Sometimes life just has a way of kicking you around. An unexpected diagnosis, the untimely death of a loved one, a marriage on the brink, a wayward child…a hurricane. Unfortunately, the list doesn’t end there. It goes on and on. Life has dealt me along with my family many hard swift kicks through the years. I’m sure you know the kind, right? The kicks you never see coming. The ones that bring you to your knees. I know them because I have lived them but if you meet me in person, I will never let you see them. For me, it’s about coping and surviving through those dark times, carrying on as best I can – as if the present doesn’t truly exist. Yes, I’m a wanna be time traveler…if you didn’t know that already.
I have my faith and I thank God for that. Even still, if you’re like me, you need distractions amid all the trouble. You need to be able to escape to a safe place and that’s where Outlander comes in for me.
When I discovered Outlander, or should I say when my friend forced it upon me, it was a life changing moment. That may seem like an overly dramatic statement but it truly was. In a world that seemed to be turning me upside down at times and shaking me from the pit of my soul, I could watch an episode (or two or three) of Outlander and forget it all for a while. I could open the books and be transported to another time and another place with people I knew and some I could trust (I never trust BJR). I watched and then read about them. I was witness to their relationships with friends, family and lovers.
It hasn’t stopped. Outlander is still my distraction and after a particularly difficult couple of weeks, I was thinking about the phenomenon of the “Outlander Distraction”. What is it that drives me (and perhaps you) to distraction with these books and this series? I think I know and no, it’s not about the sex. Oh yes, the sex is good but it simply fits into a much larger answer. Ready for it? OK, here’s my answer.
When watching the series and reading the books, we become not just spectators but participants. We are there beside our beloved friends, cheering them on. We empathize with their heartbreaks, the injustices forced upon them and their losses because we have been there too.
Our heroes and heroines go through some pretty terrible things…just like us.
Prince Charming isn’t always able to rescue the Damsel in Distress nor is the Damsel able to rescue the Prince…just like us.
They don’t live happily ever after…yes, just like us.
They go through real life struggles again and again and then again – Jamie’s rape, Claire’s miscarriage and the death of Baby Faith, betrayals, battles, the deaths of friends and family members, and heartbreaking separations – and that’s just to name a few of the tragedies which happen in the first two books! So beautifully written by Diana, so eloquently spoken through the characters of the books and then so wonderfully interpreted by the actors, the love story of Jamie & Claire and the relationships of and with their family and friends are the things which pierce our hearts. Their struggles to survive, to endure, to persevere and never give up in the face of adversity combined with their unconditional love for each other in all those moments remind us of what we want for ourselves. In their stories, we find hope for our own story.
So, as we look forward to Season 3 and Voyager, I will not be ashamed to say that I will probably watch every episode 10 times and re-read Voyager all over again for the third time. I will bask in every second of each episode – before, during and after Jamie and Claire’s much-anticipated reunion. Because sometimes, we just need the distraction. And other times, we desperately need to be reminded that when life gives us a serious kick, there is still hope and maybe, just maybe, love can still conquer all! Hurry Season 3!