I just finished watching Monday’s episode of How I Met Your Mother. And it was the saddest episode I have watched thus far. But it is also the most inspiring, in an odd way.
In the episode, Ted Mosby is reminded that he is alone. He is sitting at his favorite booth in his favorite bar surrounded by his favorite friends. That entire night he was surrounded by future Ted and future Barney, telling him to do this and not do that (it was a bit confusing) all while Robin and Marshall were busy having a dance off in the background so that Marshall can have a drink called the Robin Sherbosky renamed as the Minnesota Tidal Wave. But then he is alone with Barney, all of the future selves gone. Ted tells Barney that he is going home. Barney says he understands. Ted responds.
“What, you’re not going to try and stop me?”
“And… how would I try and stop you?”
“I don’t know, by telling my life is short and if you ever come across a beautiful, exciting, crazy moment you need to seize it while you can before that moment is gone.”
“Ted, this moment already is gone. The whole Minnesota Tidal Wave thing happened five years ago. It’s just a memory. And the rest of this never happened. Right now Marshall and Lily are upstairs trying to put Marvin to go back to sleep. Robin and I are trying to decide on a caterer. And you’ve been sitting here all night staring at a single ticket to Robots versus Wrestlers because the rest of us couldn’t come out. Look around Ted, you’re all alone.”
At the end of that speech, there is no Robin and Marshall in the back ground. Barney is no longer sitting across from Ted. He is truly alone, sitting at his favorite booth in his favorite bar, without his favorite friends. The bar is empty. But here is the inspiring part. Older Ted goes on to narrate, explaining how if he could go back to that cold night in 2013 he would change what he did. Instead of going to Robots versus Wrestlers, he would go home. He would go see Marshal and Lily and Marvin, he would go visit Barney and Robin, but none of those things would be something he would do first. First, he would run miles to apartment number 7A, knock on the door,and when it opened, say this:
“Hi. I’m Ted Mosby and exactly 45 days from now you and I are going to meet and we are going to fall in love and we are going to get married and have two kids. And we are going to love them and each other so much. All of that is 45 days away, butI’m here now… I guess because I want these extra 45 days. With you. I want each one of them. Look, if I can’t have them then I will take the 45 seconds with you before your boyfriend shows up and punches me in the face… because… I love you. I’m always going to love you. Until the end of my days and beyond.”
That got me thinking. You never know when you are going to meet the person you will spend the rest of your life with. I could meet mine tomorrow, or next week, or in exactly 45 days, or maybe I already met him. But I won’t know until I get there. I won’t know until I am able to look back, perhaps five years from now, to this very moment when I am typing this and be able to count the days until I meet him. It is a scary but beautiful thing. And if I knew when I was going to meet him, I would be like Ted Mosby. I would want to go back in time and spend those days until that fateful moment with him. I would want those extra days.
I’m glad I don’t have foresight into who I am going to end up being with and when he will enter my life because I would not be patient. I would want to change history, but that isn’t how it is meant to be. I am meant to never know until it happens.