American Beauty and not wishing your life away
Last night I was thinking about the movie American Beauty. Not so much because I think it’s the most awesomely movie ever made, but more so because it had a profound impact on my life. It was about 10 years ago and I was working in my first big important job after college as an archivist. It sucked big time. Not the work itself, but for my boss. She was a shrew who would throw Mommie Dearest tantrums if the patron pencils weren’t sharpened to a deadly point. I am not usually a crier and she made me cry. I also remember a few nights that I went home and drank until I was numb…not a good road to go down. I was miserable. Then I saw American Beauty, and I so identified with Lester Burnham that it scared me. I didn’t want to wake up one day at 40 and regret my life—I didn’t want to wake up any day and regret my life. This is the only game we get, there is no going back to GO and there is certainly no one throwing $200 at us either, so I became empowered and decided to take control. After a 2 week vacation, I marched into the shrew’s office and told her how difficult I found her to work with and that I wanted to change our working dynamic…not such a great idea. She said some really nasty things to me and it was then that I decided to leave. I couldn’t spend another minute working for someone who was so unhappy and whose main goal in life seemed to demean, belittle and tear down the people around her.
I gave my 2 weeks notice and I was out of there…with no job waiting for me either. Yea, I didn’t wait to find another job. I had been looking, but to no avail. Luckily, Mr. Indie Fixx had a job and was totally supportive of my decision. Now, we were poor, but I grew up poor, so I had that down. We had enough to pay the mortgage & for necessities, but we just had to live frugally and be creative with our entertainment (hello, library). Not such a bad thing at all and I had my life back. I was determined to never wish my life away again, like I had almost every day at that job, but resolved to deal with the bad shit and/or move on if that didn’t work. Life is to precious to waste.
Now, American Beauty (remember this was about the movie) is certainly not the only movie to have such a profound impact on me, but it certainly has been the only one so far that was so life-changing. But, there are plenty of movies that stick with me and I know you know what I mean. There are those movies that you find yourself identifying with in some way and that pop up in your thoughts often.
So, share with me. What movies have had an affect on your life or that you have identified with in some way?
Here’s some more movies that have stuck with me.
Life Aquatic – You Wanna Talk Jive
Ghost World – Danny Brito
Breakfast Club – Dial M for Michele
Ok, not a movie, but just some Favorite Directors – Retrowhale
The Big Lebowski - Retrowhale
Star Wars – Elloh
Easy Rider – Doc Martin Studio
To Kill a Mockingbird – Elloh
Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Nicole Wong Illustration
Edward Scissorhands – Burnt Feather
Donnie Darko – Jkoob13
and practically everything in Claudia Varosio’s shop, including: