While discussing her directorial debut with the L.A. Times, Greta Gerwig said this:
“I think it’s true (of a lot of teenagers) that you’re convinced that life is happening somewhere else. In the film, New York is a mythical goal in a way. New York is like the green light in “The Great Gatsby.”
It’s the thing on the other shore that, you’ll get there and you’ll realize, “Oh, it didn’t instantly imbue me with the sense of meaning that I thought it would.” But I think that’s just everybody’s journey in life.
I certainly had that feeling of, where is the real thing happening? And then you realize, no, the real thing happened to you.”
Besides being a gifted actress and director, Ms. Gerwig is also very insightful. Her comments reminded me of that feeling I often feel deep, down in my gut. It's that feeling that Real Life is happening elsewhere and that my life isn't Real.
Is the Real Thing happening someplace else?
Or is the Real Thing whatever's happening to me right now?
Take my commute to work. It's, like, three right turns and one left turn. I pass by fifty houses, two gas stations, and a pond - it's really, really boring. But someday will I remember that drive and sort of miss it? And will those houses and those gas stations someday feel weirdly meaningful to me? Maybe all of this - the boring and the mundane, the things I pass over in my ind - maybe this is Real Life?
You know the adage about how someday you'll back on your life and reminisce about the good, old days? At the ripe age of twenty-six, I've began to wonder if these are those days. Maybe all of our days are those days. You understand?
I want to someday live in New York City or Chicago, and I suppose one reason is that I think life is happening in those places more than it's happening here. But maybe life happens the same way in the same places. Maybe it's not happening more here or there....maybe it's all about how much you choose to interact with life? Less geography and more head space.
Is that true? Is that dumb? Is this post too obtuse? Ha! I don't know, but I do know that I enjoy keeping a record of my thoughts. To close, this all reminds me of that quote about life being what happens to you while you're busy making other plans (or waiting for a table).
photo by Liz Brown