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Everyday is a Sunday Evening

Tomorrow, school officially starts again. And for obvious reasons, I've been feeling sentimental these last couple of days. I spent the better part of last week holed up in my grandparents' house in Batangas, poring over old photo albums and yearbooks, reading old books, and binge-watching former favorite TV shows. That, of course, includes a marathon of One Tree Hill.

I always kid myself that One Tree Hill is my "the one that got away." The show I wish I didn't have to let go of. It was such a monumental part of my adolescent life (I mean, have you seen this blog's archives?! And wait 'til you see my iPod playlists!) and I'd like to think a good portion of who I am now is pretty much an effect of a lot that I took away from that show. Before it became all-out soap-y and campy in its latter seasons (which I no longer watched), OTH was a laid-back show that had quite a bit of petty drama, but always with high stakes. And for a 15-year-old with raging hormones, it didn't matter that they were just fighting about boys and basketball; the drama meant something to me. (The music too.) It all meant a lot, even though in the grander scheme of things, it actually meant so little.

I guess a part of me wanted to binge-watch OTH again because I wanted to remember what it felt like to watch that show as a young teenager with nary a sense of what the world was like. Sure, at the height of the show's popularity (and my addiction to it), I thought I could relate to the characters' drama - graduation and senioritis, worrying about what college to go to, dreading the thought of missing your friends. Falling in love.

But watching parts of Season 3 and 4 again over the last few days made me realize how — despite my repeated viewings of each episode back in high school — I never really got it. Or rather, I got it much differently than I should have. It's only now that I'm seeing so much more of what each character was going through. And it's only at this time in my life, when I'm almost eight years removed from high school, that I'm realizing how much wisdom there is to be found in that show.

I'm particularly fond of one episode in Season 3, "Everyday is a Sunday Evening." I remember having a copy of it burned on a DVD and playing it every chance I get on whatever player there is in our house or in my grandparent's house. I was super obsessed with it because it was an episode that had Nathan as the central character (as opposed to the lead, Lucas), evidenced by his voice-over from the beginning and the end. Obviously, anything #NathanScott and #Naley will always top my book, but this one was just really special. Its central conflict was about his determination to bring the Tree Hill Ravens to the State Championship. But there were so many other elements of that episode that I feel pretty much encapsulated why it held so true — and even more so, actually, at present. I watched it again and felt the same kind of affection for it, but also a new-found sense of awe that it still had layers I could only have understood now, at 24, when I'm about to leave law school and start my life for real.

THIS. Basically sums up my feelings right now.

I'm still not in the same position as the characters in the show. I still don't know much about basketball; I'm not about to carry my entire team on my shoulders for a championship; I'm not a married high school senior; I don't have effed up parents who are rarely at home nor do I have psycho stalkers.

But I have been through something incredibly life-changing in the last few months and years. I've experienced heartbreak, I've dealt with grief. I've lost something I never thought I'd ever have; I've re-gained something I never thought I can be without.

What I do share with the characters right now is that feeling of overwhelming exhilaration to the point of dread. I am suddenly so keenly aware of how much I am at the tip of the roller coaster, the edge of the precipice. I'm so close to the top, but also so near to the big drop.

There's this line in this particular episode, where Peyton says:

"You know that feeling you get on a Sunday where you just have the whole day to yourself, and it's been great, and then you remember you have to go to school the next day, so it ruins the rest of the night? I have to go home tomorrow, and so I've got that feeling. It's like Sunday night."

It's exactly how I'm feeling right now. Literally, because it's a Sunday, and figuratively, because this entire semester is like the metaphorical Sunday of the rest of my life. Law school is the easy part, actually. Monday means the future, everything that lies ahead. Do I feel afraid? Do I feel excited? How do I label both?

OTH doesn't give me the answers — as does life, no matter how much I ask myself this — but there is comfort in knowing that there probably isn't one at the moment, and that I am not alone in feeling confused. It's okay to feel both thrilled and worried at the same time. It's normal to be anxious at what lies ahead but still look forward to it, even though you have no control of your future. Just the thought of what lies ahead is scary, but also thrilling. Oddly enough, it's precisely this ambivalence that I find relief in. That there are others who probably feel the same way, it makes me feel more normal, less lonely.

Less adrift, less lost.

And sometimes that's all we need. Even if it's comfort from a TV show. As long as it keeps you going, right?

God, I love this show.

(Man, all these years, and this show can still give me feels!)