Laughing Through Salt Water Mouthfuls

Have you ever seen Tim Allen’s 1999 epic space masterpiece Galaxy Quest? If you haven’t, you should. It’s one of those movies that still makes me laugh, no matter how many times I watch it. It’s also one of the many movies that my sister’s and I can quote in its entirety. So what is this film about, and why am I even writing about it?

Simply put, Galaxy Quest is a space parody which follows a group of average TV actors who find themselves in a ludicrous situation wherein “real life” aliens, who have watched their TV show and are unaware of its fiction, have enlisted the help of the TV actors in saving their alien race. Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Allan Rickman, and even Sam Rockwell make the absurd parody endearing and memorable. Tim Allen’s TV character, Captain Peter Quincy Taggart, for example, is known for his signature catch phrase: “Never give up. Never surrender.”

As I sat down to write today, and decided to write a piece about change, I was reminded of Tim Allen, striking a heroic pose in a somewhat tacky space suit and boldly intoning the words “Never give up. Never surrender.” Years ago, those words and the thought of change actually made me angry. Stubborn, miserable, bitter, stiff, cold, and determined. Yet somehow, I changed…

Like every other human being on this planet, I’ve been hurt countless times and been forced to change. Earlier on, my reaction to being hurt and being asked to change was to become hardened. To become “stronger.” To find a way to protect myself from being crushed, taken advantage of, and wronged. The result of all of my good hearted attempts to protect myself? I became overly controlling and slightly manipulative.

Have you ever found yourself in that place? Where you are so determined to see things happen a certain way that you sabotage yourself, and end up hurting others, all in the process of trying to care for your own needs?

I hurt a lot of people with my controlling behaviour. I kept them from being who they are and who they were made to be. I became negative and cynical and unhappy. And I didn’t even know it.

One day, the life that I had been orchestrating for myself and desperately clinging on to for years fell apart. Someone kicked me in the back of the knees and I fell down hard.

Somehow, in the coming months, I found joy in changing myself. In letting go of the destructive patterns of behaviour which had defined me for so long, I discovered what it means to live for something greater than myself and greater than my desires. Each time my plans fell apart, I was able to see it as an opportunity to change something within myself that hadn’t been working.

I fell down every day. And yes, it was freaking hard – but I learned to properly roll with the punches.

Today, the thought of change excites me, makes me smile in anticipation and gives me a hint of goosebumps. No boyfriend, more time for me to find myself. No career job, more time to discover what I’m meant to do. No stable living situation, more time to stretch myself and accept the things that I cannot change.

Life is a blur of change, and I finally feel like I’m in on the action, at the bow of a great big ship, laughing and leaning forward as I get sloshed in the face with cold, salty waves.

Leo Tolstoy, the one and only, spoke of change by stating that “each person’s task in life is to become an increasingly better person.” So let’s embrace each moment of change, shall we? Let’s release our fear and our desperation to hold on, and lean into the waves. Let’s embark upon a quest for the galaxy with a fake crew of actors. Who’s with me?

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5 responses

  1. I have visions of Titanic now–arms out wide and embracing the freedom.

    I love this: “Life is a blur of change, and I finally feel like I’m in on the action, at the bow of a great big ship, laughing and leaning forward as I get sloshed in the face with cold, salty waves.”

    Yes!

  2. Boy, can I ever relate! Control, manipulation, surrender… “No boyfriend, more time for me to find myself. No career job, more time to discover what I’m meant to do. No stable living situation, more time to stretch myself and accept the things that I cannot change.” I love how you see the upswing… I think the greatest (i.e. hardest, yet foundational) change is changing perspective.

  3. “Let’s embark upon a quest for the galaxy with a fake crew of actors.” Who can resist an invitation like that?! That’s my kind of adventure.

    I used to be much more resistant to change. I’m learning to flow more, to ride the current and see where it takes me, although I still can’t resist using my paddle to steer every once in a while.

  4. Oh hunny…this post makes me so happy.

    I’m standing right next to you getting sloshed in the face with muddy water. Except my eyes are closed because of my contact lenses, and gosh, it burrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrns.

    But that’s a good thing right?

    Burning must mean I’m alive.

    xoxo,
    Teenie-pot

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