What I learned from 'Stranger than Fiction' -- Go live your life

The movie Stranger than Fictiontaught me an interesting lesson about how to live life.

If you haven't seen the movie, it's about Harold Crick, a man who lives an average life, unaware of how unfulfilled he is. But then one day he hears a voice narrating his life, which scares and confuses him. Harold ends up taking advice from an English professor, who is convinced Harold is going to die soon. They try several things to shake the narrator, but eventually the professor believes Harold will die no matter what. His advice to Harold is this:

Professor Hilbert: "This narrator might very well kill you, so I humbly suggest that you just forget all this and go live your life."

Harold: "Go live my life? I am living my life. I'd like to continue to live my life."

Professor Hilbert: "I know. Of course! I mean ALL of it! However long you have left. Howard [sic], you could use it to have an adventure, or invent something, or just finish reading
Crime and Punishment. Hell Howard, you could just eat nothing but pancakes if you want."

And that is what Harold does. He quits his job. He buys a guitar. He pursues the woman he's interested in. The interesting thing is, after he makes the choice to live his life, not everything works out perfectly. He doesn't become a famous guitarist, but he does learn to play a song on the guitar. Everything isn't perfect for him, but the difference is in the way he feels. He's happy. Fail or succeed he is trying for his goals and dreams, and that makes all the difference. Harold is finally choosing how to live Harold's life.

The catalyst for changing his way of living was realizing that he could die tomorrow. But the lesson we can take from this movie is that the same applies to all of us -- we could die tomorrow, or the day after that. We don't have a contract that guarantees us any more time than what we're living right now.

So what do you need to do in order to say that you are choosing to live your life? Would you make any changes? Are there any dreams (big or small) you hope to reach? What is holding you back? Think about the professor's advice, and then go eat nothing but pancakes all day if that's what you want. There's no guarantee of someday. All we have is now.

And that's why I started this blog. I've been saying I want to be a writer since I was in third grade, but it was always something I was going to accomplish in the future. I put it off because I was afraid of failing. I realized I had to choose to live my life the way I wanted it to be. I decided that fail or succeed, I would put everything I had into making this dream a reality. And here I am.


nora lee said...

you're an excellent writer holli and you've done/ do a million things i'd like to do. you're awesome.

Holli Jo said...

Thanks for the compliment! I'm glad you found my blog, and I hope you stick around.