Friday Loves The Things That Make You Think

1. Midnight in Paris.

Now, here’s a movie I’m absolutely in love with.  I saw it for the first time this week and I had to laugh because this guy sounds just like me!  I think it’s because he’s a writer, that’s why!

He heads to Paris for the first time and just falls in love with the city.  He talks about the days of Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda.  He talks about Gertrude Stein, the muses of Picasso and the eccentricity of Salvador Dali.  This movie was like my fantasy vacation in Paris last October.

The irony of it all…I was actually in all of those places in the movie…at least the 21st century version of the old haunts of Hemingway and his peers.  That was actually what my trip was about in Paris in October…going to all of the old haunts of Hemingway.  My guide was the book “The Paris Wife.”  I had just finished reading the book before I left for Paris and I was mesmerized by everything Ernest Hemingway.  

He was eccentric, too.  But he was also insanely genius and had a way with words that made you think…WOW…this man is an absolute genius that really makes you think!

The weirdest part of the movie was when the lead character (played by Owen Wilson) exits out of the 20s and reappears in the 21st century…he’s standing right outside of a laundromat.  He does a double take.  SO DID I!

I walked past that laundromat several times on the way to my hotel wondering why tourists kept looking in there and then looking at their guidebook like, “Something’s not right.”  Ends up, that spot was an old haunt of the greats of the 20s long before it was turned into a laundromat.

The whole premise of the movie is about wanting to be somewhere else, whether it be a new city or a new time, because you feel like your life would be better if you were somewhere else. 

At first, I was a little upset at how Woody Allen was shooting down that feeling.  But then at the end, he proved that the feeling that you belong somewhere else…it’s because of some greater reason…like FATE.  In other words, you have that feeling because you were meant to be there all along.

It made me think about how I ended up in New York City.  In 2000, during the days of Sex and the City in my 20s…my roommate and I used to dream about moving to New York and living the glamourous life of Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte.  We wanted to be them.  I always wanted to be Charlotte…but I ended up being Carrie.

I still laugh about how I became a writer.  The only reason I went to NYC, it was because that was where life led me.  It was the only city in the world that was opening its doors up to me.  I kept looking at Los Angeles and this guy that was planning his life with me and all I could think about was how he had shattered me. 

He told me he chose to love someone else, yet he was following me to Los Angeles, because that’s where I was going to be.  I kept thinking…”Am I your best friend or someone you can’t live without?  Am I THE ONE?”  We had gone through a serious roller coaster ride those months leading up to moving. 

The first blow was me finding out about her…then listening to him tell me he chose to love her and I had to accept that.  He told me that if I was THE ONE, I had to prove it to him.  Funny, because I never said anything about anyone being THE ONE.  He knew I was.

I was on the brink of insanity because of all of the tugging, pulling and pushing of emotions.  Then he called me up at my office one day and said, “Why do you pretend like there’s not more there when there really is?”  I changed the subject and tried to get him to talk about something else. 

You see, that was six months after I found out about her.  I then put my plan into motion to leave.  I started sending applications to London, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Paris.  The only city that bit and bit hard was New York.

I got a job offer. I gave two weeks notice from my job.  I packed everything up and moved to New York…while everyone (but my family) thought I was moving to LA.  I was supposed to go ahead of schedule…find a place, etc.  I made them all think that’s what I was doing. 

I ended up moving to NYC.  I waited two weeks after settling in.  I sent out a mass email (included him on it), and then said, “Oops, I didn’t move to LA, I moved to NYC instead.”

Yes, everyone was shocked because they knew exactly why I did it.  I did it because I was hurt.  I wanted a better life…a life without him.  I couldn’t keep it going in LA.  He would have followed me there and still made me feel worthless, because he would have still had that other girl around.  I would have never felt good enough to be loved by him.

The funny thing is, despite all of his friends telling him to go after me, he never did.  I know why he never did.  He believes that when I’m done being mad at him, I’ll come back.  I hate that.  I also hate that he’s right.  Why?  Because he knows I’m THE ONE.  And for some insane reason…this is f*cking true:

So I know what it’s like to move somewhere…change your entire life, because you would be happier somewhere else.  I don’t regret moving to New York.  I found myself.  I found who I am.  I found a career that I love and enjoy.  I learned that I don’t like being the center of attention, I like being behind the scenes…being behind the cameras and recording what I see, feel and hear. 

I also learned how to forgive him while I was in New York. 

2. One Day.  There just might be a recurring theme this week (thank you, universe). 

While I have the book and I’ve been reading it, the movie hit the spot exactly.  You think it didn’t remind me of the story of me and that guy? 

This movie takes a glimpse into the life of Emma and Dexter every year since the moment they met on July 15th beginning in 1988 and going until 2011.  Every July 15th, it shows what their lives are like that day with and without each other.  It shows the struggles in careers, relationships, and even in friendships.  It shows the downsides of humanity, booze, drugs and losing a parent to cancer.  It shows what it’s like to be with someone you don’t even love, just because you don’t want to be alone.

It even shows the years that they were apart.  She couldn’t bear to be around him because of his substance abuse and who he had become.  She was tired of him, so she spent years away from him.

It even shows a girl moving away to Paris and comes into her own as a writer (sound familiar anyone?).  She starts to fall in love with a jazz musician in Paris when Dexter, newly divorced, comes looking for Emma and asks her to give them a chance.

She thinks he’s nuts…but she also knows he’s THE ONE.  So she takes a chance. 

We then see the Emma and Dexter years with them together.  It was meant to be between those two.  They were best friends, now married. 

But then you realize the significance of July 15th…and all of those wasted years when they were not together.  It really sits home with you that all of those years were wasted.  Those were the years they weren’t with the person they were meant to be with, because by the time they were together, it was only for just a short moment.  You can’t get back all of those years that you should have been together. 

When I was first diagnosed with cancer, I didn’t tell him.  I waited five years before I told him.  That was after that song he released and everything.  He was more upset with me that I didn’t tell him before.  It was something he would have wanted to know…even if I chose to be away.  He had seen me a few months after the three tumors were removed…and I didn’t say anything then. 

It was hard enough dealing with the other ‘life factors’ that were involved in that moment.  Throw cancer into the mix and then you pretend like the other open wound doesn’t exist.

His thing was…I had cancer before I left for New York…and I never told him.  I almost died.  The doctor said if they didn’t operate right then and there, I would die in two weeks.  That was four months after leaving. 

Broken heart…throw cancer on top of it…and you can say that was a very difficult period in my life.  I kept thinking…why would he waste his life not being with me when he’ll live with regret if he ended up losing me forever?

Even through the roughest patches, I found solace in something else.  In a strange way…hockey helped me to heal.

As this career winds down and I’m seeing the final days of this amazing ride, this movie “One Day” reminds me of my own Dexter…my best friend that broke my heart.  Emma reminds me a lot of myself…and how I felt through all of these years…including that pain of loving someone and not liking them at that point because they are so f*cked up. 

At one point someone said in the movie that Emma made Dexter decent, and in return, he made her happy.  When I heard that, I actually cried.  Em and Dex…that’s me & the rockstar.  There was a time that he quit smoking, drinking and doing drugs just because I existed.  I never told him to do it, he just did it because I didn’t do those things. 

He put me up on a pedestal and changed his entire life because I existed.  He thought of retiring from music and I gave him the encouragement to just go after the dream.  What did I want from him?  Happiness…and a life shared together.

When I stopped being happy, I stopped wanting to share our life together.

During my recovery, I always thought about how short life is.  I would get so mad at him, because I was doing this without him…if only he would have just chased me down and asked me to change my mind, I would have dropped it all.  The moments together can be the best moments of your life when you are with your best friend…and hell when you are apart.

If anything was going to push me to finally forgive him…”One Day” was the movie.  And since everything works in threes with us…I had a dream earlier in the week about him…then my brother calls me and tells me, “I think it’s time you two got back together.”  Then I see this movie…and it was US.  You think the universe is telling me to go back? 

Maybe I’ll just move to Paris instead.

3.  The New York Times.  I don’t think I’ve ever felt compelled to subscribe to the NYT until I read two amazing articles this week from their writers.

The first story was on Derek Boogaard (part two) by John Branch.  Back in December, he wrote about the former New York Ranger and his concussions that led to his addictions…and later his death.

This new tale is about Boogey’s descent into his addiction with painkillers.  This article is journalism at its best.

The second story was called “Prep School Predators.”  It’s quite amazing how times have changed in identifying pedophiles, especially the ones that are teachers.  But then again…seeing that there’s a 35% spike in reports of sexual contact between school administration and students in NYC alone at the start of 2012, it makes you think that either there are more predators, or that students are telling rather than hiding it like they did back in the 70s/80s/90s.

The stories that came out of Horace Mann are horrible tales.  Even though they took place in the 70s and on up to the early 90s, it doesn’t  stop the fact that these horrific acts that happened to these kids ended up damaging them for the rest of their lives.  One kid tried to commit suicide twice.  He succeeded on his second try.

The tales of Horace Mann are a reminder on why it is important to be diligent about reporting abuse and teaching kids what sexual abuse is.  The stories are just heartbreaking and scary.  No child should ever go through what these kids went through.

The New York Times have done an excellent job reporting these stories.  They are incredible and well written.  These are the stories that are changing the world today.  John Branch alone, has been changing the way the NHL has been doing things.  How?  Just by delivering the news to the world that THIS is happening…and it can be prevented…it could save someone else’s life.

That’s the same lesson being echoed in “Prep School Predators.” 

NYT is once again at the top of the news makers in the world.  Excellent work!

4. Porn Star TATAS.  This has got to be the most hilarious story to come out of the post-season: Taylor Stevens, porn star, distracting Peter DeBoer.  See, I don’t know what’s funnier…DeBoer making Yahoo! headlines (he was #2) because of a porn star or the “no-look pass” video. 

Equally amusing…YES!

5.  Apologies. I hate dreaming about apologies.  It means that you are too tired to fight anymore.  That you’re done being mad and that it doesn’t matter who was right and who was wrong, it just means saying “Let’s move on from this.” 

I am not the type of person that forgives easily.  Just ask my Mom.  She’ll tell you not to piss me off unless you want a lifetime ban.  Then my brother will tell you…”Pray she doesn’t hate you because if she does, God may off you, just like that.  Heart attack?  Loved one hurt?  Oh, it will all happen, because God always sides with her when she’s been hurt.”  

In a way, I think those kinds of stories (while all true) prevents a person from learning how to forgive or to just be brave enough to say, “I’m sorry.”

I dreamed last night about saying “I’m sorry” to THE ONE…because I left.  I realized that just like in the story of Dexter and Emma, you can miss out on the most troubling things in life when best friends are apart and not talking to each other.  

There’s that pain in the whole, “Where were you when I was going through this?”  There’s that pain that you weren’t able to share some of the hardships in life with someone…or at least that one person that would know how you felt and could connect with that pain, share it with you and know where to go from there.  

There’s that sorrow of needing someone to be by your side through the worst of it, and the pain that goes into knowing that you weren’t by their side when they went through that pain.  You weren’t there when they needed you the most.  They weren’t there when you needed them the most.

Saying, “I’m sorry,” is that true final stage that says that you are done with being mad.  You want to let bygones be bygones.  It’s not about who was right or who was wrong…because whatever you were fighting about…you’re willing to let go of it all…the hostilities, the pain you felt…you learn to forgive them for hurting you.  All you want is to return to the way things were when everything was good and happy.  

With that, you take with you the things that you’ve learned along the way that helped you to grow into a greater human being. Learning how to forgive the one that hurt you worse than any other human being has ever hurt you…takes courage, faith, and the belief that no matter what happens, there’s something greater in all of this…you’re taking a chance.

Carrie Underwood once sang, “Sometimes that mountain you’ve been climbing is just a grain of sand. What you’ve been out there searching for forever is in your hands.  And when you figure out love is all that matters in the end, it sure makes everything else seem so small.”

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