~ Open your eyes ~
When I was a kid I used to have a recurring thought that was sort of a conversation with myself, sometimes I would dream about it, sometimes I’d panic and turn it into a nightmare and sometimes I’d just spend so long thinking about it I’d get into a real state of calm confusion. I remember talking to my mum about it and her just not engaging with it at all – which is unlike my mum – it might have been a bad day, it might have been too difficult a topic, or it might have been that she herself didn’t want to contemplate it. So many years later it is resurfacing in this blogpost after watching Vanilla Sky at the weekend!
The thing I used to ponder was whether I would wake up one morning and everything in my life to date would reveal itself as one big dream….and in actual fact I’d find myself half my age and have to live through it all again! I suspect that this was in some way related to how much I hated school, at the time the idea of having to go through school again would have sent me into orbit – all I wanted to do was grow up, get out the system and live my “real life”; obviously there were few things I could contemplate that were worse than having to go to school on a Monday morning. Even as I type that I’m chuckling at my naivety. On reflection it probably says something about me that I only ever thought I might wake up and have to live it again, I don’t recall ever worrying that I’d wake up and find myself at the end of my life having missed it all – which I suppose is the other real danger and the far more likely one.
So this weekend I settled down to watch Vanilla Sky for the first time, which shows how cutting edge I am as this particular gem of a film has been out for almost ten years….maybe I really should be more concerned about life passing me by 😉 I’m still not sure how I managed to miss this film up until now – how I didn’t read about it anywhere, how no-one recommended it to me or if they did I didn’t take up the recommendation, maybe I was wanting to preserve my adoration for Tom Cruise in TopGun and not wanting to consider there could be a better film starring Tom out there. Anyhow, Vanilla Sky is a remake/reinterpretation of Abre Los Ojos, directed by Cameron Crowe and starring a wealth of talent including Tom Cruise, Penélope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Kurt Russell, Tilda Swinton and many more and it has a truly awesome soundtrack too.
I don’t want to spoil the film for anyone who hasn’t seen it, so I’m not going to waffle on about it in great detail suffice to say that it made me consider my childhood thoughts again and wonder whether given the choice to live a lucid dream I’d take it? Would I take the option to revert to childhood and live it all again or would I stay in the ‘present’ living a blissful life constructed not of reality?
I’ve been thinking about it a lot this weekend – helped by a conversation on twitter with @niccombe, @redjotter and @fergusbisset about the most difficult decisions we’ve made in our lives. Whenever contemplating those sorts of questions I come back to the same place, would I change anything? There are certainly things I could have done better; there were hard times that I could have approached differently and good times that I could have enjoyed more; there are people no longer in my life that I shouldn’t have pushed away and the flip – situations that I put up with that I should have changed far earlier. That said I don’t think I’d change a thing. I am who I am as a result of where I’ve come from and where I’ve been, I am a product of my upbringing and experiences to date and every day gives me the opportunity to shape that further.
This week we should find out the results of my dad’s biopsy, I’ve moved in my thinking on this substantially of late and really feel like I’ve made progress in taking a step back from the situation. I know that my role is to support my Dad whatever the news and do all I can to allow him to make the decisions he wants to about treatment, even if they aren’t the decisions I would make – after all, it’s his life. I struggle with knowing I can’t fix this situation, in fact if I’m honest I struggle with not being able to make many situations better but I’m working on it. So I’m off to face Monday and see what this week throws at me, safe in the knowledge that whatever it does include, it’s my perspective that is in my control.
“This is your time, this is your day. You’ve got it all, don’t throw it away” ~ Lyrics to Vanilla Sky by Paul McCartney
The last vanilla sky I saw – shared with my mate Sarah and my godsons at Babbacombe