In How I Met Your Mother, Ted has always pissed me off. He has made me so angry at so many turns, because of the character that he is. I wanted so badly for so long to dislike him because he is indecisive and a perfectionist. He goes out of his way to do things that will cause him more trouble than they are worth. He, in short, is a foolish love struck boy.
I wanted so badly to dislike his character for that, until I realized that I was the same thing. I am hopeless, and I want things in my real life to play out like stories. I have traits that are annoying too. I have all of those things, and watching through the series again, I have come to realize that I am more and more like Ted every day.
At first, it made me angry. It upset me because he was such an irritating character, always with his emotional journeys and his over the top actions to express his romantic desires. It became cumbersome, and he was in so many circumstances where simply asking a couple questions, or saying a few sentences could solve things for him.
I disliked him for this quality for some time, until eventually I was watching through this show, episode 13 in particular, where Ted first meets Victoria (one of his best relationships in the series, personally) and they share an “un-spoiled” night together, where there is nothing but build up that in a normal circumstance would lead to no pay off.
For those of you who haven’t seen the episode, Ted and Victoria share this night together at their friend’s wedding that is meant to fade into their memory as a perfect evening, but they discover they actually have feelings for one another and it tarnishes that memory itself, because they both want to see more of each other.
This episode was one of my least favorite for a long time and it all came back to how much I disliked Ted as a character. His antics through the series and the way he wanted everything to be perfect irritated me, because I know that things in the real world don’t get to be that way.
Then, as I grew up and realized that I am more like Ted than I first thought I started to think about that storybook, real life situation. How badly some of us want our lives to end in a fantastic romance, happily ever after tale. I started to realize, slowly, that I was one of those people.
It’s times like these, in self-discovery that things start to click. Sometimes it ends with a big bang and a beautiful explosion and your whole life is changed in that one moment of epiphany. Sometimes, more frequently, it builds over the course of a week or two, you slowly start to put things together and your whole viewpoint on yourself changes.
This is a good thing. A great thing, even, that I notice in myself every day.
I’ve fought the idea of love for a long time, without even realizing that I have been doing it. Sure I talk a lot in here about how much we should love others, and how much I personally love people, but I mean a different kind of love. I’ve been fighting the kind of love that leads to build-ups with no pay off. The kind that leads to never knowing the person you say you’re so in love with. I’ve been afraid for so long of this kind of love that is unfulfilled and imperfect.
I’ve realized that in my recent months, as I come into my own and realize I share a lot of similarities to Ted, I’ve realized that I’m not scared of an actual romantic love.
In the end, I’m scared of my story being incomplete, because that’s what I’ve known for a long time now. Something incomplete.
That being said, I’m glad that I am like Ted. I’m glad, because I can get up each day and chase something real and passionate and powerful. I can do it with a big smile on my face and hope in my heart.
That’s a good feeling, searching for that true feeling. That feeling of being complete with someone else.
That is something that terrifies me, but I am not for one second truly scared of it, because I know it is complete. It won’t leave me begging for more. It won’t leave me unfulfilled.
It won’t leave me alone in a wedding ballroom with my hand on my heart. Somewhere, somehow, if I keep trying, it’ll lead me exactly where I need to be in the way I need to be, when I need to be.
That, in the end, is all we are really hoping for… I think.