Sunday, March 1, 2009

I don't think it's a tragedy

My movie marathon continued (and ended) this afternoon with Revolutionary Road. To date, I have seen Coraline, The Wrestler, and Slumdog Millionaire. Every single one has been amazing and I would recommend all of them to certain people. Each one has had a lasting effect, which, in my opinion, is the sign of greatness.

I expected to come out of tonight's movie completely depressed about both the movie and my life (it just seemed like it was going to be one those movies). It was intense, but didn't pull all the punches it could have. It's one of those things that I will to spend a few days with. That said, I am already in thinking mode.

Revolutionary Road was, in short, about the life we plan vs. the actual outcome. I feel pretty happy with my life right now. I think I would even say that I am fairly at peace. I would love to move, to travel, to do new things, but I am not right now. I have these great plans, idealistic places and scenarios, and friends that I have not met yet. Like just about everyone else, I am terrified of a life of mediocrity, unhappiness, disappointment, and boredom. I am afraid of relationships that might fail, betray, or trap me. The thing is, these things catch up with everyone at some point. Everyone gets bored and restless. Everyone disappoints and is disappointed. Relationships change. I think that a lot of us tend to panic, run for safety, or feel slighted by God and the universe. Life happens, and you can't always control it. A variation in plans (or even a really hard time) doesn't mean tragedy, and it doesn't mean the end. Ironically, I find the people most ready to abandon ship are the people with least tragic lives.

The thing is, we don't like being honest, accountable, or out of control. I have hated two of my last three jobs. I hated them more than anything and felt like I was wasting my life. Still, it was easier to be angry and wasting my life than it was to be brave and do something that required work and uncertainty. It was also easier to say that I was being practical than to admit that I was clinging on to things that didn't really make me that happy. We all might complain about our cheap, eggshell white walls, our tiny little cubicles, or our boss that defies all that is right in the world, but they are safe, and we like that. In relationships, it is easier to say that someone has hurt or disappointed me than it is to admit that we've just been smoothing over the cracks for a while, or that I haven't been awesome, either. I am going to let you down. You are going to let me down. It's what we do after that that counts.

I think it would do everyone some good to be honest and take a little blame. It is uncomfortable, not tragic. I think we do ourselves a great disservice by confusing the two.

1 comment:

Dan S. said...

wow what a great post! i love the idea of honesty not about the horrible things (crappy bosses) but about the imperfections (cracks in friendships).

honesty feels like one of those things i chant and fail to live out sometimes. this challenges me again to live it. thanks!

 
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