Stop Looking To Fictional Characters For Life Advice

Gossip girl

It’s so hard being a quasi-adult today, you guys. Like, so hard. The world is big and scary and I have no idea what I’m doing I want to say, oh, one hundred percent of the time? Much like being a toddler and learning something new every day, navigating Young Adult World has me constantly on edge, just waiting for that other shoe to drop. Will my toilet start leaking today? How do I file my taxes? Why is my landlord such a dick? These are all questions I shout out into the void on the reg. I think by the time this article publishes I will have cried on public transit about either:
A) A boy
B) Money or
C) Miscellaneous life issues for the third time this week.

So when life seems really fucking hard, what does one naturally do? Well, provided you don’t have a penchant for ketamine, you escape using some good ole pop culture. You watch some HBO, Bravo, read the latest John Greene novel du jour. And for a little bit, you actually feel a smidgen better. I mean, all the girls on Girls seem fucking terrible, but at least you can kind relate to their garbage lives. It makes it all seem not that bad, after all. If those garbage girls can seem to make it, then you definitely can, too! It’s a nice thought.

Except for the fact that it’s actually a big, fat fucking lie. And you know why? Because you can’t compare your life to the people you see on TV, or in movies, or anything you read in any novel. And you know why? Not to get all Real World on you, but it’s because those books and TV shows are all about fictional characters, and you need to stop looking to them for life advice. They can’t help you. They aren’t living a life; they’re just hitting plot points.

You may think I’m being a little hyperbolic, after all, it’s safe to assume that most people are aware that the little people inside the TV aren’t real. But let me ask you this: when was the last time you heard someone refer to herself as a “Carrie”? You don’t even need to answer that, because I know that it probably happened as recently as last week. I know it did for me. A very sweet and intelligent friend compared her relationship with her on-and-off hookup to that of Mr. Big and Carrie. She said that if Carrie could wait out all the bad parts of her relationship then so could she. My friend unfortunately didn’t say anything after that because I had picked up a barstool and whacked her straight into a blackout.

My friend is very stupid for quite a few reasons. One, Carrie and Big had an incredibly dysfunctional relationship that no one in any way should be attempting to model. Two, their relationship was crafted by writers for maximum drama and emotional impact and does not follow any rules of logic. Three, these aren’t real fucking people for fucks sake. Carrie and Big got together in the end because the fans demanded it and the writers wanted maximum ratings for the series finale. It’s not because it was ultimately the best decision for those “people”.

And don’t even get me started on Girls. Everyone on Girls is a disaster. Do not do anything that the girls on Girls do.

So don’t go pinning every quote from The Fault in Our Stars in the hops that it will actually improve you as a person. Sure, they’re very nice sentences and they make for a good book. But, really, how applicable is a star-crossed lovers’ story about two teenagers battling cancer to your life?


Don’t turn to pop culture to sort your life out. TV shows and movies are crafted by writers to create the best plot, not the happiest characters. I mean, my God, imagine if everyone on Gossip Girl actually had tried to be a decent human being. We would have had nothing to watch.

That would’ve been a real tragedy.

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I came for the wine, but I stayed for the complimentary appetizer sampler plate.

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