I just finished watching the movie Lars and the Real Girl.
Cinema speaks to me in a way no other medium does. Movies draw me in to their stories and out of my own head, like a small, much needed vacation. A break from my own reality. A sabbatical. And often times movies, like books, change me. They expand my horizons, grant me forays into another perspective, and sometimes–on very rare occasions–they teach me something about myself.
I feel like i can relate to the character Lars. Like me, he’s lonely. He’s broken. But as much as I feel compassion for him, I also envy him in a small way, because he can afford to lose himself in his delusion. He has the luxury of going a little crazy. And when he does fall into that rabbit hole, he is so very well supported and loved by his community.
I don’t think I have that luxury. I feel like I have to always be strong, in control, and competent. I don’t feel like I have the option to be weak. I’m not allowed to be needy. But I am. Oh how needy I am! I need companionship. I need love. I need to feel like I have worth, like I’m important, like I matter.
I wonder what would happen if I just let go of it all. …if I let myself fall into my own rabbit hole of mental/emotional illness… Would people surround me in kindness as they did with Lars? Would I ever find my way out?
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about happiness lately. Mostly, probably, because I’ve been so unhappy for so many years. In the American culture, despite the adage that money can’t buy happiness, we seem to believe that it can. It seems to me, however, that the more money I personally have, the less happy I become. …or maybe there are other forces at work here…
I’ve dedicated 2013 as the year I learn to be happy. I’ve done some light research on it (and by that I mean I’ve looked at what other people have found out). Specifically, I read a book called The Happiness Project not long ago, and then tonight J and I watched a documentary called Happy.
I think the bottom line is that I need to consider making some major changes to the way I do life. I want to get off the money train and focus on the things that matter. Relationship. Compassion. Generosity. Altruism. (Yes, I know. There is a lot of overlap here.)
Such changes are much easier said than done, though. For example, I’ve been trying to be more social lately, but it’s slow going. I have a kind of social anxiety that makes it exceedingly hard for me to be around people I don’t know very well, and if someone shows an apparent hesitation to hang out with me, I easily lose heart and give up. A pox upon the Seattle Freeze! (Maybe I should just move somewhere else. Oh yeah, I have a mortgage. Never mind.)
So, the pursuit continues.
If anyone out there has any brilliant ideas on how to be happy, I welcome your thoughts.