In the past 24 hours, How I Met Your Mother Fans have driven the internet into meltdown through hyperventilation and disagreement. The word of the day is simply, “why?”.
I seem to be in a minority that enjoyed and appreciated The Last Forever part 1 and 2. My heart was left warm and full as I said a final goodbye to the confused, romantic dreamer that was Ted Moseby. These are my final musings on the series that found a home in the hearts of many.
How I Met Your Mother never was a show about The Mother. Instead, it was a show about the crazy things as adults we go through, the obstacles we must overcome in our quest for happiness. For Ted, this was a journey in discovering who he was and who he wanted to be. His journey was not only about meeting The Mother, or about his complicated love with Robin – above all it was a journey in accepting life is difficult, it is not as it is in Romance movies, and at some point we must accept this and move on.
The final season’s focus on Barney and Robin’s wedding was never about the wedding. It was about the final moments of that group Ted cherished so dearly before everything changed between them. It was about Ted deciding to move forward and be free, to (as The Mother points out in a flash-forward) stop living in his stories and embrace life. The Mother was his life. I do not doubt for a second that Ted and The Mother belonged together. They were madly in love with one another, and as Thirty-somethings it was the right time and right place for that love to flourish. I believe in the years they had together, they gave each other love, happiness and fulfilled each other dreams.
However, life is unexpected. Every now and again something completely unexpected happens that takes us off our feet. At 21, The Mother lost her boyfriend who she believed was the love of her life. I don’t doubt their love was genuine. When Ted lost the mother, he held on for 6 years before letting go. He did so through talking to his kids about his life, the lessons he has learnt and telling how all of those things led him to their Mother, and in turn them. The children reciprocate this love by letting Future Ted know it is okay to move forward, just like The Mother once had to do before she met Ted.
Love is strange, unrelenting, powerful and sometimes cruel. In time it may fade, or seemingly disappear. Other times, it can be an unstoppable force. Each love you experience is different and unique. Barney’s love for his daughter Ellie is perhaps the most honest and sincere love Barney has ever experienced, yet entirely unexpected. Of course, it comes full circle that the love Barney missed as a child himself will be the most important thing he could feel as an adult. Marshall and Lily’s love is full of constant arguments but it is honest and able to persevere through continual support and admiration of each other. Ted and Robin wanted different things in their lives, and they went out and achieved them. Changing from a twenty-something to a 52 year old offers many years for reflection, friendship, admiration and re-connection.
Love changes. It does not mean it is less valid. Love can not be clearly defined to any one feeling as we feel love differently every time. It is okay to love more than once in a lifetime. It is okay for love to change or vanish. It is okay to have more than one “the one” because the one you meet in your thirties might not be the one you end up with in your fifties.
I love How I Met Your Mother for dealing with real and honest issues individuals must face today, without glossing over with a fairy-tale ending other sitcoms have a tendency to do. Break-ups, make-ups, divorce, being fired, being broke, mortality, being infertile, unexpected pregnancies, being anxious, being depressed, being confused, being lonely, making hard decisions and leaving friends behind – HIMYM addressed those and many more issues, even if it was under the guise of a story about achieving a perfect score or being the fastest runner back to MacLaren’s Pub. I am grateful I have these TV friends to help me deal with my own issues, knowing that in the end – it doesn’t matter if my path changes, it will be okay. Just like Ted, I will be okay.
Love is messy. Love is brilliant. Love is confusing.
Love is the most wonderful feeling in the world.
What are your thoughts on the final season?