The best thing about late summer is that feeling. That feeling you get when you’re about to skinny dip into a lake. That feeling when you’re just tipsy enough to dance like no one is watching (and not fall over). That feeling of watching a fire burn down to just embers. Like your life is destined for a romance like the stuff of young adult novels, all starry-eyed and lovelorn. And your only goal is to continue living free.
[ image via tumblr ]
Self-image is a weird concept. It suggests that we have an idea of our identity that was/is self-created or self-manifested. What always confounds me about this is how greatly our self-image is actually propagated and influenced by those who surround us. Whether it is loved ones or strangers, it’s often in their eyes that we see our reflections in. Of course as soon as I say that I am also reminded how often I actually don’t see myself the way others do. I almost always see myself lesser than how others see me – uglier, more judgmental, not as talented, and so on.
So while I stand behind the idea of ignoring what other people think, I find that I personally need to do the opposite and listen to what other people think. As I’m navigating through my quarter-life crisis, I am constantly facing the fact that the only person doubting my abilities and holding me back is myself.
Like with any other personality fault, this is not something I can easily overcome. I’m 100% sure that it is equal parts nature and nurture that bring me to this crucial point in my life.
Every few weeks I tend to experience an identity crisis. I have the awful plague of being a creative and ambitious individual which means nothing is ever good enough, including myself. In order to pull myself out of this hopeless hole, I have to do something that will lead me back to remembering who I really am. Sometimes it’s rambling on to my boyfriend about how I’m too far behind to do anything worthwhile in my life, to which he usually responds with reassuring words about how everyone loves everything I do. Other times it’s chatting with best friends who usually tell me how much they admire my strength and courage.
Today it happens to be that I’m reminded of who I am by my birth date. Everyone loves reading descriptions of themselves and their potential futures, in hopes that their own self-image and desired goals will be confirmed as what destiny had intended for them. While I do believe that we are in control of our own lives, I also think you can’t get anywhere without knowing thyself.
Amidst summer movie madness pushing films like Iron Man 3, Great Gatsby, and The Hangover 3 (none of which I’ve seen), a movie like MUD reminds me of why I love movies in the first place. It was a poignant cinematic composition that was equal parts romance, suspense, and humanity. I usually only expect one of the following to satisfy my movie-going experience: mesmerizing cinematography, universally relatable themes, or incredibly convincing performances. Luckily for me, Mud has all three of these intertwined in an unassuming tale of Southern heroes and their desperate aspiration for greatness (or perhaps just peace).
It’s extremely uncommon that my entire family and my boyfriend and I all enjoy the same movie, but this was one of those times. I feel like I have so much to say/feel about it that it’s difficult for me to even figure out a structure to this blog post. So for my own sanity, I’m gonna break it down to these three elements. [Potential spoiler alert.]