You can’t just jump to the end. The journey is the best part.
– Robin in ‘Murtaugh’ (HIMYM, 4×19)
The beginning of summer 2010 was a hard time for the 17-year-old insecure girl I was. Heart-broken from the break up with my very first long-term boyfriend, I found myself with a gap of an entire month between the end of the school year and the dates typed on my tickets to Amsterdam and Frankfurt.
On June 22, 2010 I woke up and realised that for the first time in more than a month I did not feel like watching “Mamma Mia!” and “The Notebook” for the billionth time. I needed to put aside what had happened, and move on. I cooked a crazy amount of pancakes for my friends, we laughed watching “It’s Complicated” and I felt again the will and energy to smile and actually laugh as much as I used to.
Once back home I grabbed a yoghurt and decided that since it was too hot to do anything during the day, I was going to watch something that could make me feel happy and open my eyes to the fact that even failed relationships have a silver lining. Google gave me the answer: watch “How I Met Your Mother”.
For the first time in almost two months I wrote in my agenda:
I miss D******o, but just a little bit. It’s bearable.
So, that’s how it started. Almost four years ago, I dedicated a month of my teenage life to catch up on the five seasons of the show. I saw Ted going through hard times, and it gave me the strength to start processing what happened to me.
Almost four years later, I am in a different country, I remember that very first boyfriend only when I need to write a sentimental piece about my past, and it is no hazard to say I am a completely different person.
I literally ‘grew up’ watching “How I Met Your Mother”. Just like Ted went through a series of fun, painful, unstable or strangely durable relationships, I went through relationships, experimental periods, being single for choice, having one night stands, engaging in a FWB relationship… and ending it because the other part was too involved.
I am not saying it all happened because of a TV series, definitely not, but it kind of became the televisual token of my evolution from insecure teenager to confident young woman.
How is one supposed to simply say #farewell to such a significant part of life?
Here is my strategy:
1. Re-watch every single episode of all the nine seasons. Watching them after March 31st will be too intense, it needs to be done now.
2. Consider the idea of getting a tattoo of a yellow umbrella, so to always have a reminder of the importance of friends and hope. After careful consideration reach the conclusion that you could never be able to do such thing because: a) you have a deep-rooted hate for colour tattoos, b) you insanely fear needles.
3. Understand the value of having good friends in your life, and don’t forget to tell them how much you love them. Because in the end…
Whatever you do in this life, it’s not legendary unless your friends are there to see it.
– Barney in ‘Sunrise’ (9×17)
4. Become terribly nostalgic about your past, hence re-read your old diaries.
5. Since you have re-watched all the episodes, you notice subtle ‘clues’ hidden throughout the seasons.
6. Come to conclusion that one of the main characters will eventually die. Exclude Marshall and Lily (because, come on, that would be useless and too cruel).
7. Try to accept that the character dying will eventually be The Mother. Yet, hold on to that bit of hope you have and still wish the directors will decide to give Ted his happy ending.
8. Fear that the one dying will be Ted… and feel entitled to freak out a bit.
9. Listen to Cristin Milioti’s rendition of “La Vie En Rose” about a hundred times, always appreciating her voice.
10. Consider buying a ukulele. Give up the idea when you realise you’ll have to move to another country in four months. Yet, like in the case of the tattoo, you know you will still keep thinking about it for a while… and maybe one day…
11. Finally, remember how you got to love the show. Remember that you started watching it because you needed to move on.
12. Look back at the one you were a few years ago. Then look in the mirror. Notice the difference in looks and especially in personality.
13. Congratulations, you’re now ready to tweet your #HIMYMFarewell.
Now, let’s just hope we get a satisfying ending… and don’t pretend you won’t cry. We all will.