So I binge watched This Is Us, after all. Catching up on seven weeks of tear-jerking developments in the lives of the Pearsons over two days. I think after that slight dip in the story arc last season, things have picked up again. On the up side, I did not cry. But as always, as always, there were some insights that cut closer to the bone than I imagine this show can.
Fresh off the workshop I did here in Goa, one thing that hit me the hardest was the episode where Randall and Kate recollect a particular day in their lives, and it turns out they both have wildly opposing memories of the same exact event. The recollection of the event spurs them to make an impromptu visit to their childhood home and they’re both in shock and in awe at how the very same event they experienced had left them both seeing it entirely differently, much like the shock and awe I experienced at the diametrically opposing emotions I felt at viewing a set of pictures over a gap of 24 hours.
I felt so much resonance with the episode with Beth and how the strong, internalised messages of not showing emotion, working hard, being “sorted” and moving on has shaped her life. Especially her waking up to this reality in adulthood.
The one that touches on teaching children to deal with “failure”, about how there are no mistakes, just transgressions and diverging options, about how there is always the chance to course correct. Oh I felt that so hard.
The entire show, across generations has this strong, underlying constant thread of how parents only ever do the very best they can. Always. Always. And I have come to feel this so much in my adulthood.
There is also a reiterating theme of how the “path” may feel wrong at a particular point in time, but it always has gifts to offer. A capacity for honesty and grace to change perspectives makes all the difference.
These are things we all experience and have the capacity to experience. This is true for all of us. This is who we are.
This is us. Really.