I've decided that growing up is a hard thing. I think we have these kids and guide them best as we can, but we mostly just sit back and watch them make the mistakes. I have always wanted life to come with a rule book. I'm good at following rules or checking off things on a to-do list of life. Following advice or what a "authoritative figure" thinks I should do.... not so much. But that is getting off track. As I get older, I realize more and more things about myself. Tonight one of those things would be that I tend to act like the damsel in distress.
One of my favorite movies is The Holiday. If you haven't seen it, stop what you are doing right now and go watch it. Seriously, it's great. In one of my favorite scenes in the movie one of the main characters, Iris is at dinner with a great director Arthur Abbott and they have a conversation that goes like this....
Iris: As a matter of fact, he is... a huge schmuck. How did you know?
Arthur Abott: He let you go. This is not a hard one to figure out. Iris, in the movies we have leading ladies and we have the best friend. You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason you are behaving like the best friend.
Iris: You're so right. You're supposed to be the leading lady of your own life, for god's sake! Arthur, I've been going to a therapist for three years, and she's never explained anything to me that well. That was brilliant. Brutal, but brilliant.
I have always thought that this moment was a brilliant one for Iris. She has spent so much time wasted on this guy that never gave her the time of day and she finally has this amazing moment where everything is so clear. I started thinking about that tonight and realized how much wasted time I have spent on things that have never amounted to anything. Things that have never made me a better person, or friend, or sister, or daughter. Things that continue to take and never give back.
Tonight I had an "Iris moment". I realized that this is MY life, this is My story, and I can write it however I want. I'm the hero of this story, and I don't need to be saved. I'm sick of being the damsel in distress. I'm sick of acting like the best friend. I'm sick of waiting for something to come into my life and make it better. I'm not Snow White, and no Prince is coming so I might as well get up and get to work.
I haven't quite figured out how to be happy every day. People say that it's a decision you make in the morning. Well, that's great if that works for you, but sometimes I make the decision to wear a certain outfit and that just doesn't work out. So maybe it's something you chose over and over again throughout the day? It's something I'm working on, but it's a slow process. I'm not one of those cheery people that bubbles over with laughs, smiles, and giggles. Actually, those are the kinds of people I want to punch in the face. Repeatedly. But, I think there is something to be learned from those people. Learning to see positive things in every situation is a priceless talent. Learning to be happy no matter what your circumstances is a life long goal.
Another life long goal of mine was to travel, but I'm not just going to Russia to teach English or travel, I'm going to find myself. I originally decided that I wanted to go because I felt like I needed to do something great while my best friend was on a mission, but it soon became much more than that. When school started and I wanted to run away from my homework Russia became a chance for me to take some time off, but still do something productive. As the year went on, my reasons for going continued to evolve. When I finally had to face the fact that med school, my life-time dream, at least for right now wasn't going to work out left me feeling like I needed to get away and needed to get away fast. Russia became a way out from everything, but as it grew closer I realized it wasn't a way out. It was merely a chance to figure out me. Going to Russia gives me the space I need truly figure me out. I will be far from family, friends, and school. I love all these things. In fact I am going to miss all these things dearly, but lately I have felt run down. I try so hard to be so perfect. Trying to be the perfect best friend, the perfect sister, the perfect missionary supporter, the perfect daughter, and the perfect student has left me feeling burnt out. I know that no one has ever asked for these things, but it's my personality to go over and beyond. Although Russia will involve a huge amount of service and time spent with the kids, I feel like it's still me time. I know that through the service I am going to grow and learn so much, that it's almost selfish that I am doing it. I want to be the girl that people look at and think "Wow she is really amazing!" Not because I'm pretty or thin (although if someone is giving those things out I want them!), but because I make the world a better place. Right now, I don't feel like I'm that girl. I might have used to be, but I've lost the girl that was out to change the world. I am going to find her, and when I do the world better be ready!
Later on in the movie Iris's old boyfriend comes to her begging to have things back to the way they used to be. Iris starts to fall back into their life and then decides that this is not what she wants or deserves.
Iris: Shush. You broke my heart. And you acted like somehow it was my fault, my misunderstanding, and I was too in love with you to ever be mad at you, so I just punished myself! For years! But you waltzing in here on my lovely Christmas holiday, and telling me that you don't want to lose me whilst you're about to get MARRIED, somehow newly entitles me to say, it's over. This - This twisted, toxic THING between us, is finally finished! I'm miraculously done being in love with you! Ha! I've got a life to start living. And you're not going to be in it.
So to all the things that have been holding me back, to all the waiting I have been doing, to all the things I have let walk over me because I was too afraid to say anything, it's over. I'm no longer the best friend who gets to go home to a life that has nothing, I'm the leading lady, and I don't need to be saved.
Until Next Time,
Just in case you need to know what it looks like when you go to rent it :)