s upcoming novel “Someday, Someday, Maybe,” being released April 30, 2013 – this book has been described as “witty, charming, and hilariously relatable” according to Amazon, much like Graham’s character Sarah in Parenthood).

Do not let yourself lose track of the fact that other people have feelings, wants, and desires too. Keeping other people in mind when making decisions can be difficult, but as Adam says, “It’s part of growing up: doing things for someone else; doing things for other people.” This theme is seen all over this particular episode, from Crosby being forced to see eye-to-eye with the “crazy homeowner lady” who moved in next door to the recording studio, to Julia struggling to accept Joel’s new job and he new role as a homemaker: Julia says, I’m ”overwhelmed or bored out of my mind. I’m not cut out for the stay-at-home mom thing and I’m not fulfilled by it.” Julia and Joel remind us how important it is to respect others. The writers of Parenthood left Julia’s storyline open with room for major potential character growth. Not everyone can accept free time, especially those who never had much free time to begin with. Julia does bring up a good point: life should be fulfilling; if it not, perhaps you should make the necessary changes in order to make it fulfilling.

Veterans have a hard time finding jobs after they get back from being overseas. Ryan’s employment situation shows this reality fairly well. There are certain questions applicants cannot be asked during a job interview such as one’s gender, age, religion, or sexuality. When the Ryan’s interviewer saw he had been in Afghanistan, Ryan was asked, “You were in Afghanistan? You ever kill anybody?” Questions like these may not be illegal to ask, but there has to be some kind of interview etiquette where people should know better than to ask such ignorant, personal, and physiologically damaging questions. While some scenes between Ryan and Amber have recently appeared forced and almost unnatural, Amber’s interaction with Zeek over her worry for Ryan came off as rather genuine. Zeek’s attitude towards what war does to those involved may have been the most real line in this episode: “War is a place where you lose who you are… and you are scared to death of what you might become.” This may also be true for situations outside of war, but it does give viewers a taste of what our military men and women are forced to deal with.

As we go through the motions and live life, it is easy to take the little things for granted. For example, at the end of this episode of Parenthood Kristina puts music on in the living room and attempts to teach Max how to dance. If we get so wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of life we may overlook the little things, or push them away all together. It is the little things that bring so much potential to what life can be; it would be a shame to not give them the time of day. We may not always get what we want, but in the words of Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones, “If you try, sometimes you just might find, you get what you need."

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