Sunday, April 4, 2010

What would Buffy do?

Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone; for the heroes of all time have one before us, the labyrinth is fully known; we have only to follow the thread of the hero-path. And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence; where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world."
— Joseph Campbell (The Hero with a Thousand Faces)
You know those times in your life when life just really sucks, I've been having a few of these weeks recently. There's no major crisis happening, I'm healthy, my family is fine, externally I really have nothing to complain about. It's the internal battle that keeps me from moving forward and leaves me feeling adrift. I have good friends who I can talk to, it's just obvious they're not me and therefore don't know my personal internal landscape. I always appreciate the advice and empathy I receive but that doesn't help me to define what I need to do. This is where hero's and heroine's (both real and imaginary) can guide and aid us when we're really struggling and don't' know what else to do. One of my heroines happens to be a character from television series that ran for seven years, called, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Originally "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" was a movie which I couldn't stand, but the t.v. show I and millions of others loved. Was the show a bit campy?, yes. Intellectually stimulating, no. I couldn't say that. My post is not about critiquing or defending the show. I want to talk about how Buffy has helped me through some really rough times and how each of us, needs a "Buffy".

Buffy is a pretty, smart and an "all American teenager" except for the fact that she is one of "the chosen ones" who's destiny is to kill Vampires and other sordid, evil creatures of the night. I'm not out there slaying any Vampire's, but I do constantly battle with depression that sucks the life out of me as Vampires do. It takes a lot of strength and courage to not surrender to such despair and hopelessness. I'd like to share a few of the lessons that I've learned from Buffy which have aided me when I've felt stuck in the darkness. Buffy had a loyal posse of friends who stood by her no matter what the situation was. They laughed with her, kept her humble, and helped her to remember who she was. There was, "Willow" a shy, sweet friend who also happened to be a witch. There was Xander, sweet, gawky and incredibly brave boy. And then there was Giles, a proper English man who was Buffy's mentor and friend who trained Buffy to become the "best slayer ever." So, always, make sure you have a friend or friends who love you for who you are and keep you honest.


Buffy was complicated and complex obviously, which I definitely am. She came from a broken home, didn't fit in with the cheerleader crowd, and always fell in love with the wrong kind of men, namely Vampires. She hated the responsibility of being a "slayer" and would sulk, break down, complain and threaten Giles that she would run away and live an ordinary life. She actually did run away, but returned wiser, stronger and more solid in her path of the slayer. I think we all wish, at one time or another that we could trade our lives with someone else's because they seem to have it easier or have more of what we want. If we're to be true to ourselves and live an authentic life, we can't deny or escape the challenges that threaten and stand in our way when we're scared.

I know that the saying, "What would Jesus do?" is a mantra to many and in no way am I trying to be sacrilegious or dismiss any type of faith or religion. I don't worship Buffy or try and replicate who she was. I have learned a lot from her though and have my own internalized Buffy. So, why did I call this post, "What would Buffy do?" Xander said to Buffy on one of the episodes,
"When it's dark and I'm all alone, and I'm scared or freaked out or whatever, I always think, 'What would Buffy do?"

I really liked that thought and quote and it came to me only a few days ago. Since then, I feel stronger and gave me a new way of looking at my life so that I don't stay stuck in being a victim. So, when you're feeling challenged and can't seem to move through whatever the block is, ask yourself, "What would (fill in the blank) do?" And maybe like me, life will not seem so overwhelming and you'll have the ability to slay whatever creature is standing in your path.

If you want to check out some "Buffy" action check out this video. The television series is being rerun on different channels as well as being on DVD's.


Anonymous said...

I recently bought a t-shirt that says "And then Buffy staked Edward. The End." It's my new favorite shirt.

Anonymous said...

Here's a great mash up video between Buffy and Edward.

It's nice to know I'm not the only one that views Buffy as a heroine. Since becoming a widow I totally identify with how alone the cahracter always felt. I go back to the episodes right after she was brought back to life and how she couldn't feel anything. I'm not in that place anymore, but I could relaly appreciate how "real" buffy was.

Wendy said...

I'm so sorry for your loss and I think that Joss Whedon did a great job to help women/girls identify with all the emotions she felt. I love the shirt you got, lol...Fantastic!


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