Tuesday, June 28, 2016

I am a Fisher

Nathaniel.  Ruth.  Nate.  David.  Claire.  Brenda.  Keith.

Some of you just smiled or heard this in your head.  If you know who I'm talking about then you are likely my spirit animal.

For those who don't, I promise to at least try to make this interesting as I talk about a show that has been life changing for me over the past 15 years.

Many of you have heard me talk about Six Feet Under in passing but after having watched it again over the course of June, I felt compelled to share why it means so much.  I discovered it when it was in it's 4th or 5th season but Bravo had picked it up.  While flipping channels, I saw Jeremy Sisto standing in nothing but a towel looking hot.  Color me intrigued.  So I watched the rest of the episode.  It was amazing and I wanted more.  I checked the guide and saw they were having a marathon from the beginning on the weekend and after that, we were hooked.  I'm so glad at that time we did not live in a society where everyone was hellbent on "spoilers" and we could watch the show in peace until its ending.  If you've seen it, you know what an ending it is.  It is sad on its own but it will be so much more meaningful if you watch the whole series, which is available for free if you have Amazon Prime.

When we got home from the trip from hell last month, this show was the first one I wanted to turn to to comfort me.  We typically re-watch the whole series every two years but usually after some massive tragedy in some way.  Some may think watching a show about a funeral home would be depressing but it's just the opposite.  I never laugh as hard as I do the first season.  It lets you know life is screwed up but we have to find the humor in those moments we are given.  It lets you know that you need to stop being so arrogant in how you view life.  Statistically my dementia ridden grandma will die soon...but how completely arrogant of me to think I couldn't die before her??  Accidents and horrible things happen every day and this show reminds you of that.  To quote Brenda...

via Six Feet Under's Facebook page

This show reminds you to LIVE.  To not take the little things for granted.  I needed that reminder.  I needed to be reminded that despite having our flight cancelled and dealing with utter idiots for days, no, weeks now that I was lucky that I had someone to lean on that whole time. I even told the Mr when we got back to the hotel at 3:30am that I couldn't adult without him and I wasn't freaking out because I knew as long as we were together, everything would be fine.  So I was aware of it but getting home and having to fight for what we were owed as well as other things piling on required a dose of suspended reality or a reality check.  How can a show give you that kind of thing when people in your life can't?  Only SFU fans know for sure.  It's not something that can be described.  I have seen so many people say how each subsequent viewing changes for them in some way and we are the same.  As time passes, we empathize with some characters where we didn't before.  We tolerate stupid behavior from some people a little more because you have to remind yourself where they are in their journey and try to relate how stupid you acted at that age when you were trying to find yourself.  It reminds you that no matter how old you are, you may never find yourself and its really a lifelong journey to be the kind of person you truly want to be.

This time around, I never felt more like a Fisher.  Truly just screwed up and beautifully flawed.

I am Nathaniel Fisher. - While it's true we don't get to learn much about Nathaniel as himself, only the projections of people he loved and their own crap, I think that when Nate goes on his quest to find out what the red star funerals mean is when he learned the most about his dad.  (And totally freaked at how little he actually knew him as a person and not just his father.)  Everyone always notes what a "wicked sense of humor" he had.  I am labeled the same way especially in my family.  "Anele's so crazy, you never know what she'll say or do."

I am Ruth Fisher.  -  After her stint in The Plan, I totally get her need for intimacy.  The Mr and I have talked for many years about this.  I feel the need for more than just a surface relationship with people and find when I try to talk about deeper things whether it's with family or a few friends, they want no part of it.  It's like we live in a world where everything is surface and going deeper could get ugly and who wants that?  I do.

I am Nate Fisher. - I really hated that this go round I related to Nate so much.  The first time I watched this show, I was totally in love with him and his character.  With each subsequent viewing, I see how flawed he was but so desperate for a balanced, peaceful life.  I can so relate it's not even funny.  I just pray I never get as bitter as he was in "Time Flies."  I feel myself slipping to that place and need to dig out.

I am David Fisher. - No, I'm not gay but can't we all relate to someone who loathes themselves so much and feels undeserving of happiness.  That is especially true when you're overweight.  Society hates nothing more than a happy fat person (I thought we were all supposed to be jolly??)  David represents that insecurity in all of us and I hope to God I reach a level of self acceptance that I can truly be at peace with.

I am Claire Fisher. - Claire always went for the wounded.  I did too.  In school my mom used to say I "collected strays."  I was always the new kid and when I saw another new kid that wasn't doing so well in the social circles, I took them under my wing even if that meant my other friends weren't on board with them.  Claire fell for highly imperfect men that everyone questioned...until her last one of course.  Also, I may not be a professional photographer but doing creative work for a living, I can tell you it can be draining.  You are constantly comparing and when you're not inspired, it all suffers.

I am Brenda Chenowith Fisher. - This one is hard to express because who would want to identify with her most of the series?  LOL  But thanks to coming from a broken home at age 8, I am still plagued with the ghosts of infidelity by the three most important men in my life before I was 11.  I was subconsciously drilled with the message that men leave.  The poor Mr has had to pay for those ghosts and the first year of our marriage I was so convinced he was going to leave, he had to actually tell me he couldn't live with the constant attitude and third degree when a woman's name was brought up at work.  Even though I am much more secure in our marriage, my subconscious still haunts me.  As recently as last week I had a dream he was getting ready to cheat.  When you grow up emotionally broken, you feel like no one will ever want you and if they finally leave, you can some how be right.  And alone.

I am Keith Charles Fisher. - Keith was always strong tempered (due to his father) but rarely took crap from anyone.  He could tactfully tell it like it was and be understanding to what other people were going through but made it clear he wouldn't take a step backward for anyone.  Right there with you, dude.

It can be scary to see yourself in characters that you used to view as totally screwed up but there is also a comfort in that to a degree.  If someone wrote that character, it means you're not alone.  It also means you don't have to stay in that space.  I was a proud, sobbing mess at Brenda this time.  While I always saw the evolution of her character, I never felt more inspired by her until this viewing by season five.  (Oh, and I think the Mr and I might be Quakers now but that's for another time.)

I am so thankful for this show.  I am thankful for the lessons it continues to teach 15 years after it's gone off the air.  I am thankful for the reminder to stop treating life like ANY of us are promised tomorrow...diseased or not.  I am thankful for the hope that just because you aren't in the place you want to be in your life that you can't get there or die trying.

What show completely changed your life?

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  1. I remember hearing so much about it before we ever started watching it and when you caught on to it I was intrigued. I am glad you discovered it though because it really does give you great insight into life and there are a lot of things I feel I've learned from it over the years. It is amazing how each viewing can be slightly different from time to time too, but I am glad for that.

  2. We watched SFU when it was originally on, but have not taken the time to re-watch the series. We may now. I liked it the first time through, but am completely intrigued by your insights, and hopefully I can talk the hubs into watching it all over again with me. There's KC Royals Baseball on TV almost every night, however, which severely limits our time to watch anything else.

    When you talked about being able to get through situations because you knew the MR. was right there with you, I so strongly identified. I have lived the last almost 46 years knowing my guy was right there with me, for support and to help me with my own "adulting," and probably very inadequate "parenting." But I also live in terror of the day when he WON'T be there for me to lean on anymore. He is my rock, my confidant, my love, my everything....and I get tears in my eyes just thinking about life without him. So just appreciate each other, as I know you do, cause like you pointed out, "You never f'ing know."


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