I am still shocked and so very excited at the excellent news that Rory and Lorelai Gilmore are making a comeback on Netflix. I am imagining all sorts of futures for both of them, but if I am honest it just got me thinking about how Rory Gilmore was actually a huge, huge influence on me and continues to be to this day.
I would say my relationship with my mother is similar to that of Rory and Lorelai, which is one of the reasons I was so interested in the series in the first place. While Gilmore Girls doesn’t do much for intersectional feminist representations of women, it does break down the idea that teenage girls and their mothers don’t get along, that teenage girls are made of hormones ready to explode. Rory and Lorelai are best friends and most relationships between women in the show are friendly, loving and positive (even if they are as complicated as the Emily/Lorelai rapport).
That’s what first attracted me to Gilmore Girls, but what really made me stay was Rory’s passion for reading, writing and academic excellence. I am of a similar breed of girl: I love quiet nights in and I wish I could read all the books in my nearest library. Rory’s existence showed me that was OK to sit by myself and read during recess, it uplifted my need to study and achieve great things in my life. I owe her so much of who I have become.
It was because of Rory that I wanted to do my undergraduate degree in journalism and in English. I am originally from Brazil, where 18-year-olds don’t generally move away for college, but because I watched Rory do it, I wanted to do it as well. It was because of Rory that I enthusiastically joined my university’s student newspaper and became its News Editor. It’s because of Rory that I wanted to be a journalist and get paid for writing. It’s because of Rory that I never want to stop reading books of all kinds, even when life gets to busy to completely my 40 book reading challenge.
And this is where it gets tricky for me: in real life, journalism as a career path hasn’t worked out exactly like I imagined it. In fact, it has kind of worked out in the opposite way of what I wanted. I don’t work in a newsroom and am career-obsessed like I thought I would be – like I imagine Rory would be. I still want to write and tell important stories but I am unsure I want to do news – and this has surprised me most of all. Also, reading all the books in the world as an adult (and now a Master’s student) is really, really hard. How has Rory Gilmore dealt with these issues? Did she have any issues at all or was news journalism 100% the right path for her? Has she been able to keep reading as much as she wants or has adult life caught up with her? (And, controversially) Did she buy a Kindle?!! What about her love life? Did she ever settle down; or, more importantly: does she WANT to settle down at all?
The character development in Gilmore Girls was always one of the show’s great features. We all feel a little lost sometimes, we’re all unsure about our life paths. And when Rory almost dropped out of Yale, that’s what it was about. Thinking back, that makes me feel so much better about my own shaky life path and my own uncertain adulthood. I am so psyched to see what has happened to Rory, how she deals with issues that I might have dealt with and whether we are still alike at all.