Late in season five of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, after Dawn had been taken by Glory for the purpose of bleeding her to open the gateway between all dimensions, so that she, Glory, could return to her own dimension and return to her full-godly state, Buffy slipped into a catatonic state. Willow had to use her powers are a Wicca to penetrate Buffy’s dream-state and coax her back to reality so they could go fight, Glory, save Dawn and finish the season already.
I’m sorry if this spoils parts of season five for you, or if don’t watch Buffy, but I’m coming to my point, never you fret.
Willow follows Buffy around through a number of memories, a series of repeating memories. Its clear that these memories hold some meaning and they were the key to unlocking this catatonic state. The memory that seemed to stand out from the rest as being plainly ordinary was one of Buffy returning a book to a shelf in the Magic Box.
Willows says, “Right here, it happened. I know it’s something small, but it’s something. . . What happened here?”
Buffy says, “This is when I quit, Will. Just for a second. . . I put a book back for Giles. . .and then it hit me. . . I can’t beat Glory. Glory is going to win. . .And in that second of knowing it, Will, I wanted it to happen. . . I wanted it over. This is, all of this, is too much for me. I just wanted it over. . . I would grieve. People would feel sorry for me, but it would be over and I imagined what a relief it would be.”
Somewhere in the middle of the second half against Minnesota the other night, I knew exactly what Buffy was talking about. While watching the second half of that game, I gave up. Just for a second. But I thought, I just want this to be over. All the pain of this season. It’s just too much for me to deal with. Let’s get to the end of this season so we can start looking forward to better times ahead and not be stuck where we are right now. What a relief that would be.
By the end of that game I was so ashamed of myself for that brief second of defeatism, because here I sit, in my living room watching IU play, giving up. And those kids on the court never did. Not for one second. They fought all the way to the end of the game. Long past the point where I knew they weren’t going to be able to overcome their obstacles. They fought.
This team continues to fight, regardless of the odds of success or the repeated proof that no matter how hard they fight, it’s just not going to be enough. They fight.
So, shame on me. Shame on me for that one brief second of giving in to the despair of this season.
If these kids can continue to fight, then I can suck it up and continue to cheer for them.
I can’t. We can’t allow ourselves to start looking forward when there is still now to focus on. This season isn’t over. The chances to learn, improve, and yes, even win, are not gone.
After such self-indulgence, there’s no easy way out.