We saw Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I loved it. I went prepared to sob my eyes out. But instead found myself completely involved with the story and, more than anything, adoring that quirky, neurotic little boy. I walked out of the theater thinking, "If my little Clementine can be that brave and determined and curious with her life then I will have done my job well."
On our way home from the theater Nate and I were talking and an interesting topic came up. One worth thinking more about. It started out like this:
Tonia: That movie reminded me, again, how important it is not to judge people. Everyone has a story and if we knew their story we'd understand them better.
Nate: Yeah Tonia, I've been meaning to tell you that you are so judgmental (tongue-in-cheek).
Tonia: Well, I do make assumptions sometimes about people that are more on the eccentric side. But I guess we are all pretty eccentric when you think about it.
Tonia: But do I want anyone to know my story? I kind of feel like it's pretty typical. Born into a middle class family, had pets, learned to swim, broke a few bones, went to prom, college, jobs, marriage, baby. Nothing extraordinary happened or didn't happen. I really want my story to be interesting...not like everyone else's. Hopefully it will stand out in some way before it's over.
Nate: Oh Tonia (shaking his head).
Tonia: One of my greatest fears is living a mediocre life so I'm hoping my story can stand on its own some day. That it won't be so forgettable.
Anyway, that's the beginning of our conversation. But not the end of my thought process. I hope it doesn't sound like I'm ungrateful for my life or looking for any drama. I just want the story of Tonia to be one you want to be told over and over. Or the kind of story you start reading at bedtime and just can't put down.
I think the only way to have a story like that is to be authentic and live honestly. Not for anyone else but you. Not with any thought to "what will others think". The best way to encourage Clementine to live courageously, determined, and curious is be courageous, determined and curious. Make no room for doubting. No room for second guesses.
I'm writing my own story, word by word. And I'm helping create Clementine's story, and I'm playing a key role in Nate's story. So I have a lot of responsibility. I have a lot of living to do; a lot of living minus all the fear and doubt. That's a big pill to swallow.
|2009, Mexico. I was horrified to scuba dive. But I did it. |
And look at my smile. Must have more of these moments.