Seize the Moment, Because Tomorrow You Might Be Dead: Life Lessons from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Posted: September 23, 2014 in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Life
Tags: , , , , , ,

This past summer, I took advantage of my new post-college free time to watch all of Buffy the Vampire Slayer from start to finish. It was by no means the first time I had re-watched the series since it went off the air back in 2003. In fact, I find myself itching to go back to Sunnydale every few years. And every time I go back, I find myself thinking the same thing.

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I first started watching Buffy when it was on its third season. I will always remember how old I was when each Buffy season aired because the number of the season corresponded directly to the grade I was in when it aired. For example, I was in 3rd grade during the 3rd season, 4th grade during the 4th season, etc. The fact that this show formed a significant part of my early childhood years is somewhat unsettling, and probably explains my excessively violent personality.

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Buffy is most likely the reason why I can never hug a family member without pretending to snap their neck. It is probably why I can’t pass a glass display case without having the urge to smash the glass in with my elbow.

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But Buffy taught me more than just violent habits. Granted, much of the wisdom that the show offers was lost on me during my formative years. I do, however, credit my childhood Buffy viewings for helping me develop a fondness for strong leading ladies, not only in television but also real life. 30 RockParks and Recreation, my future wife, and the feminist movement all have Buffy to thank for my support.

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My most recent viewing of Buffy helped me realize that the series is really just a life metaphor in the guise of a vampire fantasy–something that most fans discovered back in 1997, but shhh, I’m slow. Anyway, if you look past the show’s supernatural facade, you can discover a number of invaluable life lessons.

Sometimes this world can be a very difficult place to live.

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In such times, bravery might be the only thing that helps you get up in the morning… and if you’re fresh out of bravery, maybe you can be motivated by the delicious muffin that is waiting for you if you can just get your butt out of bread–I mean bed! (I seriously just typed bread by accident there, so I must be hungry).

Every single person has to deal with burdens that seem unfair.

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Sometimes we face burdens that seem impossible to bear. Right before my senior year of high school, I came to a very shocking and disturbing realization: I am ridiculously good-looking. I have been working to overcome this hardship for years, but it continues to haunt me to this day.

It can be difficult to stay strong, but it’s what we have to do in order to stay sane.

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But it’s OK to feel weak sometimes.

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Loneliness is inevitable.

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We will all face loneliness at some point in our lives. But that’s nothing a good piece of chocolate won’t help. Another life lesson from Buffy: There’s no problem that cannot be solved by chocolate.

People will hurt you.

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Be careful of the ones you really care about. Those are the ones who will hurt you the most!

Because you always hurt the one you love.

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And that goes for all kinds of love: romantic love, platonic love, the love a man has for his pizza (which is perhaps the strongest and most dangerous love of all).

But it is important to forgive.

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Some people won’t deserve our forgiveness, but we deserve the freedom that comes from forgiving. Forgiveness is something that benefits the forgiver more than the person being forgiven. A grudge is way too heavy to carry around with you for too long. Though perhaps there’s something to be said for “punishing” people who have wronged you, if only for a short time, because you don’t want people to walk all over you either.

And you will never be able to meet everyone’s expectations all the time.

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People will try to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do with your life. Why aren’t you married yetthey will ask when you’re still single at age 14, and when you do get married, they will try to determine for you the ideal time for you to start a family. No matter what phase of life you are in, you will always find those people who will decide that your life just isn’t what it should be.

But you shouldn’t worry about what other people think, because most people are preoccupied with their own problems.

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And if anyone has enough time on their hands to focus on judging you, they probably need more of their own pain to focus on. So punch them in the face! That’ll give them some pain to think about.

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just won’t understand why other people do what they do.

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You will sometimes find yourself scratching your head in confusion over the decisions that other people make. Or that could just be lice that’s making you scratch your head. You might want to get that checked out.

Some people just don’t know what’s really important in life.

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It’s the small things that matter, people, come on! Quit focusing so much on the big picture. The big picture is the worst. It takes up the whole wall and leaves no room for anything else.

And it can be easy to lose your faith in humanity.

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But you have to remember that we’re all just trying to figure out who we are.

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And in case you didn’t notice, figuring out who you are is a frustrating process, which is why our interactions with the people around us can often bring us pain. Human relationships are both wonderful and terrible at the same time. Kind of like cookie dough. Because cookie dough tastes really good, but it makes you fat and can sometimes cause salmonella.

And you will figure out who you are in the most unexpected ways.

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Let me just say, if you had told me 12 years ago what I would have to go through to get me where I am today, I would have hidden in a dark corner and cried–not necessarily because I’ve had traumatic experiences in the past 12 years, but because I was incredibly shy and probably would have been confused as to why you were talking to me. And how dare you come up to a 12-year-old and tell him what’s going to happen to him in the next twelve years? Talk about ruining the surprise. You monsters.

But there are some experiences  we will all encounter no matter what.

death is your gift

And one of those experiences is death. Sorry to say it, but it’s true. Death is an inevitable part of life. Or is life an inevitable part of death? I don’t know, was Lana del Rey right when she said we were born to die?? Luckily, there’s a saying about this. How does it go? It’s not the destination that matters, but the journey, or something along those lines (I’m too lazy to look it up. Sue me. But not really, because I don’t have any money).

Which is why we need to live life to the fullest while we still can.

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And on that note, I’m going to end this blog post. I must stop writing in order to seize the moment! Actually, let’s be honest, I’m going to bed.

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