Discovering life is better than the movies

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The problem with movies is they let me travel the world from the comfort of my couch. I have seen Europe. I have seen Africa. I have seen Asia, Latin America, Australia. I have taken wild adventures I would never survive in real life. I have seen things I never hope to see in real life.

The problem with movies is that I only get to experience these adventures and places through the eyes of the producer. The problem is, when I actually get to travel to, say, Europe or Africa in real life, all I can think is, “Am I really here? Or is this just another movie?” The problem is, when I actually get to live those moments, I limit myself to trying to play out the movie in real life. 

During my semester in Rome, for instance, I would expect to play out the romantic scenes of falling in love with a suave and charming Italian man or becoming a famous Italian pop star (despite the limitations of language barriers or my lack of singing ability). Traveling to Ireland, I fantasized of meeting my future husband, who of course would be gifted with musical talent and a mesmerizing accent. Realistically, these things never happened. But idealistically, I could never keep myself from wondering if picturesque Hollywood’s idea of perfection could actually become real life. 

A week ago, I got to go to a place I had dreamed of seeing since I was a child. I had one of my favorite people with me, my boyfriend of course, and as we drove to the edge of of the vast expanse, my heart quickened with anticipation. As I stepped out of the car and made my way to the lookout, my mind was flooded with images I had seen in movies. But as my eyes met the Grand Canyon for the first time, I was struck by two things.

First, I was immediately hit by the insane amount of creativity God poured into creating such a unique and mind-blowing world for us to discover. Second, I was content to realize I never want my life to be like the movies, and since then the idealistic scenes have stopped playing through my head.

Life is dynamic. People are dynamic. Good does not always win. The girl does not always get the hunk. The financial resources are not unlimited to live whatever and wherever I so choose. But the fact that this is reality is what makes me cherish the golden moments when I get glimpses of beautiful imperfections. Reality makes me savor the good and learn from the bad. It humbles me realizing I will never have it all figured out. Reality makes me grateful that somehow there is still a God that looks down on all the chaos of human life and loves us enough to be the strength to get us through the rough stuff, the joy that fuels the good stuff, and the one who created life to be way more unexpected and dynamic than the movies.

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