In the last scene of the film, In Her Shoes, Cameron Diaz’s character recites a poem by E.E. Cummings. While this chick flick always drives me to tears, there may be more than just a bubble gum artificial flavoring to the script. Behind the great shoes and cliché characteristic of how girls just want to have fun, there exists a grander theme that if analyzed under a critical lens may point to a vital truth.
The scope of the story is about two sisters who went through a strenuous childhood were as close as two intertwining threads, but as they grew their personal goals drew them apart. It happens with my own sister, so I believe that this rings true. And while the taste of exploration for ones own life can be as sweet as biting into spring’s first strawberry, it can also linger with the bitterness leaving behind what is most familiar. It paints the picture of two people who are born on the same landscape. They start off with their fingers laced together, believing that the other will never let go. But as they break away from their innocent, playful glances at the future – they stare at a land filled with fog. Although the blinding sensation may be frightening, the idea of exploring gets the better of their curiosity. So they let go.
As they go their separate ways, each guided by their own interests they grow into who they want to become. Since these two characters live within the same landscape, just as siblings cross paths at family gatherings and random phone calls, they reconnect. While they will never be the same person who you knew as a child they will talk to you and the existence of a bond is enough to outlast awkward moments and overwhelming downhill strides of reconnecting.
In Her Shoes widened the camera angle into my own life by showing me that there will be lapses of disconnect, but that they are necessary. It is vital to grow away from what we have always known to in the end let ourselves, and not those closest to us, decide who we want to be. Just as one does in their own journey, it is important to grow within your relationships – such as with patience and attentiveness.
Most importantly, no matter the distance – whether physically or mentally – E.E. Cummings poem, I Carry Your Heart With Me, stands to prove that throughout any adventure those closest to you never really leave you.
Prompt: In a monologue no more than 500 words, all the character to reconnect with an old friend.
For me it was a note. A single letter from a friend refreshed the overwhelming juggle of swinging into January. Each word squeezed a tang of lemon and spring water to rejuvenate my persona. In the thirty minutes that I had abandoned my journal to pay attention to a presentation, she had written me a message on a random page to find later on in the week when I was pondering upon ideas for an article. This alone changed how I see the first leap into a new year.
At times it is easy to feel like a book with a bland cover. It feels as though by the end of January one is washed out. With the overload of getting back into the rhythm of work and eagerness to check off all your resolutions from a list meant to last 12 months and not just one, it can be stressful. Almost as if you were a brightly colored, freshly purchased blouse announcing the coming of spring; over time, after wearing it with beaming enthusiasm the bright hue of blue washes out to dismal grey.
This by no means calls for men to wallow in bars nor for women to lock themselves in the bathroom peering at the scale with a cloud of depression hovering over them. What it should stand for is celebrating the ‘before’ picture while transforming into the ‘new’. So many times it is easy to lose ourselves under the scrutiny of others or under our own comparison to another friend or family member. It forces us to snap back into the present, forgetting the gleam of how we could be if we did this or that. Instead of focusing on the ‘if’s’, it’s important to care and remember for the person who ‘is’. Whether an RSVP at a favorite restaurant or a day at the spa is you calling, reflection should be spontaneous and personal. Just as Elizabeth Gilbert said, “Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend”.
Prompt: In a poem with no more than 22 lines, write a letter to the person you were last January.
In the new reality TV show by Bravo, Vanderpump Rules, the essence of stereotypical high school scenarios transcends into Sur, a restaurant deemed for the elite. There, the female waiting staff has the same maturity as a tween going through puberty. Enter the newbie, Scheana Marie, and the popular-Regina-George-clone, Stassi Schnoeder. Marie’s past of having an affair for eight months with a married man bubbles to the surface. Schnoeder then shuns the new teammate as a black sheep.
What is evident is how the cast, all legally adults who pay their own rent, behave like children. They ultimately burn the curtain that separates those teenagers still living with their parents and reveals that there is no mystery – there is no difference in personality. There are still the jealous popular girls who hunger for the attention they miss from home. There are still those awkward moments of shifting into place for people in new environments, within its first episode Vanderpump Rules has excelled typical artificial drama. It shows a reality that isn’t scripted.
Perhaps there is no metamorphosis with the person that you are before college and the one you become after – only the situation shifts and like a butterfly needing to survive in a new environment, most people try to camouflage their colors to survive. And such as Marie’s regrets after her affair, it makes one ponder that maybe change and development of character doesn’t come with age but with living life itself. It comes when any given scenario forces a breath of new life into a person making them choose whether to adapt, grow and survive or flounder under the weight of inexperience. That is why the gleam of innocence and childish petties can linger in the eyes of those in their late-twenties, for example such as the cast of Vanderpump Rules, because they have yet to taste the pressures of the real world. They have yet to burst from a narrow-minded cocoon.
Prompt: In a non-ficiton story no more than 500 words, write about the time that made you transform from a child to an adult.