What watching “Gilmore Girls” as a woman raised by a single mom means to me now

When word crept out about Gilmore Girls making an epic return, I started to get in my feels. Obviously I, just like many of you, am obsessed with the series. I was raised by a young, single mom just like Rory. I grew up dealing with my mother’s regret of not living her life to the fullest and the pressures to overachieve as a result. Not saying that any of it was bad — I actually appreciated the hard hand that my mom governed our tiny family with. And I owe her massively for shaping me into the woman I am today.

“Do what you have to do to get the job done,” and “don’t let anyone stop you from living your dreams,” were common themes in my household growing up. My mother was 19 when she had me, and was forced to put her dreams of making it to the WNBA and becoming a pharmacist on hold.

I watched my mom grow into a strong, black woman.

However, I watched my mom make mistakes along the way — one failed marriage and a slew of mediocre boyfriends — and I knew more about life than other 16-year-olds in my class…just as Rory had.

All of my other friends had parents that were twice my mom’s age and, for a good portion of my life, I totally took it as a negative. It seemed as though having a two-parent home and financial stability were badges of honor. Add not having either and being black women to this, and my tiny family became just another statistic.

But watching Gilmore Girls growing up helped me to accept my situation.

And seeing that two white women, who in theory seemed like they would have more privileges, living out the same exact scenarios as me and my mom, gave me a whole new level of understanding. Family structures are different no matter what race or culture you belong to.

The story is never about how many obstacles you had to overcome. It’s all about whether you managed to come out on top or not. Just like Lorelai and Rory, my mother and I are winning the game with the cards we were dealt…and we have a much stronger relationship because of it.

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