Life constantly changes. Often times, it changes at rates we cannot keep up with. Throughout life, taking time to smell the roses is crucial. Reflection is the key to figuring out where you are, what you are doing right and how to change if you are doing something wrong. Owen Wilson and Jennifer Anniston's Marley and Me challenged me to question how I arrived at this place in life. As you may know, the film is camouflaged as a flick about a family and a dog but if you watch it closely, the true meaning is clear. It is about one's journey through life.
The movie starts with Jennifer Anniston and Owen Wilson’s character getting married. They start their life in Miami and buy a clearance puppy (Marley) that lived every day to the fullest. Sunshine or rain, Marley lived. As Owen and Jennifer’s characters got older, life happened and they started to bend and change directions due to the winds of circumstance. While some of their plans fell apart, their life ultimately fell together. Oddly enough- life works the same way. Sometimes it falls apart to come together but in that process, Jennifer and Owen finally learned the secret Marley lived until he died. Now, do not think the position of this article is to not plan. Having a plan is an essential ingredient to being able to handle the curve balls life can throw your way. The position is simply to trust life’s process.
As previously mentioned, I felt compelled after watching the movie to draw a map of significant events to plot my excursion through life thus far. In order for you as a reader to understand my current stature, I have comprised a short list:
- I am a son
- I am a college graduate
- I am in my first ADULT job after completing my degree and well into the first stages of my career
- I have had failed relationships
- I have had successful relationships
- I have failed
- I have succeeded
- I am chasing dreams through actions
- I am still trying to figure out my purpose
- I am trying to use my life to serve as a vessel for positive change and uplift
As you can see, I do not yet have it figured out, but I am trusting in the process of life. At each turn I am learning and growing. With every failure, I am like Thomas Edison finding another way how not to make a light bulb, and with every success I am drawing closer to my purpose.
Now you as a student may be thinking, “How does any of this apply to me?” If you give it some thought, you have experienced many of the same things on my list, especially as it pertains to successes and failures. Experience success or failure is an inevitable constant that cannot be escaped, and changing your mind on things that were thought to be a certainty will happen more often than you would like. The amazing thing about this is if the proper planning and reflection has been applied, life’s process will place you right where you need to be. So, change a major that does not fit or transfer to a new university that offers better educational and career opportunities. Most importantly, trust your instincts and embrace the things you can control and as well as those that are beyond your control. Ponder next steps and let your human instinct take over to help you accept and positively direct your life.
All places, ages and phases of life challenge us to ask ourselves what is next. It does not matter if we are newborns or senior citizens, we are always wondering the fate of our unknown destinies. Human nature has instilled in us a curiosity of the unfamiliar. That curiosity is what drives us to buy insurance policies just in case or have nervous break downs wondering if we are living out life’s purpose. It is a daunting task to believe that our plans and actions will push us through the process of life to ultimately take us to a true north of undeniable happiness.
Many people do not believe in a true north that unveils a utopia. My advice to you is run away from those pessimists of this world. Trust your choices and accept the circumstances of those decisions. Use everything as a learning experience to shape a better future for yourself. Live your process with passion, action and positivity in all outcomes. Conquer your fears, be the change you want to see in others, leave excuses at the door, have a plan, find comfort when things don’t work as planned, accept happiness and most of all trust the process of life.
Live every day as Marley did.