No Spoilers; No Skipping Ahead

I’m an obsessive person. We all know that. Sometimes, my obsessive tendencies seem like too much, and you know what, maybe they are. What people don’t see is that I’m not just obsessing over silly things. I’m also learning about God and life. Even when I obsess over things that don’t really have anything to do with spirituality, I’m almost never closer to God than when I am obsessed. I learn more about God, my relationship with Him, and life in general when I’m obsessing over silly things than at any other time.

Right now, I’m obsessed with The Vampire Diaries and its whole universe. I am not a casual fan. I don’t do casual anything. When I’m into something, I am fully invested and fully committed. I’ve been wanting to watch TVD pretty much since it came out. When it came out I was in high school and my parents’ had conservative rules about what I could and couldn’t watch. TVD was not on the list of approved shows. Then, as I got older, I still wanted to watch it, but I couldn’t because streaming wasn’t a huge thing yet. Finally, when Netflix was all the rage and TVD was on Netflix, I didn’t have the time or energy to invest in it. Then, The Originals spin-off became a thing and I knew I’d have to watch that too. When TVD ended in 2017, I knew I’d finally be able to join the fandom soon, because I wouldn’t have to commit to an open-ended fandom. I still didn’t have time though, because I was a working adult already committed to other fandoms. Finally, last year, I was able to start watching TVD. Then, I met and fell in love with the Originals characters and knew I would for sure have to watch the Originals. And recently, the new spin-off Legacies came out. Now, of course, I have to watch that too. The thought is a little overwhelming, but I’ve got this! For the first time ever—unless you include Heartland, which is still putting out new episodes—I’ve decided to slowly binge my new obsession instead of taking it all in at once. I’m still watching it every day, but I’m taking my time, re-watching old episodes, and just enjoying the process. Because I’m watching it now and not when I originally wanted to, I’ve had a spiritual epiphany that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. And the epiphany is all based on the idea of not skipping ahead and just enjoying the process.
I’m a very intense fangirl. I have rules. One of my rules is that if I’m going to get involved in a fandom, then I have to commit to the whole fandom. When I do commit to the whole fandom, I have to watch or read everything in order. I can’t watch new Avengers or X-men movies if I haven’t watched all the ones before it. I can’t watch new episodes of the Arrow-verse unless I’ve watched every episode of all the shows—Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, etc.—in order. When I watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I had to watch every episode of Angel between every episode of Buffy. Star Wars is a little more complicated, but the same rules apply. When I watch it, I have to watch it in chronological order. I came to the fandom late and when I did, we watched it in the order that my dad played it starting with The Phantom Menace. Now, I’m like 3 movies behind because I also have to watch all the movies every time there’s a new movie if it’s been more than a year since I watched them all. It’s this whole ordeal and I think it drives my best friend a tiny bit mad because she thinks it’s silly. She’ll recommend a book or something to me and say something like, “There are other books too, but they aren’t really connected, so you don’t have to read them.” Yes, yes, I do. If it’s the same series, then I have to read them! And I can’t skip ahead!
Now, as I’m watching TVD, I’ve learned in TVD season 7 and The Originals season 4, there are a handful of crossover episodes. That means I have to watch the first 3 seasons of The Originals, before continuing past season 6 of TVD. Except, I’m not ready to watch the Originals yet, because that means I have to say goodbye to a TVD character I love and I’m just not ready for that. I thought about skipping ahead, but I can’t. Because it breaks all my rules and it’s cheating. I have to watch it all the way I’m supposed to. I can’t just skip ahead because I don’t like what’s happening or because I know of a spoiler that I know I’m gonna love so I just wanna get there already.
Anyway, I say all the above to say that God has really convicted me. I have all these rules about order and not skipping ahead while reading books and watching TV Shows, but in life I’m not willing to be just as patient. In life, I wanna skip the boring scenes or the scenes that hurt—which are my favorite scenes in books and shows—and skip ahead to the happy scenes. I wanna know all the spoilers about my life so I can know what’s gonna happen next. And that’s just wrong. How I could I be so adamant about hating spoilers and not skipping around in TV and books, but be so ready to do just that in life?
I learned from watching Pretty Little Liars that I can’t always trust writers to put the best story out there. I can’t trust them to answer all my questions and put a pretty red bow on everything in the end so that I’m happy and satisfied with everything that happens. Yet, even after PLL I refuse to jump ahead on shows and books that already finished with endings that are easily accessible. Why then, with the Perfect Author writing my story, do I fail to trust He will answer all my questions, tie up all the loose ends with pretty red bows, and leave me happy and satisfied with how things play out? Why, when I’ve seen over and over again that He will, do I question whether He’ll bring in and take out all the right characters at the right times? Why do I question if His plot and setting are right? Why do I feel like I’ll enjoy the story more if I can cheat and read all the spoilers?
The Vampire Diaries is 10 years old. I’ve seen spoilers and know how to find them. I could jump ahead and get to the parts I want to see instead of trudging through the stuff I don’t care about, but I refuse to. Why? I know the story won’t be as beautiful and special if I don’t enjoy it in its entirety. If I want the beauty, the I have to watch everything unfold as it’s supposed to happen. Now, I realize that if I’m going to have that mentality with a silly TV show, then I also need to have that mentality with life. Just like TVD has already been written, so has my life. Just like Julie Plec knew before it aired what was going to happen with her TVD characters, God knows what’s going to happen with me. Just like I trust that Julie, the cast, and the crew, made TVD the best it could be, I have to trust God has done the same for my story. And just like I enjoyed the mystery of PLL and not knowing what was going to happen next even when it was frustrating, I have to enjoy the mystery of my life and not knowing what’s going to happen, even when it’s frustrating. ‘Cause here’s the thing. I’m not the author of my story. Heck, I’m not even the star of my story. At best, I’m like the ever-present but supporting character. God is the Author and star of my story. That means I need to trust Him and stop trying to skip ahead because it’s hard or boring. If I did that, then I wouldn’t be able to truly appreciate the happy and beautiful scenes. So, please pray with me as I try to remember that truth during this time and future times in my life when I just wanna get to “the good stuff” already. And, if you’re like me, then you’re totally welcome to join me on my journey to love life as it unfolds instead of always looking for spoilers!
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PLL: The Perfectionists: Pilot: Recap And Review

Ooh! Intense vibes from the get go! And that’s just with the music. Not to mention the bloody fingers on the boy, Dylan, with the cello. And y’all, Sofia Carson has the PERFECT voice for the intro of a suspense thriller like this!

Alison: Yay!!! Alison! Aww, and she’s got the twins on her lock screen! 💔❤️ Aww, and she places her family photo against the wall. But there’s a loose strip on the wall… I wonder if it’s got something to do with this mystery. I don’t think Nolan’s sister really killed herself. She was probably murdered. Ha! I knew it! Ali’s finding something in the wall! Ugh! An A-like message, “They’re watching.” It’s either Taylor who used to live there or Mona, because it’s so classic Mona! Of course, Alison is freaking out!

Alison and Mona: Uh oh! Someone’s creeping and Ali is obviously already feeling PTSD A vibes! Oh, and of course, it’s just Mona who shows up with a knife in her hand! 😂
Of course, Ali confronts Mona after Nolan acts like he knows her. Mona swears she didn’t anyone about anything related to Alison and admits she doesn’t believe Nolan belongs at BHU.
Ooh! Mona is suspicious of Ali now. She saw Ali with Ava and seems untrusting. So much for a fresh start, huh? Ali and Mona will only ever trust each other when they need each other.

Surveillance: Who is Mona talking to in the mirror? Herself? “Alison’s as determined as she ever was. Don’t you think?” Does this have something to do with the “security system” Alison noticed? Definitely gives A vibes…
Ooh! Ok, Mrs. Hotchkiss is in charge of the surveillance. Why? Because of the “suicide?” I really don’t think it was suicide. It was either fake or someone murdered her.
Ali meets Mrs. Hotchkiss who says exactly what he said she would say. “You really remind me of her. (Taylor)” She tells her she’s safe here. Why does it seem like this family knows more about Ali than the average person would? Does it have something to do with the surveillance…?
Uh, oh! Nolan is running off somewhere and Mona notices. He’s scanning the area for beacons! He calls someone saying, “I need to see you. We need to meet.” It’s Taylor. She’s not dead.
Okay, so Nolan is in the middle of the woods in a log cabin thing and someone’s followed him. I knew it! It was Taylor! Or maybe another Spencer-like twin? I know it’s a different show, but I don’t trust Marlene! Oh, so he slept with the other chick to make Ava hate him? Because he’s protecting her? Because surveillance is spying on a select number of students? He’s gonna ask someone for help? Ali? Mona? Ava?
Okay, so Ali is googling the family. She can’t get much info and now she’s been blocked out of the search engine? I have to admit… She and Taylor look a lot alike… Coincidence or not?
Ooh… Mona’s talking to her mirror again…. why???
Ali freaks on Mona because Ali and Taylor could be doppelgängers. Mona claims it’s a coincidence. Ali asks, “Did you learn nothing from Rosewood? There are no coincidences.”
Nolan is talking to something or someone… like Mona. Admitting Taylor is still alive…
WHAT! THE! HELL!? They’re being watched by some international cooperation or something??? “Was this our fault? Answer me damn it!” Mona asks the screens. Who is us??? Her and Ali? The lady says, “Mona. Go to your safe place.”

Ms. DiLaurentis & Kids: Ooh… So, Alison is basically the Ezra Fitz of these series in terms of being the English teacher and teaching about books that will somehow tie into the series. (Speaking of, now I have to go read Agatha Christie’s book And Then There Were None since it’s clearly going to have a role in this show like To Kill a Mocking Bird had in the original) Anyway, she starts questioning the students about their summer reading. Dylan is insightful, Ava didn’t read the book, and Nolan is a know-it-all who apparently knows who Alison DiLaurentis was before coming to Beacon Heights. How does he know about her? He clearly knows something… Ugh! And he’s such a douche! He’s like freaking Noel! 😒 He apparently has something on Dylan as he’s forcing him to do his and Ava’s homework and Dylan’s not even fighting not to do it. He’s like the Ali of the original seasons of PLL. He’s manipulative like nobody’s business.
Uh, oh! Ali knows Ava and friends have the same homework… Aww, instead of turning the kids in, she chooses to talk to Ava because she knows she may be struggling with her family situation. Her dad got in trouble for embezzlement and ran away before her mom also left her. At least her dad left her money…dirty money, but still money…
Dang though! Nolan sure does have some AMAZING eyes!
Okay, so Caitlyn’s secret is that her politician mother is cheating on her other mother with a man, so basically Aria’s story mixed with Spencer’s.
I wonder if Nolan is secretly gay or bi. He did tell Dylan’ he’s hot when he’s angry. If this ends up being like Emily and Alison, I will not be surprised.
I love that Ali notices everything. She notices Dylan. She notices that Nolan is hiding his real relationship with Ava and faking his relationship with Caitlyn. And she even admits to Caitlyn that she knows something about manipulation and that she sees through Nolan’s lies. Caitlyn admits that Nolan will do anything to make his mom believe he’s the perfect child she thinks he is.
Ali talks to Dylan and asks what Nolan has on him. Yup, Dylan and Nolan hooked up before Andrew moved in with him. He doesn’t tell her, but Ali tells him she wants to help. Just like Ava, he tells her to leave it alone, but she says she can’t. She’ll have to expel them if she doesn’t get answers soon. Of course, his story isn’t exactly like Emily’s. Everyone know’s he’s gay, but no one knows he cheated with his manipulative “friend.” All these characters are so similiar to the origial charcacters, but also so different. I wonder if they were this similiar in the book?
Yikes! Ava walks in on Nolan having sex with her model. He tells her, “It was just about the sex for me. I’m bored of you.” Heartbreak! 💔 If she doesn’t tell Ali the truth, then I’ll be surprised. He deserves it.
Ava, Caitlyn, and Dylan meet together in the woods. Ava admits Ali offered to help her and the others admit the same. And, now they’re talking about pretending to kill Nolan? Someone’s there though and they’re listening. I almost wonder if his plan is to disappear? Or he will be murdered…and these three will be blamed… or an A-like character will appear and threaten to tell the authorities that they were plotting his death… Idk…?
Ava, Caitlyn, and Dylan think they could have been friends if it wasn’t for Nolan. They turn back at each other like they’re keeping secrets or want to be friends. Nolan is standing on the clock tower like he’s gonna jump. Or not…? Maybe he’s just watching them? No… He’s talking to something or someone… Like Mona…
Ugh! I knew it! He jumped off the roof and now Ava, Caitlyn, and Dylan are somehow going to be held responsible! Poor Ali and Mona must seriously be having some PTSD in their minds right now. It’s like the scene when Maya was murdered. Like almost exactly! I swear watching this show, especially if it lasts, is going to be another waste of time, but I’m gonna do it anyway, because I can’t help but stick with characters I have an attachment to… it’s a serious problem….

Thoughts, Theories, and Favorite Quotes/Scenes:

Thoughts:

Damn it! I’m dragged in again! I wasn’t going to watch this…. but my friend said I would like it and I don’t have it in my not to continue with characters I’ve been attached to. And also my brother is watching it. I didn’t want to be dragged into this again!

Theories:

Theory One: Is Taylor really Taylor?

Theory Two: Did Nolan really kill himself? Was he murdered? Is this even really Nolan?

Theory Three: Is BHU a “The Maze Runner”/“Divergent” kind of vibe where they’re testing students to have the best, most perfect people? Is that why they’re being watched? Or is it because of Ali and Mona? Who is the “we” She was talking about? Why is she working with/for someone? It feels like the dollhouse all over again!

Theory Four: I do agree with Ali’s statement that “there are no coincidences.” So, why are there similarities between her and Taylor? And Nolan and Noel? Are we going to find out? And why does the mom clearly have Ali at the school for a reason?

I’m sure if I read the book, then I could maybe get answers to these questions, but I don’t really want the answers yet. If I’m gonna get sucked in, then I’m gonna get sucked in properly!

Best Quotes/Moments: 

Mona: “It’s a lot easier to earn people’s trust when you haven’t already given them reasons not to trust you.”

Alison: “Story of my life. Emily loves me, she just can’t get past the past.”

Mona: “I thought you guys were happy.”

Alison: “We are, and then we’re not. Always comes back to trust, but I’m not giving up. I want to leave the mean girl I was in high school behind me. I really want to help these kids.

Ali asks, “Did you learn nothing from Rosewood? There are no coincidences.”

February 1, 2018 – A New Month; A New Start

I think 2018 is going to be the year I follow through with and or finish things. I’m going to finish writing The Mask; Her Aid. Then, I’ll hopefully finish writing my dystopian novel. I’m finally following through with my decision to organize all of my papers, upload most to the computer, and dispose of the paper copies except for select exceptions–like specific/important songs, original copies of things that just feel like they need to be on paper. Things like that. Today, I organized all of my papers into binders and folders. Now, they’re sitting on the TV stand. It looks so neat and organized!

I also shredded ALL of my Pretty Little Liars and Buffy the Vampire Slayer papers. I had nearly 200 sheets of paper combined! I’ve decided that in 2018, I’m not going to read or watch anything I can’t read or watch with the girls and any younger siblings. 7th Heaven has really influenced me to be the best example I can be! Matt always tries to be the best example and Mary failed to be a good example. I thought about ditching PLL and Buffy a lot in 2017, but didn’t actually do it. This year I am though. I’m also probably not going to continue watching Riverdale. Idk that there’s anything particularly wrong with it, but it also doesn’t really teach any good morals. I’m gonna stick to shoes like Heartland, 7th Heaven, Boy Meets World, Full House, Fuller House, and all those older shows. I asked people on Facebook what kind of shoes they’d recommend like those shoes and maybe like The OC, One Tree Hill, Gilmore Girls, and Hart of Dixie. I’m tired of shows like Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer that are constantly going on about sex and other stuff. Buffy did have some good lessons in it, so I’m gonna keep those scenes, but otherwise, I’m getting ride of all of it! It’s garbage and if I can’t watch it with kids, then I shouldn’t watch it all!

Anyway, I woke up this morning and read my Bible. Then, I started watching 7th Heaven and organizing my papers. I had to stop to walk Naomi home from school. When I got home, I watched another episode of 7th Heaven and organized some more. Then, I left to put the kids to bed for mom so she could go watch the game and Buffalo Wild Wings. I stayed for a while to make sure they went to bed. Bonnie and I had fun with Snap Chat filters before I went home again. At home, I continued to watch 7th Heaven and organize papers. Now, I’m gonna take my turns on Words with Friends, maybe read a chapter of The One, and go to bed!