And I loved it. (I was 18, okay? Give me a break.)
I loved it because it was about a girl who was just beginning university, and it began airing, in a perfectly-timed sort of way, just as I myself was just beginning university.
And Felicity (the character) was just like me. Not that I was curly haired or elfin or anything, but I was massively insecure, prone to extreme and awkward gestures of love, and determined to overhaul my life and personality... just like Felicity. I wanted to be a new version of me. At the time, I thought this was possible. These days, I'm not so sure.
During the first two seasons, the show had a terrible theme -- black and white pictures of the main character in and around New York City, set to a unformed sort of horrible wailing. (Okay, singing... but I hated it.)
Then, in season three, the opening sequence was revamped, and set to a brand new theme song written by Abrams himself (and to be fair, some other dude whose name I don't remember and can't be bothered to Google).
The new theme was fittingly entitled "New Version of You."
I guess if you can get a teenager to draw that sort of connection, you've got a good show on your hands. (Or, if not a good show, at least a show well-tailored to a teen audience.)
I recently wrote about how autumn tends to ignite in some of us the urge to reinvent. Then, just a couple of weeks ago, I posted about the dream/nightmare I had about mushrooms. The mushroom dream interested some of you, and bored others (mostly, it just creeped you out), but no one was more invested in it than my mom-in-law (a writer) who felt it was heavy with the symbolism of transformation and said that she felt I've been engaged in a period of reinvention over the past few years, which could be seen mirrored in the dream.
Maybe that's true. I don't know. Certainly, I've tried, many times over the course of my not-yet-very-long life to reinvent myself, or rather, to become someone that people saw differently. I don't think I've ever succeeded. And it's true that in the past few years, massive changes that have been largely out of my control have forced a corresponding change in terms of where I live and what I do, but at my core, I think I might be exactly what I was before and what I've always been.
My life changed. My circumstances changed. My outlook and politics and idea changed, sure. No one can help having experiences and having experiences change the way you think and behave. I mean, at the very least, I've tried to learn from my mistakes, but despite all my efforts (both historic and deliberate, as well as more recent and inadvertent), I think I'm beginning to think I'm largely the same as I've always been.
It even occurs to me that I've blogged about this before. Back in 2007 I posted something entitled "People you've been before" (the title being a reference to a very melancholy song by Elliott Smith). And in that piece, I wrote about reading my old elementary school report cards and finding that the descriptions of me written by my Jr. Kindergarten teacher still held true. (And still do today.)
"It's official," I wrote. "Nothing ever changes."
And now I've written it again, in a slightly different way, because I'm still who I was. And who I was is who I will be.
At first, it seems annoying, doesn't it? But actually, it's kind of comforting.