Editorial: Lessons I learned from How I Met Your Mother

Trigger warning: the following article discusses depression and suicide. If you or someone you know is suicidal or struggling please call the suicide hotline at 800-273-8255.

In just under two weeks, Cue List begins its third season in which Josh Finn will join me as we break down the nine seasons of How I Met Your Mother (HIMYM). Cue List was first started to showcase new shows and give reviews about feature films. However, when we rebooted it back in January of this past year, I had a simple idea: bring in fans of the show or movie that that particular season is covering and let them talk about what the show means to them.

In the first season, I had the pleasure of working with Nerd Generalist and FRXZY as we talked about The Office, during this season I saw how passionate Cue List could become. The initial two seasons of Cue List have been about a show and a movie that is loved by the masses; the third season is for the bros, the couples, and the ones who simply want to find love. HIMYM is a unique show in the sense that it was created with the intention of teaching the audience lessons. Carter Bays and Craig Thomas (co-creator of the show) once noted that they intended HIMYM to be the 100 lessons of a late 20’s architect living in New York; the show ended up going a little over 200 episodes and with each episode, the audience learns a new lesson. In this article, I want to share just three of the big lessons that HIMYM taught me. 

  1. Nothing Good Happens After 2:00 a.m.

If you are ever thinking of doing something big in your life and it’s 2:00 a.m., just go home. In my life, there have been so many breakups and dumb moments that were made worse by my insisting on fighting it out after 2:00 a.m. Late in the night, your mind isn’t fully focused on the task at hand and that can lead to misrepresentation of your feelings, which in turn accomplishes nothing. When you are faced with a situation like this, go home and sleep; it will clear your mind, and you can come back refreshed with a new mindset. 

  1. Never Underestimate the Power of a Bro

Life can be challenging; and throughout the ups and downs, you need a good support system to help when life feels hopeless. Surround yourself with people who are not only great friends, but who challenge you to try new things and become a stronger person. I can think of a time right after my suicide attempt where my “bros” became more important than ever; each day they would challenge me to work on myself and get stronger. When I look back on the bad times in my life, I have to appreciate the role that my friends and family played in getting me to bounce back. Never underestimate the power of having a beer and hanging out the bros can have. As Barney Stinson says, “Whatever you do in this life, it’s not legendary, unless your friends are there to see it.”

  1. Eventually, We All Become Our Own Doppelganger

One of my favorite moments of How I Met Your Mother is when Ted realizes that over time we become our own doppelganger (someone who is like us, but isn’t anything like the person we once were). I look back at my life to the events that led to my suicide attempt where I was lying to everyone, and when I looked in the mirror and didn’t’ recognize myself; in that reflection, I look back and I thank the universe that I am not the same person that I used to be. I think we as humans are beautiful in the sense that we can evolve; we evolve and become new versions of ourselves every day. The challenge lies in identifying the need for change and then following through with the changes we discover we need. 

Thank you for reading this article, and if there is a lesson that any show or movie has taught you feel free to share it below. Cue List: How I Met Your Mother edition starts on May 31 and will available for the very first time on Spotify!

If you or someone you know is suicidal or struggling please call the suicide hotline at 800-273-8255.

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