when i was 8 or 9 years old and home with the chicken pox for 3-weeks i inadvertently became addicted and attached to the soap operas my mom watched or taped during the day. (yeah, that’s what we called it then! it was BEFORE DVR’s and the internet!!)
i didn’t know it then, but my mom was handing down a legacy, handed down from generation to generation. women had started years and years before listening to soap opera’s on the radio.
thus began my obsession with general hospital. all my children & one life to live were always HUGE favorites, but as i grew up i had to give something up and sadly it was 10 hours of soaps a week. even sadder is that neither of those soaps have made it, they were both cancelled and yanked, i mean yanked off the air in the past 12-months. i’ve written about that before, and that’s not really what this post is about. obviously there are reasons that the soap genre is dying, feel free to read my post i talked about when they first announced the cancellation of both AMC & OLTL as they’ve been known forever.
so general hospital has been my mainstay. i watched it through middle school, high school, college, post-college, and well into adult-hood. prior to the invention of the DVR, THIS GIRL, had 5 VHS tapes, each labeled by the day of the week, and then each morning i would switch out the tapes so that i would be able to watch my soaps in order as they were aired. to say the DVR was invented FOR me, seems a tad self-centered, but when i think back to my soap tapes it brings back a hilarious memory of how much has changed just since i started college in 1993. not discussed often, but boy, did the DVR change loyalty to tv shows.
many of the characters on general hospital were approximately my age. they had been on the show when i was first introduced when i was 8 years old.
i will always have a bond and feel proud of kelly ripa and all she has accomplished. she and mark consuelo’s have stayed together, had 3 beautiful children together and i remember when she first came on the scene in the early 1990’s as Adam Chandler’s goth looking teen daughter.
general hospital has always had the largest target of actors in my age bracket. kimberly mccullough (robin), steve burton (jason), brenda barrett (vanessa marcil), carrie shayne (karen wexler), rebecca herbst (elizabeth), tyler christopher (nikolas), jonathan jackson (seen this fall on ABC’s NASHVILLE!) and even antonio saboto jr (jagger cates) to name a few.
we went through teen angst together. we went to college together, they kept me from being homesick because they always felt like my friends. when you invest 25+ years in a show and grow up with its characters, you start to feel a connection. trust me, i’m no crazy person, i may yell at the tv but i don’t think these people are real. of course i’d love to live in port charles, but sadly i know such a place doesn’t exist.
since november of 2009 i’ve been undergoing a huge metamorphosis. i still don’t know where it’s going to lead me, but i do know that i’ve started to propel forward. i’m taking control. i’m tired of living on the outside.
the other day i made a very strange, yet large observation. i don’t think that i’ve watched an episode of general hospital since december 2009. something inside me caused myself to disconnect. and since that time, something has been missing. i’m not saying the show has changed my life for god’s sakes, i’m just saying that something that gave me peace for an hour a day has been missing from my life.
was i punishing myself?
could i just not concentrate?
was i that sad that my own life had me so encompassed i couldn’t watch the lives of others?
i don’t know that i’ll ever know the answers. and i don’t think it matters. i continued to record the show daily for MONTHS. then i’d delete 50 hours worth, and feel sad and lost and like i’d made a mistake. i hadn’t seen my que not include general hospital since before there were DVR’s!!
i’ve been following Paula’s Soapbox on Facebook, she’s awesome and so i’ve felt somewhat like i know what’s going on. but it’s time for me to take my life back. i started on meds. i got myself a focus for my blog, my future. i’m going to write about what i’m living. how i’m living. i’m going to continue to write things that provoke people to think. i don’t expect everyone to agree with me, i hope for some other viewpoints! that’s kinda the fun of it, isn’t it??
so after almost 3 years, i’m going to go back to watching my friends in port charles, i’m going to see what sonny, alexis, jason, sam, the quartermaine’s et al are up to, and i’m going to lose myself for an hour a day or 5 hours a week in a show that brought me happiness and comfort throughout my past when no one else could.
i’m going to make this year, the Jewish New Year of 5773 and carry into the secular year of 2013, the year of Traci.
doing things that fix me, inside and out. doing things that i enjoy and have let slip out of my grasp for some reason. i’m taking my life back. baby steps. first it was seeing a therapist. then it was starting meds. now it’s returning to watching general hospital. 5 hours a week just for me to escape into port charles without leaving my bedroom.
i may be living on the outside looking in, but i can still find a life that fulfills me and makes me happy no matter how non-traditional it is. that’s all i’m focused on now!. ~traci xoxo