Finding a silver lining…in a movie.
November 14, 2012 § 1 Comment
I saw Silver Linings Playbook today.
It was amazing. Jennifer Lawrence was a vision. She deserves the Oscar for Best Actress. Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro also gave smash-hit performances. See it and you’ll realize why it’s getting so much Oscar buzz. But I digress.
Today is a day that carries a lot of meaning and drags up a lot of old memories for me. Three years ago I made a big leap of faith, one that ultimately did not pan out. I do not regret it. I do, however, regret how I’ve handled the aftermath. But I’ve kept going. This movie forced me to acknowledge that I am simply human, that I just need to do the best I can, and that I should find the silver lining in everything. That’s all I’ve done. That’s all I’ve been able to do.
The film explores themes of loss, love, and mental illness. As someone that has been profoundly affected by all three, I was deeply moved by the film, but most importantly, I couldn’t believe how much I was able to laugh. And not just at funny things – at death, at sickness, at heartache. Because life is really funny. And this movie was hysterical.
The characters struggle with being bipolar, having OCD, committing acts of self-hatred – but they are not defined by their crazy. They simply happen to have an illness, and live in spite of it. My favorite line was about halfway through the film. Jennifer Lawrence’s character is angry with Bradley Cooper’s, and she says “There’s always gonna be a part of me that’s sloppy and dirty, but I like that! Because I like all parts of myself – can you say that?” I realized I wasn’t sure if I could. I spent the rest of the movie in stunned silence. If you know me, you know that that’s a miracle (yes, even in a theater. Sue me.)
I can be extremely manipulative, but it comes from a good place. I try to bring people together, or find happiness, sometimes through shady means. I am crude, mostly to hide the fact that I’m extremely uncomfortable with myself 80% of the time. I am unapologetically self-confident (and cocky), because I wake up in the morning and like what I see in the mirror – an example I hope to set for my sister, and one that I hope she will pass on. When I want people to like me, I cook for them. If I hate someone, I’ll still cook for them. (I really like eating. I also like making other people happy with food.) I sometimes validate myself through male attention, my absolute worst quality that I hope to squash one day (but a quality I will never forget or regret). I hate to be touched by those that truly care about me, because I’m afraid they’ll leave and I’ll miss them. I buy more clothes than I’ll ever be able to wear, and I don’t really have a good reason why. I let my anger at my ex-boyfriend control me, even six months later. I lash out at people who aren’t achieving what I believe to be their full potential. I borrow my friends’ clothes without asking. My room is gross. I find it easier to be mean and guarded than to be genuine and open, yet still expect people to be as sincere with me as possible. I’m greedy. I’m spoiled. If I love someone I refuse to tell them.
I like all of these flaws. I embrace them. Not just because some of them make great storytelling fodder, but because regardless of a huge list, I still have so many more pros than cons. So do you.
Some parts of us are unavoidable. From here on out, we can only nurture our nature. We can only be the best selves we are willing to work for. It won’t be easy. It’ll be the hardest thing we’ve ever done. But I will challenge myself bit by bit and I’ll get a little better each day. And you know what? I feel good about this one.