It’s the night of the premier. You sit down all excited to see the movie. There’s been a lot of anticipation, blogs & social media have been raving for months.
The opening scene blows your mind. This is going to be awesome!
A couple of hours later you exit the theatre and go: “That… That movie was… Wow… It was complete garbage, wasn’t it? What the hell was all the fuss about?”
Sometimes it’s about marketing products. The purpose is to grab people’s attention and promise them that this “totes awesomest thing ever” will change their lives for the better.
“Oh, like you haven’t ordered anything after watching a late night infomercial. Judge much?”, he said, glancing at the Ab Sonic gathering dust.
Well, the same is true when it comes to team human too. We’re really quick to put people into categories based on their appearances, their accomplishments and reputation.
It’s something we probably need to do in order to not appear as completely maladapted social beings. “But I look through the superficial qualities and into their soul!”, “Sure you do, jackass! I’m sure that’s why you were eye-humping that hottie just now”, argue the little voices in your head.
And that’s alright. While we can semi-control our own behavior, we can’t control that in other people. This is when we get scared. The doubts start creeping up on us.
“What if I can’t live up to their expectations?”
“What if they don’t like me?”
“What if I’m not rich enough, pretty enough or good enough?”
“What if I crap my pants? No, I’m being serious. What if I, like, literally crap my pants? Should I wear brown pants just in case? Oh, so stupid. Brown will clash horribly with my scarf. Then they’ll judge me for that too!”
Last week I watched a couple of movies that touched on this subject:
“Can’t Buy Me Love” (1987, starring “McDreamy” from “Grey’s Anatomy“)
A geeky kid is sick of being a nerd. He watches the cool kids and wants to be part of that clique. He gets his opportunity and hires the most popular girl in school to be his friend for a month.
To no surprise at all he succeeds. Along the way the girl falls for him (naw!) but the popularity turns him into an asshole.
There’s a scene where she finally explains that maintaining popularity is damn hard work. That’s really the take home message.
Despite all the hype we need to work to keep up the pulic’s perception of us. And that shit’s exhausting as hell.
“Crazy, Stupid, Love.” (2011)
A middle aged man (Steve Carrell) going through a divorce finds a mentor in how to pick up women (Ryan Gosling).
Again, it’s all about how to present yourself to people. Learning what sides of yourself to show.
It’s also a great movie about how things tend to wither when we don’t pay any attention to them.
We might wish for things to be different but we need to put in the effort. Sure, some things, companies or people don’t want to change.
Either way, if we keep doing what we’ve always done we’ll get what we’ve always gotten.
“The Notebook” (2004 – Yes, I know. Now shut up. It’s a fucking great movie.)
We follow two star-crossed lovers and oh, my god how I will not attempt to explain this movie.
Anyway, the highlight here was when Rachel McAdams explains that whatever she chooses someone gets hurt and Ryan Gosling says:
“Would you stop thinking about what everyone wants?
Stop thinking about what I want, what he wants, what your parents want.
What do you want?”
It really is as simple as that.
For some pretending to be someone else is a safe bet. Atleast we know what that means. Being ourselves? Scary shit. Plus, if we’re rejected for a role we’re playing? No harm, no foul.
We need to ask ourselves: “Is this really what I want to spend my time doing? Being someone else, just to please someone else?”.
What seems like ages ago now I was in a band. Every time I’d get on the stage I’d say to myself: “Ok, it’s showtime! Do NOT fuck this up!”
Constructive? Not so much. Got me psyched? Hell yeah!
It was my way of handling all these awful imaginary things like people seeing that ain’t as cool as I thought, that they thought, that I should be. “Dude, you’re overanalyzing”, I guess I was.
A shift came for me when the band I was in got to play backup for a budding artist. She had a good voice & the looks of a star.
I wouldn’t have thought she’d be nervous about it, but when it came close to going on stage the singer in our band told me she was in the dressing room crying.
Don’t really recall the details but somehow she composed herself and got on stage and it actually went alright.
I mean, objectively we sucked. Mainly because the band hadn’t put in enough practice. But it was alright.
Here’s the thing. I felt like I had legitimate concerns about being on a stage. “Beware the perils of social embarassment!”
I was quick to judge another person. It didn’t occur to me that they might have moments of vulnerability.
So, you know, fuck it.
If we’re going to fail we might as well do it spectacularly. By being ourselves and going out in a blaze of glory! “For Sparta! Guys? Where are you going? Guys?”
I’m glad she mustered up the courage to be seen, heard & judged. It takes guts to put yourself out there. So many of us choose the opposite.
I want you to know that I still get scared sometimes that I won’t measure up.
That’s what happens when we build up expectations for ourselves. When we build up expectations for others. But I don’t think any of us can live up to the hype.
It’s a great way to get attention, but it isn’t going to last unless we say: “Hey, I might not be perfect. But it’s the best I can do right now. It’ll be a journey, you wanna tag along?”
Well, then what?
You do you, each and every single day.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments and hit me up on Twitter.
Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!