A friend of mine on Facebook linked to this interview with BOJACK HORSEMAN creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg. For some reason, his discussion of endings and narrative really resonated with me (though I had a much bleaker interpretation than my friend).
In TV and film (and books!), big events (weddings, births, deaths) often serve as the climax—the culmination of everything the characters have been working toward.
In life, however, these events often serve as the middle, or even the beginning of the narrative. We find that the thing we worked so hard for isn't nearly as great as we hoped it would be. Or that there's even more work ahead. Or simply that life is far messier than we ever could have imagined.
We try to assign meaning to these events anyway—to figure out how they fit into our narrative, perhaps hoping to emulate what we've seen in TV and film and books. But there is no meaning. We don't live in a just world. Good or bad, we don't get what we deserve, and the narratives of our lives rarely satisfy.
I find this simultaneously liberating and terrifying.