August 20, 2012 by bowmanaj
Before this summer, I hated sitcoms. On top of the fact I am a total workaholic and never had time for any of them, I generally did not like them. Cheap laughs just were not a priority item on my agenda. There is just too much going on in this world to sit down at the same time everyday and watch the same characters tell the same jokes.
Sure, when I was younger and mom came home from work we occasionally would watch some, including “Roseanne” or “Full House.” By high school though, I never made time to watch television, since I was always busy.
In college there was always something to do at Miami U, whether it be a speaker, a meeting, class, a hockey game, or work. I did make time for “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report,” but those shows are repeated three times a day and can be watched online, so it wasn’t a big deal if I missed them at night. Mostly if there was free time, I just turned on the TV and kept flipping until something bearable came on, usually science related, until I had to skip off to the next event. The days where I wake up and come home late, take a shower, and at the end of the night feel a great sense of accomplishment before sleeping are a distant fading memory.
Then graduation hit, and my life turned into a crawl across a glass dessert with no end in sight. My job does not stimulate me, but leaves me just drained enough at the end of the day I do not have the energy to fill out the job applications. Besides, I feel helpless doing the applications anyway, because I have not even come close to a landing a job, let alone an interview. I have had a bout with depression before and it was looming over head again.
So, to fill the gaps, I started to watch the television. Slowly, my time filled up with reruns. Now, I still don’t consider myself a total TV junkie, but compared to before, my consumption has probably tripled. Luckily, I dodged away from getting hooked on “reality” TV, but two sitcoms did catch my attention; “The Big Bang Theory” and “How I Met Your Mother.”
I felt depressed with the implantation of sitcoms in my life perhaps I finally had lost the edge, the thing which makes a person better themselves by telling them to not give up and fight for their dreams. The discontent with the average was slowly dissolving to complacency. Television is a quick, easy way to escape the days’ shenanigans. However, tonight, Ted Mosby, might have just saved my life from being mediocre.
Now, I am not the first person in Toledo to feel so helpless. My hometown is an interesting city, since it has all the potential in the world but never finds a way to live up to it. It is surrounded by a bunch of great cities, all less than 5 hours away: Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis. There may not be many amenities, yet, the Walleye, Mud Hens, Museum of Art, the Zoo, and a few others, but they are all quality. However, after you do all of them a couple of times, you are left with a sensation of incompleteness. You ask to yourself, “Is this it?”
And the people seem to reflect the city. While many of Toledoans have rich fulfilling lives, my generation just feels like we are capable of so much more but are held back by some invisible tether. In fact, while writing this blog post, my friend Nick Smith was going through these exact same feelings. Our poor grammar aside, it sums up our feelings quite well.
Nick and I were not alone, because earlier in the night Ted Mosby felt the same way on “How I Met Your Mother.” The exact episode is I am referring to is “Old King Clancy,” season 4, episode 18, originally aired 23 Mar. 2009.
Now, this synopsis will not do the entire show justice, since a bunch happened in the episode, so I recommend just watching it.
Ted worked on new architecture plans for Goliath National Bank, finished them, and presented them to Marshall, Barney, and other board members to a standing ovation at the end of the presentation. However, the actual plans for the project were scrapped a week ago, but because Marshall and Barney knew Ted had been feeling so bad lately, the two put together a fake board meeting to cheer Ted up.
Well, Ted found out, and needless to say was not happy. Not only was he mad he had spent a month’s time working on a project he finally personally cared about, which did not exist anymore, but his friends’ lied to him. Ted became in a panic he would be fired, and eventually was in fact let go, although he probably would have quit anyway. Along the way, he realized he was not as mad at Marshall or Barney for lying as he thought. He was more shaken he finally had worked on a project he cared about rather than meaningless corporate structures, and now needed an outlet for his creativity.
So Ted Mosby created Mosbius Designs, his own private firm. Finally, he had an assistant, brochures, a staff retreat and the passion to go make a difference. Now all he had to do was get clients. After some trepidation, Robin stepped in with some convincing words, and Ted picked up the phone.
I know writers for sitcoms get their ideas from real life scenarios, and struggling to find your place in the job world is a common one. Yet, I think the writers got it right on this episode. Often TV shows will just show a person leaving a job to start a new one, but they often skip or do not elaborate on the most important parts of a career move. Anyone can hate their job, want to do something more meaningful in life, or start a company. The difference maker is their bravery.
Can you tell your boss, even though you have a great, or even decent paying job in this economy, you are quitting to start up your own company? The bigger question is; do you have what it takes to actually follow through on it and make yourself vulnerable to the whole world? To be willing to fail?
Ted did. I started to lose inspiration I would break my chains of repetitiveness and lowered expectations. Thanks to “How I Met Your Mother,” I am ready to throw myself out there. Even if it means leaving my job, moving to a different city, and perhaps falling flat on my face. Thanks Ted Mosby, you saved my life, literally, just like what Robin says.