Recently, as I was catching up with the episodes that I had missed in the second season of Disney’s “Girl Meets World”, partly in anticipation for this Friday’s episode, “Girl Meets Farkle”, I marveled at how the series never ceases to be a delight, and never ceases to make me tear up a little, thanks to all the little life lessons that they manage to insert in every episode.
One of the episodes that struck me the most was the episode entitled “Girl Meets Yearbook”.
As I write this, I can’t help but think back to the three yearbooks that are currently collecting dust on one of our family’s shelves and that I now barely open, and I ended up thinking about the person I was back then. As I continued my trip down memory lane, I began to cringe at some of the memories that I have of myself, in which, I realized, I wasn’t being totally honest or true to myself.
I was considered odd as a child and teenager, and until now, which, honestly, isn’t such a big deal anymore. However, the main difference between me now compared to the me from college, and particularly, with the me from high school, is that I’m now more open about the things that I like and love, such as the various special interests and obsessions that I have that are all part of who I am, and of some which I tried to repress when I was younger, in an attempt to “fit in” with the people around me, whom I considered the “normal people of this world”.
However, now, looking back, I now realize the importance and the significance of the message that the episode tried to get across, to adults and children alike- that sometimes, it is for the good when a person does change, but, sometimes, change, especially a drastic one, can be detrimental to one as a whole.
All of the chaos and mayhem in the episode began when Farkle Minkus (Corey Fogelmanis) and Riley Matthews (Rowan Blanchard) discovered that they weren’t happy with their write ups, and with how others felt about them. Riley, in particular, was a little bit annoyed that her classmates felt that her best friend, Maya Hart (Sabrina Carpenter), was a more suitable romantic partner to the boy of her dreams, their good friend, Lucas Friar (Peyton Meyer).
Farkle then decided to become a “regular guy”, began donning jeans, a black t-shirt, and a beanie, and no longer recited in class, much to the dismay of his best friend, Lucas.
Meanwhile, Riley decided to go all goth, to the point that even the promise of seeing a puppy and a bunny kissing while a pony talked, didn’t make her budge from her now darkened room.
This horrified Maya because Riley was the only one who could come up with schemes to fix things, such as Farkle, at the moment.
In desperation, she, under the coaching of her actress and waitress mother, decided to become Riley, even though her mother warned her that she might just discover something about Riley that even Riley herself didn’t know, and when this did happen, Maya, just like Lucas and Cory Matthews (Ben Savage), continued to beg them to come back.
You see, Maya, in talking to Lucas as Riley, realized that Riley, deep down inside, only saw Lucas as a brother.
After class, Maya made Riley see the light (pun intended), by showing her how much she needed the old Riley back, by telling her to only listen to those who cared about her, and by telling her that she was the only one who could brighten Maya’s day, and life.
Finally, a reverted Riley stormed into her mother’s café, and tried to talk Farkle into changing back to his old, turtle-necked self.
Farkle, however, much to their surprise, decided to not revert back, as he was changing, in a good way.
Later on, he told Lucas that the incident had made him reflect upon himself, as a person, and told him that he still did want to rule the world someday, but that he wanted to figure out himself first. He warned Lucas that he might not be wearing turtle necks all the time, but he will be changing, and was glad that Lucas was supportive of his friend no matter what.
What I loved about this episode is how it highlighted the concept of change in two different, yet refreshing ways.
With Riley, her drastic change was repressing her true self, which wasn’t good for her at all. Meanwhile, Farkle decided to keep on changing in a good way, in a way that he would be able to learn more and discover more about himself.
However, this doesn’t mean that he won’t be the same Farkle anymore, as in the succeeding episodes, he still recited a lot in class, and still loved to do things such as the arts. However, he did shift away from wearing turtle necks, and became a little bit more mellow compared to before.
Also, I loved the way how Maya and Lucas managed to support their friends no matter what, and I loved how they all continued to accept the changes that Farkle was going through.
In a way, I can relate to both of these changes, as I used to repress some of the things that I liked, just like Riley, to become more socially acceptable.
However, until today, just like Farkle, I am still continuing to change and grow into the person that I was truly meant to be, but with no more pretensions as to who I am or what makes me what and who I am.