Today I had an unpleasant realization: life is not a movie or a tv show.
How shitty is that?
As a film student, I am well versed in the ebb and flow of stories on-screen. I know where character development is most likely to occur, what a “call to adventure” is, and that almost everything ends where it should (except How I Met Your Mother, but that is a topic for another day).
I am accustomed to knowing what the outcome will be. When the Protagonist will fall down, and I know they will stand back up before the credits roll.
Recently, life has come to show me, that unlike a rom-com, or a coming of age story, life is not predictable and or wrapped up in 2 hours and 30 minutes. No, it rambles on and on like Interstellar.
We cannot predict the outcome of the script written for us. Sometimes the plot is shaky, and feels disconnected. Sometimes the protagonist and antagonist aren’t clear. Maybe we aren’t even sure WE are the protagonists of our own stories. Characters leave, settings change, and whole episodes are based around binge watching. There is no poetry, no overriding theme, or dance number.
Life is a bunch of misread dialogue, faulty characters, and senseless plot twists.
I guess that is the beauty of life. To not know how it ends. It adds a mystery, a feeling of purpose, even if the search for that purpose feels like what should be deleted scenes.
Life is not a movie, but it’s still of story, which gives us, the characters, some control. It’s like one of those choose your own adventure books we read as kids. We are born, and from then on, life is an endless stream of possibilities. Part of the beauty of the lack of a script, is that we can go off the path. There are no lines, just pivotal moments brought on by our choices.
Yes, sometimes it seems that everything would be better if life was a movie. Movies are magical, they make you feel alive, vibrant, and inspired. Life can too. It may not always be as glamorous, but that is all a front for someone else’s idea of happily ever after. Make your own movie magic.
My life is not a movie, but I’m going to squeeze a dance number in somewhere.