Lessons from Grey’s Anatomy

She’s my person. If I murdered someone, she’s the person I would call to drag the corpse across the living room floor. She’s my person. -Dr. Christina Yang (Grey’s Anatomy)

I watch Grey’s Anatomy. Don’t judge me. I connect to the show. I do. It’s just a well written show for my emotional personality. It takes me on a roller coaster of emotions each week and I love it! My husband has come in the room many times to me sobbing and actually stops and gives me a comforting hug because I’m so upset. He used to say, “Why do you do this to yourself?” To which my passionate heartfelt (aka dramatic) reply was something along the lines of “it’s amazing relationships all mashed up together” “she is desperate to connect” “it’s community at it’s most beautiful – messy and angry, dysfunctional and wonderfully still together.” My most dysfunctional comment: “These are my friends. They are emotional and dramatic and in a country that isn’t this is my escape and my cathartic need to release way too many emotions pent up in me!” Yeah, don’t judge me. He stopped asking after that comment. My all time favourite reason I connect to Grey’s Anatomy is “Christina and Meredith…”

I have a “person.” She keeps me sane. And I know that my medical professional friends cringe at this show. My husband and I have an understanding now that he won’t comment on how “that is impossible and ridiculous,” and I won’t refer to them as my friends. But when and if you have “a person” I think it would be hard not to connect to the characters. When you have a friend that is always saying “go for it” in all your crazy sometimes not so wise decisions, “you are amazing” basing her encouragement not on your decision but on her trust in you, you can’t help but connect into the relationship between the characters, Meredith and Christina. That alone makes me slip right into Grey’s Anatomy.

This last Monday (we are a season or two behind in New Zealand don’t tell me anything!!!) Meredith’s character responded to Christina’s rant about how horrible their hospital/city was and how any sane person should want out. Meredith’s character responded with a beautiful sixty seconds reminding her of all the good that happened there: she fell in love, she became a mommy, gained family when she didn’t believe she would be a family, she learned to be not just a surgeon, but a great surgeon, she had community and friends that changed her life and she met her. She met Christina. Her person. And that is what she will choose to focus on.

As I sat in my cold living room under a down blanket, I froze. Not from the chill in the air, but the way it spoke to me. My mind switches from the characters and I can hear my “person” saying that to me. Not telling me to be positive and thankful. That’s just annoying when people do that when you’re in a depressed funk. But in a way where she shares her story, which reminds me of my story. Humans have specific stories, yet humanity often shares the same stories with different settings and characters. We all want love and acceptance. We want to belong to someone. We want our life to be noticed, to make a difference.

I, too, have had horrible things happen in New Zealand. Pain and loss I would rather not speak of, but, and here is the truth, I found love, I became a mommy here, I have experienced a new part of myself that laid dormant for years, I lived at the beach, in a bustling beautiful beach town! That in and of itself is worth cheering for.

So you see Grey’s Anatomy speaks to me. It reminds me of friendships that ground me and that are my family, it makes me laugh and it speaks to my soul. I’m thankful for this hour episode and writers who work hard to connect to viewers. I’m thankful for my community all over the world. I’m grateful for my “person” that just gets me and doesn’t speak at me, but hangs around next to me without judgement while I figure life out. I’m thankful for New Zealand. It brought me home to a family that I love.

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