Here's to Rory Gilmore.
Rory Gilmore is fictional. I'm fully aware of that. But I relate to the girl more than I ever thought I would as I'm about to embark on adulthood.
My teenage and college years have some similarities to Rory’s, minus the whole leaving school for a semester thing. And stealing a boat.
I'm either silent or babbling. There's no middle ground. I love my books, which I started packing last night as I prepare to leave Gainesville next week. I'm currently eating a bag of chips as I lay on the couch typing this. I also speak in aged pop culture references.
My mom is my quirky, funny Lorelai. And while my parents are married, my dad is definitely a Luke.
I dated a Dean, a Jess, and a Logan. I learned so much from all of them, even though some of them broke my heart. They have shown me how strong I can be, even though they sometimes pushed me down. And I'm sorry for never telling you guys about all of them. But I promise, they're not jerks. But if you pitted them all against each other, just like we do to the poor guys Rory dated, you'd probably have a favorite. I'm Team Rory, though.
I have my Lane, my Paris, and even my Marty. I'm grateful for all of your friendships. Yes, even my Paris.
I have my Mitch Huntzberger. I hate the words you said to me, and I hate that you made me doubt myself. You made me cry much more than anyone else ever has. But thank you for doing that - because proving you wrong has been my favorite hobby in the last year.
When Rory graduated from Yale, she snagged a job covering the Obama campaign after freaking out about not having a plan. Next month, I'm moving to Phoenix to cover voter disenfranchisement. After this summer, I have no idea what I'm doing. And I'm scared just like Rory Gilmore.
But there's one quote that describes her that I relate to so much.
“Emily, please. It's Rory. What she tackles, she conquers. This girl could name the state capitals at 3, recite the periodic table at 4, discuss Schopenhauer's influence on Nietzsche when she was 10. She's read every book by every author with a Russian surname and had a 4.2 grade-point average at one of the toughest schools on the east coast. If she's excluding salmon puffs, she has a good reason to exclude salmon puffs. And I, for one, have complete confidence in her ability to tackle this job, and so should you.” - Richard Gilmore, Rory's incredible grandfather.
My (great) grandfather, who was a huge influence on my life and career, would have probably said a similar thing about me. He died almost two years ago.
He was incredible - a journalist who traveled the world, sharing captivating stories on three continents. He also was a Marine with a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.
There's a part of me that wishes he was here to see what I've accomplished since he passed away. I wish he could have listened to me on NPR. I wish he could have heard that I actually managed to get a job in investigative journalism (even if it's temporary). I wish he knew I was working with Len Downie, an editor who he likely respected quite a bit.
So tomorrow, when I across the Swamp to accept my degree, I'll have these words on my cap. I tackled. I conquered.
And I hope to continue to do so wherever I go.
Here's to you, Rory. Thanks for being a realistic human being in the last few seasons. Thanks for being awkward, quirky, and smart.
I'm proud to be constantly compared to you.