If you’re keeping up with my blog (which isn’t that hard cos this is like post number three), you know that I’m in an partial hospitilization program. In PHP, we talk a lot about letting go and accepting that things aren’t always gonna go the way we planned. I can not think of a better show than Community for me to have binge-watched during my first week of PHP.
Here’s the thing: my friend Connor tells me that within our friend group (of which we’ve named Leg, in honor of Blake), I’m like the Troy Barnes of the group, which I don’t mind cos he’s one of my favorite characters. However, I feel like I’m more like the Jeff Winger of Leg.
See, one of my biggest insecurities is feeling unwanted. I constantly feel like I’m the one to bring people together, an accidental leader of sorts. But once that’s done? It feels like they start to leave me behind because I’m not necessary anymore. I don’t relate as well, I don’t have as much in common. It’s like our friendship is Greendale Community College and I’m the Jeff that has to watch all his friends leave while he’s stuck there.
I know that logically, that’s not true. Believe me, I know it and I have to remind myself of it constantly in hopes that it’ll stick. But even still, watching Jeff’s fears of being left behind play out on screen struck me to my core.
Jeff’s not the only character that I can relate to, though. I can relate to pretty much all of them. With Abed, I relate to the feeling of being disconnected emotionally from others and the results of being bullied for being different. With Troy, I relate to not knowing who I am yet and feeling like I failed expectations. With Annie, I relate to the need to do well and wanting to prove I’m better than people’s perceptions of me. With Britta, I relate to feeling like a fraud about my identity. With Shirley, I relate to being ashamed of parts of myself. With Pierce, I relate to feeling left out and unwanted. With Chang, I relate to feeling unheard. With the Dean, I relate to feeling disrespected and like I’m shouldering all this responsibility on my own with no credit.
Never in my life have I related to so many characters on one show, and seeing them come together and forming an unlikely family gave me hope for myself. After all, Leg may not be as adventurous as the Greendale Seven, but we’re still close enough to have weekly dinners together, and if that can’t count as a family bond, then I don’t know what can.
But like every part of life, Jeff had to eventually accept that things change, and so do I. It’s kind of like the quality of the show itself – towards the end, it wasn’t as good as I expected, but it was still good. I had to learn to let go of the dynamic of the show that I had grown used to as the show changed a little with each season.
And it helped. I learned how to accept the changes in my life involving dropping out of school for the term and having to give up a study abroad opportunity. I’ve even started getting used to the fact that my friendships will still be there even if I’m not. After all, if Jeff Winger can accept the fact that he’ll never be a lawyer again and actually grow to enjoy his time at Greendale, than I can accept being stuck at home for a bit.