One of my favorite t-shirts features this word above a mascot of my favorite band: INSPIRATION. Every once in a while you a struck by it, and in the strangest of places. So here I am, inspired to write. It is not often that you go somewhere as inane as to the movie theater and expect to come out transformed in some way. The film that affected me so was the latest release from Walt Disney Pictures, The Odd Life of Timothy Green.
Going in to the movie, I knew very loosely the premise was centered around family and a couple that couldn’t have children. I won’t delve too much in to the plot of the movie, but it should not come as a surprise to anyone that this is about a void, fulfillment, loss and being a Disney movie, has a happy ending. Part of what struck a chord with anyone who is a parent, or anyone who wants to be one, is the sense of not living to your full potential. This can be in your personal life in not being married or having children, your professional life in not doing what you are destined to do, or in many other facets.
What this film showed me is that although you aren’t quite there yet, maybe you aren’t ready to be. Maybe you need to experience a few more bumps and bruises along the way. You may be feeling like you are pushed beneath the surface, only to later, when you are more prepared, to triumphantly and brilliantly succeed by breaking through. I don’t know, maybe it is just a film that was meant to tell a story and to entertain, but I think this time it was meant to affect each and every one of us that emerged from that theater.
I came out those doors, still drying tears from my face, trying to decide what to do and where to go next in a larger sense. It was one of those moments where I found myself thinking and feeling throughout the whole film. Sure, the subject matter may have resonated with me a little more than others due to some personal ties, but I don’t believe there was anyone who walked out just thinking this was any other afternoon matinee.
To take away nothing from this movie would be an injustice to the story. It inspires you to do your absolute best. Maybe you don’t have a clue what the hell you are doing. You may be thrust into a situation that you couldn’t have even imagined just moments before when you were at one of your deepest and darkest places of sadness and regret. But maybe, just maybe, you come through on the other side molded into a better person than you ever hoped you could have been.
Many have said being a parent is the most important job in the world, and I agree. You shape and mold this little person into who they will one day be. You have ideals and dreams that you want to share with them, but you always want better for them than you ever had for yourself. Becoming a parent means always putting someone else first, and this isn’t a bad thing. I am fortunate to have some amazing friends who are some of the most incredible parents. Some have children of their own and some don’t. Some of us, for one reason or another, are given the privilege of having kids in our lives that look up to us as additional parents, aunts, uncles, foster parents or just role models.
Not only should we all strive to do our best, but we should try to help others do so as well. Try and forget the petty stuff that can bring you down. Look at life through the eyes of a child. Embrace humor, music, sports, art, whatever, as long as it inspires you. Do something that you are passionate about. Seek out the good in people, and don’t be afraid or intimidated. Stand up for what you know is right. Love unconditionally. Communicate. Do good for others whenever you can. Sometimes even children can mold their parents into who they need to be by inspiring them to believe in themselves as much as the child believes in them.
For anyone who hasn’t yet, I implore you to go see this movie. I didn’t find it to be treacly or condescending in its messages. There is a happy ending, I promise you, but you have to get through the rest to get there. If we could all live our lives more like Timothy Green, I think the world would be a better place for it. Also, bring a box of tissues. You’ve been warned.