Life could use a healthy dose of 1980′s romantic comedy. You know, a good “pretty cry” scene, a break-up chase in the rain and a finale with a monologue so emotionally riveting that it stops someone dead in their tracks. Who knows, maybe even a laughing-for-no-reason ride into the sunset where a perfectly good hat gets tossed into the air. Perhaps it’s the universality of hipsterism (thanks Forever) or a cultural reaction to technology, but we could all use a little more time outside the coolness zone. Everything about us is summed up in our Hipstamatic photo galleries and broadcast to everyone we’ve ever met so it’s hard to let go of what other people think. Amazingly, it’s okay to be yourself to the Nth degree on a subway in New York, but for some reason it’s considered totally weird anywhere else. I, for one, celebrate large jewelry-encrusted acrylic nails, throw-back hair-dos, PDA, and more dudes winning your heart with nothing but an over-sized boom-box. ‘Cause even if a girl doesn’t love you, she sure as hell love that someone felt that way about her. In fact, she’ll probably retell it fondly for the rest of her life.
There was something pure and innocent about the ideology of the ’80s romantic comedy. The characters was pure of heart and the stories elevated the will of humanity. There were dorks, preppies, jocks, stoners and popular girls, but the underdogs were always the bravest; maybe even more so than Harry Potter. Even a popular lead would have their eyes set on a seemingly impossible dream. By the time the music crescendoed and the end monologue was delivered, an intoxicating level of romance was built up almost inducing an adrenaline rush.
Now every movie character is super-powered, ripped, and also happens to be a vampire. It’s the perfect people with blonde hair vs. the perfect people with black hair, and everyone already knows how to do everything awesomely. The never-losing-your-cool attitude only works if there’s a whole population of people that are diverse and extroverted, and you’re the mysterious drifter from another town. The truth ain’t so bad. I’d like to see more of the dorks pursuing the popular girl with a secret heart of gold. The people that don’t know how to dance, dancing. The tone-deaf singing Whitney Houston at karaoke. We should all have a monologue about loving someone since you were 5 years old.
Aside from all the romance, there’s a great reason for letting go and running towards your dream heart-first. Trying for something with all your might and letting go of the outcome is a wonderful feeling. It gives you permission to forgive yourself when things don’t come out the way you wanted them to. One of my favorite sayings is “If I got to decide my life, I’d always get short-handed.” Because sometimes that thing you want is not what’s best for you and something much better is in store, you just had to learn a little lesson first.
A curse of the over-achiever, self-blame is a painful habit and nothing more than a waste of valuable energy. If you blame yourself for not getting a job, not being loved by peers, not winning a game or not winning a guy, let go of it. It’s got nothing to do with you or your worth. It only has to do with it not being right. If you try your hardest, that’s all you can ever do, and if they don’t get you, then they are not worth you. What is most valuable is the honesty of your intentions, and if you know that, that’s all you ever need to love yourself. If you continue to try your hardest with all your heart, you’ll find a worthy recipient for you and your values. It’s just the way life works. (This does not pertain to anything that would cause injury to another person, or is illegal in any way, just FYI.)
What do you want for yourself? Write it down or cut out a picture of it and post it on a wall. Or, do what I did and make a “vision board” -a collage of symbolic images and phrases cut out from all over the place, affixed to a board (So crafty, I know). Keep your eye on it whatever it is, remind yourself of it often, and slowly you will begin to take action. Action is the most important part, because if you never put it out there, you’re never really in the game. For every time you feel like you failed, take comfort in knowing that your intentions were true and good and let it go. You might be surprised at how often you are rewarded for your bravery. It brings about an accessibility that is welcoming and attractive to people. You become more able to see beauty around you and more comes back to you in return: more experience, more friends, more knowledge that you might have previously assumed you already had.
Openness is like anti-aging, life-enhancing elixir. It allows for changes in perspective that most people are incapable of achieving. Like a hardened muscle or a sprain that never heals right, so many people hold onto an impression or a fear and solidify it into a thick window that obscures their view. With fresh perspective and the ability to be open to new insights and experiences you will retain a peace that only comes from understanding. To surrender to the current and to let go of fault, blame and remorse, what you are left with is self-love and limitless potential.
In my 80′s movie scene that I enacted as a five-year-old, I was the princess from The Never Ending Story, and I was in my crumbing kingdom calling out to the horse (not the little boy) to come save me. The music would get louder, and the wind would blow, (I would be standing in the top of a tree). As soon as I was given a name (movie plot point), I would have the best galloping horseback ride ever across the universe of my backyard. It was epic.
As always please share any stories of your experiences. I am committed to going for it more in my life and so far it’s been amazing and truly rewarding. I hope you find it is too! xox, Sarah