I found myself in 2009. I found Mad Men in early 2012. This blog is the direct result of the former, but has been generously flavoured with, actually inspired by the latter.
I had heard of the series since it premiered in 2007, my ex and I had seen some of the early promos for it on TV, but it was when a colleague, now retired, suggested I watch it that I started: first on DVDs to catch up, then on TV when its long delayed fifth season began. I followed its themes, music, casting in my blog posts.
At that point, I had been transitioning for a year, my life was accelerating; every month, every week, every day brought a new experience, a new milestone. I have always had a yen for things 60s and the music (I was still hosting my radio show at the time) of the series raised my spirits. I posted accordingly. Sometimes it was like my life and the series were having a conversation. The song "You Only Live Twice" closed out season five mere days before I flew home for my father and stepmother's wedding. Living twice was my theme, in that I had not come out to my folks yet, I led a double life. For them, living twice was each of them marrying for a second time.
When season six started, in 2013, I went full-time. I took my fashion queues from the show's year, 1968, my favourite fashion year. It was an exhilarating year, albeit with some sadness. Season six ended with the song "Both Sides Now"; I now knew both sides now, pre-transition and transitioned. "The Best Things In Life Are Free" ended the half-way mark of the seventh season (2014), and I was realizing with an unburdened mind and pierced heart how true that was. I had just come out to my folks. The best things in my life were/are the people in it, friends and family, and the joy of realizing it was so strong it hurt. This feeling carried over to when my folks came to visit later that summer.
This year was monumental for both myself and Mad Men. The series was now set in 1970, the year I was born; 2015 has been my year of being reborn, in the city I was originally born in. I was born in the fall which is also when the series ended this evening. A character is losing her mother as I once did, just after my twenty-fourth birthday. The fathers on the show, like mine, are softening as they reach the autumn of their lives.
But this time it wasn't the final song that resonated with me, but instead the song used in the promo "End of an Era: A Final Toast". Originally used in a Kodak commercial in 1975, Canadian singer-songwriter Paul Anka recorded a hit version soon afterwards. The promo, with its montage of highs and lows and intimate moments from the series cut my heart open, not only because I will miss the show, but also because I will miss these past few years, the end of two eras.
There have also been many highs and lows and intimate moments in this past chapter of my life: many hugs, tears, first steps, goodbyes, reconciliations, I will miss those times dearly and my heart breaks open wide for all of you, all of us. Remember this please. The times of out lives have ended. They have also begun.