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“You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need.” ~ Vernon Howard
Billie: “I’m happy. I got everything I want. Two mink coats. Everything. If there’s somethin’ I want, I ask.”
Paul: “That’s good as long as you know what you want.”
Billie: “What? Are you trying to mix me up?” ~ Conversation from the movie, Born Yesterday (1950)
This week Barry and I watched two movies with similar themes; sometimes when we get what we think we want, something is missing. And what are the things that are most precious to you that you wouldn’t want to lose? The two movies were, Leap Year (2010) with Amy Adams, Matthew Goode, and Adam Scott. The other was Born Yesterday (1950) with Judy Holliday, William Holden, and Broderick Crawford. They are both romantic comedies with serious themes. The main characters in both are the women, who think they are living the life of their dreams, but as the stories go along, they discover that what they thought they wanted isn’t at all fulfilling. They are just kind of existing.
For Anna, Amy Adams character, she thought she wanted to live in the most posh apartment building in Boston with a husband who’s a doctor. But just as it looks like she’s going to get that, her life begins to fall apart. In this case, it’s good because she’s made her dreams come true with military precision not questioning whether or not she would be happy. At one point in the movie, Declan, played by Matthew Goode, her guide to Dublin so she can meet up with her boyfriend, asks her a question that shakes her world. “If your house was on fire and you had only thirty seconds to grab the most valuable thing, what would it be?” When Anna can’t answer that question, she realizes that maybe she hasn’t stopped to examine what she really wants out of life.
When Declan asked Anna that question, my first thought was our photos. In my case, photos represent valuable relationships. The sad thing for Anna is that she realizes she has very few meaningful relationships, not even with her boyfriend. She built a sham life. One that looks good from the outside but is not in any way emotionally fulfilling. In the end she has to make a choice between what she thought she wanted and the more exciting life that has emerged in front of her.
Judy Holliday’s character in Born Yesterday discovers the same thing, which the above quoted conversation indicates. Billie is the mistress of a shady business man, played by Broderick Crawford, who has gone to Washington D. C. to “buy” a congressman who will introduce a bill that will benefit his business holdings. He hires a journalist played by William Holden to educate Billie so that she’ll fit in with the Washington crowd, all the time completely ignorant of the fact that he too could benefit from an education.
After watching that movie, I thought it was time to take a look at my life. Am I happy and fulfilled? Do I have valuable relationships? Fortunately the answer is a resounding, “Yes”. But there was a time when I thought I had the perfect job, which was then yanked out from under me. I thought my life was ruined, but sometimes The Universe helps us find something better that we couldn’t even imagine existed. That’s what happened to me. It took a long time, but I am finally completely happy with my life and all of the creative things I’m doing.
All I know is that it’s good to take a step back every once in a while to see if our lives are the ones we truly want to be living. If not, maybe adjustments need to be made. And as I learned, if we ignore the warning signs, we are forced to decide what is most important to us.
Those are my short thoughts for today. Have a wonderful weekend.
Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2023
The Space Between Time
Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards.
Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, after the last few years, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.
The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published.
Lucinda is also the host of Story-Power a podcast where she and her guests discuss their creative endeavors, and/or the stories that have changed their lives. It’s available here on Sage Woman Chronicles and on Apple, Google, and Spotify podcast apps. Please rate and leave a review. It helps people find me.
I’m so passionate about stories that I created the Story-Power podcast and Patreon communities so I’d have an excuse to talk story with other story lovers. If you’re passionate about stories too, and want to talk about what you’ve learned from your favorites, come join me at patreon.com/StoryPower.
If you are a podcaster, or have a message or fantastic product you want to share with the world, I encourage you to check out PodMatch. Use the affiliate link and tell them, Lucinda sent you. Then contact me so we can set up a Story-Power chat.