Illustration: Lili Szarvas

Heads or tails, fairy tales

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The weather is getting gloomier and gloomier, inviting us to indulge in some serious binge-watching. For some, this is nothing but a guilty pleasure, but our campus columnist Lili Szarvas thinks otherwise: she prefers to embrace her Autumn Netflix binding as an opportunity to reflect on life's big questions.

Do you know that exquisite feeling after a four-hour long bender of munching through your newly found, but now absolutely favorite show?

Tumbling down the rabbit hole with episodes passing and you just can’t seem to get enough of it. The experience is similar to one of those overthinking sessions when you know you’ve got to stop because you’re on the verge of turning mad, but then you give in to the pulsation of the illogical and keep going. And then, after some time, after you’ve already gotten completely and utterly lost in the process of living through what Netflix has to offer, the revelation comes. The delivery is usually in an unusual fashion, with the occasional nude person on the screen demonstrating how stripped down the character’s message is. And then they say it and it makes sense.

For me, autumn is the season of processing things. It’s a pause on the outside world because the weather is rainy, soggy, and wet, and the whole world is already trying to save the light for darker days. We get settled into our routines: wake up early, go to school, and squeeze in a quick boterham on an accidentally sunny patch of the sidewalk. Come home, take a shower, look at memes about Dutch weather’s ability to give you depression and the unexpected twists and turns of seeking student housing in Utrecht. We stare at our phone, computer, smart TV and give in to the endless loop of overstimulation, while in real life all we have is the routine that allows us to process without us realizing it. Process that, once again, we are given the opportunity to change and evolve even when it is dark outside. Wander around in topics like bitterness, loneliness, resentment, and love. Ask questions like who I want to be and be with. Do I actually want to date someone or just look for a witness to my life, someone to go to the movies with? Am I ready to become vulnerable like the nude person on the screen or do I just want to keep on charming everyone in a 20 meter radius, but never genuinely commit? Maybe I am ready to be more than somebody’s dull, but pretty crush, and let them like the real me, not what they think I am. I guess I can be myself, instead of being exhausted in pretending to be the mysteriously misunderstood girl sitting on the slightly crooked barstool.

Yes, this autumn what I am processing is that it is okay and wonderful to show all that makes me human: my temper, appetite, sexuality, feelings, ambition, and mind. Yes, I tell stories with another 18 mini conversations jumbled into it, have wrinkles on my forehead and cracked nail polish on my fingers, and sometimes when I stretch my body an inner porn star moan comes out. But this autumn, I won’t sabotage my own happiness by dreading to be vulnerable and I’ll let things evolve by their natural course; play the exciting game of heads or tails, and welcome those potentially banal fairytale moments with open arms.

As if you had to strip yourself down with the hours you spent driven by the TV show’s numbing quality, you finally let your guard down for the vulnerability to emerge in its place. And you feel it all; the nakedness, the fear and the thrill. Just like skinny dipping in the exhilaratingly cold fountain of truth. And when you come out and get dressed, you feel like there’s less clothes you need to put on to cover yourself up, because what is underneath has grown to replace some of the superficial layer.

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