06 March 2013

happy endings

I haven't seen many movies. In fact, if you name five, I've probably seen one. And by one, I mean half of one.
The issue is that I have a hard time making it through to the end. I get anxious that something bad might happen to the main character. I get distracted. I ask questions trying to figure out what is going to happen next, because I really need to know what is going to happen next.
But, when I actually make myself sit still and watch an entire movie, I'm always pleasantly surprised by how much I like it. It leads me to say things like, "Pitch Perfect is my new favorite movie!" Or, not too long before that, "A Series of Unfortunate Events is the Best Movie I have ever seen!" (Said no one, ever. Except me. For real.)
Notice these aren't Academy Award winners, my friends. It's just that those are two (excellent) movies that I made the choice to sit back and watch. To trust the plan and make it through to the end - even if things got a little rocky there in the middle.
And I think that my approach to movies might be how we approach life sometimes. We get anxious that something bad might happen. We get distracted. We ask questions trying to figure out what will happen next, because we really need to know what will happen next.
But we don't get to know what will happen next.
I read once that the formula to determine happiness is expections/outcome. What we expect will happen, divided by what actually happens = how happy we end up.
But what if, instead of focusing only on the happy ending, we learned to love the process? To love the mess in the middle, when the main character loses her way and her mind and has to be broken down to figure out who she is? What if we decided not to rush through to the end, because the middle is where we learn the most?
Right now, my siblings and I are all undergoing some major life changes. Between a baby on the way, buying a new house, switching jobs, job searching and waiting to hear from graduate degree programs, we're deep in the middle of the movie. There was a point a few months ago where we actually had no idea where Court, Ash, Duke or Sam would be living come June. Not one of them! That's a whole lot of process unraveling. Five whole people waiting for the next phase - the next scene.
And even though it's so exciting to see the next phase begin to unravel and become our realities, I think there's something so important about learning to find happiness in the waiting and growing in our wanting.
Because as exciting as the next phase is going to be, there's always something more we can want. There will always be goals to set and ways to improve.
So while we're busying ourselves around town buying up houses and starting new programs, it's the perfect opportunity to learn from this chaos, celebrate when we can, and trust that the main character always gets her happy ending.
I just know it.


  1. I agree!! We sometimes get so caught up in the expectations of the ending (of movies or of life situations) that we do not enjoy the journey there. Wonderful post Whitney :)

  2. absolutely perfect. let's love the mess in the middle AND the happy outcome :)

  3. You are so wise. Please just be my life counselor.

    :) great post as always, Whitney!

  4. Perfect!

    I'm dying to see Pitch Perfect. I heard it was amazing!

  5. I loveeee this post so so much! I've never thought of life compared to movies like this - it's so very true. I need to keep that happiness formula in mind whenever things don't go my way. Being in my mid-twenties and going through several hurdles, I've had to accept that life is learning and to try and embrace every minute, good or bad.


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