30 (blogs) for (turning) 30: Day 26: Major Tom to Ground Control

Posted: May 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

I did not see The Secret Life of Walter Mitty when it came out in theaters. The combination of very little time, a lot of films coming out around the Christmas season and some less than stellar reviews led me to having never seen it. But I came up to Winston-Salem to hang out with my buddy Ryan (who happens to be graduating from film school tomorrow, too…congrats, buddy!), and so he put on the movie as we were having some pizza and relaxing at his place. Having seen the film, I am both upset that I didn’t get to catch it on the big screen and slightly perturbed at film critics. Oh well. At least I got the opportunity to see it at all.

For those who haven’t seen it, the story revolves around Walter Mitty, a kind of shy guy who works at Life magazine in the photo negative department and loses a negative that is supposed to serve as the cover for the final issue of the magazine. Walter is the type of guy who doesn’t take risks in all aspects of his life, which is why he’s held the same job for 16 years and why he has trouble talking to Cheryl, a woman he works with, on whom he dotes but can’t/won’t take action in that regard. But when a clue leads Walter to discover the location of the photographer, he takes it upon himself to hunt the man down in order to find the negative. He embarks upon a fantastic adventure to Greenland, Iceland and beyond. 

I found myself connecting with Walter in a few ways, mostly regarding how he interacts with the people around him. I get the introversion and the inability to connect with people without a great deal of effort. I’m not good at that either. But it isn’t really the specifics of the story that I really connected with, but more with the themes the movie conveys. It’s all about taking chances, getting outside of your head and doing rather than just thinking about doing. I think I said this before, but I struggle a great deal with over thinking and underdoing, if you will. In many ways, I really feel like this is the reason that I’m in the places in my life I am now. Rather than taking opportunities as they come, I back off and look for safety, for familiar. 

Maybe that’s the wrong way to go, too. Maybe I need to push past the regular and take some chances. It all comes back to the way that Cheryl describes “Major Tom” in the movie: “That song is about courage and going into the unknown,” she tells Walter, “It’s a cool song.” Maybe it’s time to be courageous every once in a while.

To go into the unknown.

 

God bless,

Robert

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