Thursday, December 30, 2010

In the Midst of a Defining Moment

I watched the movie “Sleepless in Seattle” tonight (as in on December 29th, just a few hours ago) for what may have been the twentieth time. Oddly enough, for the first time, I didn’t cry. Not a single tear. One thing I noticed is how much I noticed differently than I did the other nineteen or so times. 
Not a single tear. What does that mean? Is that a disengagement of my current situation or just the subtle, if in fact, awareness of the fact that the lines in the movie are quite adequately true? 
We don’t want to be in love, we want to be in love in a movie.
When I was in high school, a columnist wrote that unlike the television show “Friends” (which happened to be my favorite), we don’t hear theme songs or a laugh track in real life. This I know to be true. 
Is this the moment, the moments after I turn off the TV and let it sink in that this is real life and not a movie, I realize that this may be a defining moment? 
Let me step back for a minute and say that this Reverb 10 business is like homework therapy. Two of the most recent prompts, “Ordinary Joy” and “Defining Moment”, both deserve their own separate posts. However, I wanted to be inspired so I popped in a movie that I thought would make me laugh and cry. 
So, here we go.
I believe we can experience ordinary joy with a laugh and a cry. About a week and a half ago someone sent me a message and the first line read, “I’m so proud of you.” In an instant, unlike any instant I’ve experienced recently, I cried. I was fully crying, tears streaming down my face, and then, I started laughing as I recognized I was experiencing complete and utterly ordinary joy. 
It is amazing how one person can say just one thing and it can change our entire experience, for the moment, for the journey, or for the entire course of our lives. Sure, people tell you and I they’re proud of us often, I’m sure, but when do we really actually hear it?
“I’m so proud of you,” I read the words again, and for the first time in a long time wasn’t embarrassed. Like everyone, I needed someone to be proud of me. Then, to continue on and say, “See how strong you really are.” 
This, as simple as it was, may have been the most defining recent moment of 2010. It certainly doesn’t define the entire year, or the experience of the year, but it defines how it’s ending and the entrance to 2011. 
Have you ever wondered why people cry at romantic comedies? They’re looking for a happy ending. No, not the happy endings that make the news, but happy endings like the one in which Annie finally gets to figure out why she’s so intrigued by that man who is Sleepless in Seattle. There’s some truth to the wonderings that keep us up at night. We’re curious by nature, and if part of that pursuit is finding our happiness, we have to go with it, right? 
There is complete and total ordinary joy in watching a movie, or reading a note, or hearing words that can make one smile, whether you’re the one smiling or the one saying the nice things. I believe, that in each instance where we experience some ordinary joy, we’re also in the midst of a defining moment. 


  1. Well said. What a good post to read before the new year.

    Thank you

  2. Annie, this is a great New Year's post! Thanks so much--nice to 'meet' you! xoxo


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