As we traverse through life, we always seem to reflect back and wonder "what would life be like if things had taken a different path?" Or, "what if I had married that person instead of the one I'm married to now?" It's human nature to ask these questions. I don't often spend time ruminating on things like this because I believe in the sovereignty of God, so what happens is His Plan A for my life. Even if that Plan isn't the plan I'd have chosen.
Spoiler alert: If you haven't seen La La Land, I'd suggest you stop reading now if you plan to see it, as spoilers are to come.
On Saturday, I saw La La Land as part of my annual Oscar challenge to see as many of the nominees as possible. I'm behind this year because at the time of the nominees' announcement, I'd only seen one of the Best Picture nominees. I had seen three at that point last year. I've got a lot of ground to make up and not much available time to do it, but I'm Type A, so off I go.
I went into watching this movie thinking it was a new take on the old movie musicals, like Singin' in the Rain, with a modern-day twist. But, it wasn't that at all. Oh, there's music and dancing, but the plot is interestingly different and "heavy" causing much contemplation.
Mia, played by Emma Stone, and Sebastian, played by Ryan Gosling, meet in the strangest of ways and you follow their relationship for a full year. After that year is over, it appears their paths may go in different directions, and the movie picks up five years later. I won't get into details on what happens, but let's just say the path you expected, didn't happen. Then, you get a complete flashback of an alternate path chosen, wondering, "did this happen?" And then, realize what you saw originally was reality. These two people had dreams become reality, dreams they encouraged each other to achieve, but didn't get to reap the benefits together.
I've thought about this movie a lot since Saturday. I've gone from contemplative, to melancholy to bittersweet. Maybe because this hit too close to home for me. I've had people in my life that encouraged my dreams and though I may be living them now, they aren't part of my life to enjoy the benefits. But maybe that's the point. People are in your life for a season...and for a reason. And they aren't in your life for the long haul.
The one that got away maybe really didn't get away at all. Maybe they were in your life to make you reach for your dreams, affirm you where you felt like you were lacking and you both are now living the life always meant to happen. If you saw La La Land, I'd love your perspective.