Last night was a great night – I went to the movies! Now I know for some people that’s no big deal, but for me it was and I’ll tell you why. I honestly can’t remember the last time I went to the movies. Could I blame it on Redbox, Netflix or even On-Demand? Yes, I could. I could even blame it on ticket prices and the lung you have to donate for a drink, popcorn and maybe some candy, but that would not be “my truth.” I have to blame it on my life. Everyone’s life is hectic, a bit taxing, wonderful, and at times downright gut wrenching. We all are absorbed in the good, bad, and ugly parts of our life, so for me, going to the movies is a luxury. My days are spent raising my three boys, planning the rest of my life out, and finding happiness (true happiness). This is not the kind that lasts a New York minute, but the kind that has you wrapped in a warm blanket of love and comfort – sheer bliss (and you never want to leave)!
So I went to see the Wolf of Wall Street and it was awesome; I loved the cast, the backdrop, the story line, the life lessons! It reminded me of the insane life that some people lead and like watching a car crash, this movie had me drawn, hook, line and sinker. For me it bought back memories of my Jersey girl and New York ways. It reminded me of running the streets of Manhattan, passing the mighty bull on Wall Street, running in heels (one thing some girls really need to learn), and the excitement of East Coast blood running through your veins. If my explanation or conversation does not convey the true feeling for you, then I must say pack a bag and head east!
So I always wonder, what’s your takeaway when you leave a movie? What did you get out of it? Was there a life lesson amongst all the naked women and alcohol/drugs flowing like Niagara Falls? I guess it depends on how you look at it. I can almost always find life lessons every day in almost everything I do. Why, it’s the way I look at life and people (something I can’t help-blame it on my brain). Every single person you pass has a “story,” some of which are great and filled with happy endings that are great additions to our memory bank. Everyone also has stories with tragic, life altering events that have shaped and molded our existence here on earth, how we view others, and what we are looking for in life. So when I’m with a friend and hear a story, I’m filled with questions! I like to know why, what, when and how because by nature I’m an inquisitive and curious creature. I absolutely love hearing other people’s stories. You learn a lot about a person when you listen, see their facial expressions, and feel the happiness or heartbreak that flows out of their mouth. It’s like being at the movies, but not donating that lung. I think the problem with people is they hear half a story, don’t ask questions, form an opinion, and with blinders on walk away. I think it’s a loss for both people, because if they had the courage to ask why, what, when and how they would fulfill their curiosity, satisfy a need to know, and understand where the other person was coming from. With all of that another wall comes down. Yes, to be fair sometimes life does not allow us the time to dive into the darkness of the ocean and we sometimes have to skim the surface due to time knocking on our door, but if you’re sharing a malt at Rubies, why not; ask away and grow closer to that person. What you see isn’t always what you get. That’s what my parents used to say to me. I hear my mom, “Joey, life is about people, take the time and learn.” I was raised never to judge others. That’s God’s job and that position was never extended to any of us (well, for some they think it was). So, when I see someone act a certain way, I remind myself to shut my mouth (which is hard for a Jersey girl) and give them some mental room to navigate through the moment.
One of my favorite movies is City of Angels with Nicolas Cage. The beginning is a bit emotional for me when the little girl dies and Nicolas Cage is waiting to escort her to heaven or the ever after (whatever you choose to call it). So here comes my favorite part of the whole movie. Nicolas Cage is walking with the little girl down the hospital corridor while behind her is her mother, completely hysterical, out of control sobbing because her daughter just died, and Nicolas Cage (Seth) looks at the little girl and asks her, “what did you like best” (out of life that is) and she replies, “pajamas…flannel, with feet.”
The other day, I shared a conversation with a friend that I had with my Mom a couple years ago before she passed away. She called me on the phone and said, “Joey” (yes, my mom called me that) “if you could explain life what would you say?” She also said that she asked my other five siblings and she was not revealing their answers (it was something she was taking with her). I thought about it for a moment and said, “okay I’m ready.” I told her that I would say that life is a one-way ticket into an amusement park. It’s filled with fun, laughter, surprises, anxiety, new opportunities and yes, sadness at times. She was silent for a moment, and said, “wow, the best answer yet!” As I hung up the phone, I thought about my answer and to this day I would still answer it the same way, however I have one more addition to make.
I’m walking down the corridor with Nicolas Cage and he leans over and asks me what did you like best? My answer would be – people.