Monday, January 9, 2012

Young Adult

Over last weekend, Jenny, Ashlee and I went and saw Young Adult (written by Diablo Cody). I had never even seen previews for it and was unsure of what it was about. Jenny saw it once before and said we’d like it, so off we went to the movies. Overall, I thought it was really good. Not only did it make me laugh, but it also taught me some unexpected lessons.

To sum it up, Young Adult is about Mavis Gary, a divorced, 37 year old, writer of a soon-to-be-canceled young adult book series. Mavis finds out that her high school boyfriend, Buddy, and his wife, Becky, had a baby girl. She goes back to her hometown believing that she and Buddy are meant to be together and works up a plot to get him back. It is slightly painful to see her advances toward a married man who has obviously moved on. Mavis is ridiculously diluted; you can’t help but simultaneously feel embarrassed and sorry for her. I’ll leave it to you to see how it ends.

While watching I was mortified how much I could relate with her. Now, I don’t have some married, ex-boyfriend who I am plotting to get back with, but there have been a gentleman or two who have, in the past, taken up residence in my thoughts. Ladies, you know what I mean. The kind of guy who you have some sort of history with, maybe not an official relationship, but you had a thing with one time and you really liked him.

When you think of him, you remember all those special times you spent together and how much he made you smile. You remember how he stood closer than he needed to when talking to you, that hug that lasted longer than usual, and those words he spoke when you were having a bad day. Swoon. I know I’m not the only girl that has ever over thought a guys actions and relived the times spent together.

Now I don’t think there is anything wrong with remembering those times, but on occasion I think my mind takes the reminiscing further, perhaps like what happened to Mavis in Young Adult. The time Mavis and Buddy spent together was special. They were best friends and shared so many significant milestones. It’s safe to say that Mavis got a bit carried away with trying to recreate the past. While I may have imagined how great it would be if things would have worked out with (insert name here), I have never gone so far as to attempt to break up a marriage.

I think a friend of mine stated the issue perfectly on her facebook status, “It is a proven fact that your mind alters your memories each time you revisit them. Just think about that next time that the memory of an ex boyfriend makes you miss what you once had. Your mind could be making him greater than the douche bag really is.” When I first read this, after I finished laughing I realized how much truth there is in that statement. Okay, so he might not be a douche bag, but there is a reason Buddy and Mavis, he and I, you and he are no longer together. The relationship was not completely perfect, but that is how it typically gets remembered. It didn’t work out. That’s okay. Does that magically heal a broken heart? No. But I believe in time we can see broken/failed relationships as stepping stones or lessons learned and we can become better because of them. I can remember those good times fondly, but I don't have to dwell on them.

I think girls are fed lies, like, “If you just realize what I just realized then we’d be perfect for each other.” (Sorry Colbie Caillat.) Ladies, it’s not our job to make him realize that we’re perfect for each other. If it’s meant to be, it will happen. In the mean time let’s stop wasting brain time re-living past relationships and hoping for a new ending. At least that’s what I need to do. Watching Young Adult convicted me that I spend way too much time and energy imagining the perfect happily ever after with a hypothetical man who will never feel for me what I felt for him. What is silly is that 98% of the time I completely enjoy this period of my life and feel totally content being single. It’s those little lies that get into my head and cause me to doubt. Seeing this movie gave me so much perspective on my “thought life.” I feel renewed; like I have a clean slate.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Are you single, dating, married? Have you experienced these feelings?

P.S. Have you read this article, You Never Marry the Right Person, from Relevant Magazine?

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