Sunday, September 03, 2006
Sunday Scribbling - Fortune
Two fortune cookie slips hang on my fridge. Tucked in between the photos of the kids and their laminated Bible verses from Sunday School.
They hang there, trying to be promises, maybe pulling off a bit of motivation, but more recently, they stare accusingly from the freezer door as reminders that there are places in my life that feel empty and lacking.
“Unveil your ideas and be ready to act on them.”
“You will be successful in your career.”
Tonight, Brad and I went to see “Little Miss Sunshine”. There are very few movies that we both really love, but this was one of them. Within the first five minutes, I could feel the sting of un-cried tears behind my eyes. These were people like me. These people were fighting the most frightening of real life monsters – disappointment. They had no super powers, no burly stud muffin that would save them, no clever, intelligent, super-spy hero to save the day. They only had each other and a warped vision of success loaded with the world's expectations.
The older brother has a wonderful sequence of lines in the film. It comes after a heartwrenching realization that one of his goals might be unreachable. It went something like this, pardon my paraphrase, “Life is one beauty pageant after another. F*ck this. F*ck them. I don’t want to be judged by their standards. I say, do what you love and f*ck the rest. If I want to fly, I'll find a way to fly.” And by the end of the film, this family embraces this profound truth and it gives them something they hardly realized they were seeking. They slayed the beast. Disappointment was replaced by the sweetest of victories. They were united in their love, in their imperfections and boldly showed their messy selves. And the world did not end. And the next day was a new day. The problems would still be there, but they were ok. The beast of disappointment was banished from the kingdom of the yellow VW bus and never was there a more lovely chariot to carry off those heroes into the sunset.
I left the theater with red puffy eyes, a twinge of a jealous heart (that someone else wrote this gorgeous screenplay, and I didn’t) and a new resolve to be brave enough to dance to the way I want to in a room full of plastic, sequined beauty queens.
Translation: I’m not looking to win the Miss Sunshine contest of writing, blogging, mothering, wifing, daughtering, or anything else. I want to dance to the music I choose. I want to live the life I want. I want to serve my God the way WE decide – not the way I think would be acceptable, agreeable and logical to everyone else.
I want to cry. I want to laugh. I want to scream. I want to dance. I want to live full and love deep. And most of all, I want to write. I am a good writer. It’s enough. I don’t need to publish. I don’t need to get paid for it. I don’t need to be the best ever but I DO need to STOP listening to the voices that tell me that I can’t be happy unless that happens.
Screw the fortune cookies. (Except the actual cookie part – I still like that part). The fortunes are coming of the fridge and going in the garbage tonight. I don’t need a slip of paper to tell me what I can or can’t do or pretend to know what’s ahead for me.
I need a little girl with goofy glasses a top hat and a dream. I need to remember, beauty queens eat ice cream. I need to practice my act and be ready to dance. I need to know and accept the journey is often the biggest part of the prize. I’m not going after a fortune, I’m going to live a life.
For more Sunday Scribblings, go here.
(And go see “Little Miss Sunshine”!)