I was watching the movie Breathe In on Netflix starring Felicity Jones (as Sophie) & Guy Pearce (as Keith) and some of the quotes inspired this piece, to which I will be referring throughout the following paragraphs. There is a lot I wanted to share, so please make yourself the most comfortable; grab your favorite beverage and sit in your favorite chair or sofa as you peruse through these lines.

Life and its choices. Or should I say, our choices. On a daily basis we make tones of decisions, be they small or big, which later on roll into this huge ball and put us on a path, which we might call destiny or just a succession of events. Have you ever wondered why you made certain decisions? Why you ended up where you currently are in life? Have you ever felt trapped, living a life which seemed so unfamiliar, so far away from the idea you had of it when you were much younger? I don't know about you, but I have. I am not at this point of my life right now, but I have been there. More than once.

Growing up, I aspired to be a physician. The society I lived in expected me to follow into my parents' steps and become one. I never really had a problem with this idea that somehow had been chosen for me, but I had some reservations. Not because I didn't think I could be a good physician, I think I would have made a great one; but because, I sometimes feared that this certainty I had acquired about wanting to be a physician was only the reflection of years and years of "brainwashing" regarding this matter. How could I be certain that I was making the right decision? How could I guarantee that I wouldn't be passing by some other - amazing- life? Was I really in control? I had so many questions then, and even now, when I am facing new challenges, it is still the case.

In the movie, Sophie asks Keith why he is teaching when obviously he is not cut to be a teacher, or at least it is not his passion. Keith responds by telling her that it pays the bills and offers his family some security, and that at least he is teaching something he knows - music, instead of something like math. To this, Sophie offers Keith (and us, in retrospect) a beautiful piece of wisdom:
"You just have to make sure that you're choosing it. I just don't wanna be living a life where I'm not choosing stuff." - Sophie, Breathe In (2013)
There is your key word - choice.
There was a time when I thought that my choices were narrowed down to what my parents or even society wanted me to become. I believed that if I was somehow falling in line with their desires for me, that I was making a choice, and a good one at that. More importantly, I though I was making a choice at which I couldn't be wrong. This worked well for me for a long time: I was happy but I wasn't really content. After graduating from undergrad, I started to feel this void within me, and question myself more seriously regarding the path I was so focused on pursuing. I tortured myself  for a long time with rhetorical questions, filling myself with doubts. One day, I remembered what my dad told me and my brothers when we were growing up: 
"You have to do what makes you happy, because nobody will be doing the job for you. And you want to be good at what you do, so pick something that makes you happy first."
So I asked myself: was I really happy? I was. Was I content? I wasn't really. So what was the problem? How did I find the right answer to these questions that needed to be answered right away, as I was taking a pivotal turn that would dictate the rest of my life? What if I couldn't decide? What if I decided wrong? What if I woke up one day and realized that I had wasted my life? Like Sophie, I realized that I never wanted - and I still don't ever want - to live a life that has been chosen for me, a life where I wasn't the captain of my own ship.
 "Maybe boundaries are there for a reason... structure." - Keith, Breathe In (2013)
I found that it is much easier to fall within the guidelines of what is expected of us, to draw within the lines and to live the perfect little life. It is much easier to have an illusion of a structure, to follow the guidelines and to never second guess them. But the truth is, life is more interesting when we break said rules, when we disregard those structures and more importantly when we dare.
"Don't let fear become your profession." - Sophie, Breathe In (2013)
It is easy to be scared of making life changing decisions. However, it is totally fine to be afraid. But we must remember to not let fear dictate our actions, and by extension our lives. As I said before, I have found myself more than once at the crossroads of life's decisions, and every time I got scared, letting uncertainty take over me for a moment. The state of fear only lasted until I remembered my main aspiration in life (to be content and utterly happy) and breathing in, I jumped both feet into the unknown.
"It's so hard to actually do what you want to do."- Sophie, Breathe In (2013)
Today, I am living the life I had glimpsed at when I was dreaming of a future. This life is not measured in terms of my career, but rather by the experiences and the exchanges I have on a daily basis. I am slowly reaching a point where I can look around me and feel a deep happiness and gratitute for the life I am currently living. It is not always easy, but I don't let fear be in control anymore. Instead, behind each decision I make I try to envision the possibilities, predict the outcomes and go with the flow. However, remember, the hardest things in life I worth fighting for. So take the time to look around your life, and ask yourself the right questions. If you at any moment feel uncertain or even afraid, don't be. Listen to your heart, say a prayer if need be, and take a leap of faith. You will always be happy to have made a decision, and I promise you, no matter where you end up in the future, you will be at peace with yourself because one day, you took charge of your life (regardless of the aspects with which you are currently struggling with). And just like that
"One day you'll be free."- Sophie, Breathe In (2013)
Moral of this long story (and an Edit): We can all make changes in our lives, be they small or big. If you are being friends with someone who sucks the energy out of your life, you shouldn't be affraid to get out of this relationship. If your job sucks, you should look for the one you'd love (while you're working!) before quitting and moving onward. Of course, as we get older and get charges, it is much harder to make drastic changes to our lives without impacting everyone around us. Is it impossible? No. Is it more complicated? You bet. So my point is not to force you to do something drastic, but I hope to give you perspective of the choices you actually have or can have. Don't let fear drive your life. Stand up for yourself (and the ones you love) and move forward. If you choose to stay, then find ways to start loving the life you've chosen, because there are no good or bad choices. It's just how we react to them and what we make of them. Thanks for reading!

3 comments

  1. Très intéressant :) mais je pense qu'on le sait tous: Le problème c'est le système capitaliste de la société. Autant si tu es seul tu peux prendre des risques pour ton bonheur et faire des choix qui te plaisent vraiment mais comme l'a dit keith quand tu as une famille à nourrir et tu dois t'occuper des factures et de l'éducation des enfants, c'est plus délicat. Après un autre problème c'est souvent qu'on ne sait pas ce dont on en envie et souvent on ne sait pas trop où mènent certains choix c'est aussi le problème. On le remarque bien au collège lors du choix de la série ou encore lors du choix de la filière universitaire, on est obligé de choisir sans vraiment savoir on l'on va. Heureusement pour ces derniers on peut encore changer après ou alors avoir ses diplômes et ensuite se diriger vers un autre domaine lors de la recherche de jobs.
    Bref ces paroles sont belles et très inspirantes, après ça dépend du contexte :)

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  2. Je sais bien que cela dépend des circonstances; la preuve Keith voulait que sa famille déménage à New York afin qu'il puisse poursuivre sa musique, mais à la fin du film, il est toujours dans sa maison, "emprisonné" dans sa vie, car c'est vrai - il est beaucoup plus difficile de faire des choix et de prendre des risques lorsqu'on a des charges. Évidemment mon texte n'est pas destiné à ceux qui ont des charges, même si j'ai connu des personnes ici qui malgré cela ont pu faire un changement à leur vie en prenant le risque de tout perdre, mais qui ont fini par bien s'en sortir. Mais tu as raison, tout dépend du contexte. Et oui, le problème n'est même pas qu'on hésite forcement entre deux routes à prendre, mais qu'on vive dans une société où, comme tu le dis si bien, le système capitaliste nous force dans une certaine direction. Et je faisais justement allusion à ce type de pression lorsque je parlais de me sentir forcée à devenir médecin. Savoir que mes parents n'avaient aucun problème que je change de carrière, m'a beaucoup aidé car j'ai pu réaliser que tant que mes parents me supportent dans mes décisions, ce que la société veut dicter pour moi n'a pas d'importance. J'ai fais mes choix jusqu'ici et c'est vrai que ce n'est toujours pas facile, mais au moins je suis à un stade de ma vie où je ne regrette rien.

    Et puis, l'idée de ce texte n'est pas de dire aux gens de tout changer, mais plutôt (j'espère!) de les inspirer à ne pas avoir peur de predre des risques si c'est possible. Quand on est jeune c'est plus facile de le faire que lorsqu'on mène une vie de famille. Des choix, on en fait tous les jours. Il n'y a pas de bons ou de mauvais choix, mais tous les choix qu'on fait on doit juste les assumer et apprendre à apprécier le présent qu'on vit. Si une personne à l'impression de ne pas aimer sa vie, elle devrait chercher des moyens de changer de chemin. Sinon ça devient un peu trop triste, tu ne crois pas? :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. oui, dit comme ça je rejoins ton point de vue ;)

    ReplyDelete

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