When this show first came on the air in 1999, I was graduating College and I was obsessed with politics, and with this show. It captivated me. I wanted to be a part of it, I absolutely loved it. I loved the energy of the characters, I loved the speech writers, I loved the dialogue. The interaction of the characters and the fact that they worked 24 hours a day and it was so evident that this was their absolute passion. Their life’s calling. When Leo’s wife left him and he actually told her that his job was more important than his marriage, I was rooting for Leo and I truly could not understand how his wife could think she was more important. He was now free to spend 24 hrs a day working. How perfect. The fact that none of the characters on the show had personal lives seemed so accurate to me. I identified with them so much.
Recently Netflix has started carrying the series again and I am hooked on it just as much, or more than when it first aired. I absolutely love these characters and their lives. I have also realized that I am a completely different person now than I was back then. I am so jaded now, and realize that absolutely nothing ever happens in Washington. It is all theatrics. When I watched the series the first time, I think I admired the work that they portrayed. I thought Washington, D.C. was a magical place full of people that wanted to make a difference. And yes, I realize it was a TV Show but the essence of D.C. was what captivated me.
Now that I am watching the series again, I realize that what I was probably really obsessed with was the characters and their fully committed lives. They lived their purpose tirelessly. I do realize it is just a TV show, but the idea of having a purpose and living it is what attracted me to this show. I have realized that for most of my adult life I have been obsessed with finding the thing that would make me work through the night, through holidays, through everything without giving it a second thought.
I used to be that way with every job I ever had. However, at some point in my late 30’s I broke. I got burnt out. I lost the joy of working hard. Not because I didn’t want to work hard, but because the things I was working on just didn’t matter enough to me to be worth the work. I lost my mojo as they say. I know I have infinite talents and I know I can work obsessively hard and I know I am smart. But once I realized that money was no longer a goal (as it had been for all of my 20s and the early part of my 30s) and money no longer drove me or pushed me…I think I lost my way. I also lost interest in politics along the way with the endless scandals that plagued politics throughout the years.