Walter Mitty and Me

Taken from the WalterMittyMovie Instagram account

I haven’t been up to date with movies, which explains why I’ve only watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty about a week ago.

I’ve heard good things about this movie, but I didn’t know much about it before I watched it. In fact, I don’t think I’ve even watched the movie trailer before. Sometimes I like it that way; bigger surprise element.

About half an hour into the movie, where we start to see Walter Mitty’s social awkwardness, indecisiveness and constant daydreaming, I told my Dad, “I think I can relate to this movie.”, in which I really did.

A big part of me was, in fact, Walter Mitty.

I thought the movie was pretty great and I think Ben Stiller did quite a good job in making this film. After finishing the movie I had that empty feeling you get when you finish reading a good book or watching a good movie, the whole “What is this life??” kind of feeling. I thought about the movie a lot for the the next couple of days, remembering scenes and things said in the movie, and of course, David Bowie’s Space Oddity kept on playing in my head; it’s a lovely song.

It made me think about the significance of life experiences. All this while I’ve been obsessed with ‘trying everything once’ and having as many experiences as I possibly can so I could put some kind of purpose or meaning to my life. Like filling out a resume, I wanted to list down all the crazy awesome things that I’ve done with my life, and I wanted that list to be a really long list.

I then tried remembering some of the past experiences I’ve had, for example the 10 months I spent in the UK and my trips to certain parts of Europe while I was there. It occurred to me that I don’t feel much about them. Although it hasn’t even been two years since then, I had to think very hard  to remember significant details about the trips or what happened on them. I mean, don’t get me wrong; they were really fun trips and I enjoyed them a lot, but now they just kind of blend together in a section of my brain that is labelled ‘Places I’ve Been’, and that’s pretty much it.

I’ve always thought that individual lives on this Earth are sadly, quite insignificant. This then makes me wonder, “Are the adventures in life in which I’ve been yearning for overrated?”

This is rather ironic, considering that the movie conveys a completely opposite message. It tells us that we should take chances, go on adventures, grab onto opportunities and basically, let life in. The question is, is there really a point to all this, even after knowing that within a few years, it will all just seem like a blur of memories?

I conclude that there still is.

On past experiences, some may remember more than others, but what I think really matters is what that experience gives you in that moment. Experiences aren’t meant to be remembered (although it would be nice if you do remember), they are meant to be felt, to open up your mind and eyes to another world and to heighten your senses.

Would I rather live a life filled with amazing, enlightening, eye-opening moments? Yes, I would. Do I need to remember everything about them? No, I don’t.

To see what I’ve never seen before; to feel what I’ve never felt before. That is what I want. I may not remember all of everything, but there will be a little bit of everything that will stay with me for as long as I live.

From here on out, I make a promise to myself to say “yes” a lot more often (Would you believe that 80% of the time, my answer is “no”?), to do more of everything (regardless of whether I’m good at them or not) and most of all, to not be so incredibly afraid of the unknown.