We are all Don Draper. And Peggy Olson. And Joan Harris. As I watched the finale of Mad Men I couldn't help but see myself, and my journey in Don Draper, and Peggy Olson and yes, Joan, too.
What I got from last night's finale is that Don finally let go of his past. It has served him, and almost destroyed him, for so many years but to finally detach from what was and become what is is tough, and he had his moment last night. He made peace with all that he had done and decided that he could now move on.
My Life Coach and I work on this a lot. The Robyn I have been, and how she served me, protected me, got me to this point is not the Robyn I am. I am not defined by my past actions or my future endeavors but rather who I am in this one very moment of being. Let me repeat that, my past does not define me at this very moment. And neither does my future. They are all parts of me but not the full me. I am not my failed relationships, my missed opportunities, the next job I don't have yet or the marriage I'm not in right now. I am only who I am at this very moment. Typing away on my laptop, dog on my lap, feeling quite content and ridiculously fortunate to have this moment on a Monday morning to do so. I know this all sounds so very foofy, but it's true. And if Don, the biggest skeptic there is can find his way, so can you. And so can I.
I wish I had tangible advice on detachment but I don't. My Life Coach and I work on gratitude as way to detach. Thanking my past experiences for getting me to this moment. The good and the bad ones. And we also work on trusting in the unknown for my future. Letting it be an exciting moment, not a anxious one. Why? Because there are no guarantees so why stress over it? Seems so simple, but both are so hard. Hard to thank all the bad things in your life, hard to trust something you can't see or touch. At least for a Type A-er like me. But then again, I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't want to change.
But Don isn't the only one I see myself in. As a female IN ADVERTISING, I also see a piece of me in Peggy and in Joan. While I wish it was their stunning red hair, it's not. It's their drive, their acceptance of who they are and their ability to go after what they want, even in adverse situations. They are makes and doers and beings. And it was fantastic to watch them grow into the women they became. Peggy let go of her past (her baby) and finally truly accepted it when she shared that moment with Stan. She finally was able to love and realized she is worthy of it, too. Beautiful. She was able to say ok, this is who I am RIGHT NOW. I don't need to be a mother to prove myself. It's ok to have other dreams. What's crazy is even though that show was set over 30 years ago, the reality is still the same. But, I am not here to lecture or inform you on how being a female in advertising has not come a long way, baby. Nope, instead I want the take away to be that people are always struggling with who they want to be versus who they are expected to be. You are not alone in this. I am not alone in this. It's okay to want things but remember, being is way more important. Peggy finally let go of both of those and lived in the moment. And got a boyfriend to boot (I can hear my mother now, "when you're not looking is when you'll meet him. You just never know..." sigh, ok mom!)
And Joan...if she is not determination personified than I don't know what is. Everyone told her no, so many did not take her seriously, but she did and she told herself yes. She believed in herself and loved herself enough to go for what she wanted. My Acupuncturist and Zen Meditation teacher, Dr. Kim, tells us to compliment ourselves 5 times a day. That when we truly love ourselves we do not need approval from anyone else. Joan, thank you for reminding me that.
So, this morning I raise a drink (Zevia—not Coke—hold the Whiskey...for now) to Peggy and Joan and of course, Mr. Draper. To me, while they are all different, they really are just representations of the whole of ourselves. They all live inside of us. Lofty, I know. As we move through this crazy journey of life, know that you are not alone. Whatever judgements or feelings you have, we have all had them. Also know, just like this television series, nothing is permanent. So enjoy it while it is and let go of what you thought it was or will be. As the jingle (the very thought of that word makes me cringe) sings on "I'd like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company...it's the real thing..."
SIDE NOTE: I also loved this series finale because it's all truth...the creative process is painful yet rewarding, the business is down right bonkers and it will drive you crazy but you'll always come back because it's where you belong, we are inspired by everything around us, and yes, people at work hook up.