The Secret Life of Walter Mitty has inspired me. It has brought clarity to my desire to live the story of my life. It wasn’t the alarm clock, that went off quite some time ago. I hit snooze quite a few times but haven’t in a while, I’ve even gotten out of bed but am still handicapped by the grogginess intrinsic to the fog of having just woken up. Walter Mitty is the cup of coffee I’ve been looking for.
Actually to say that the movie inspired me is inaccurate, it has brought me clarity. I have been inspired for some time now. I have known what I want, and want to accomplish, but it has always been an idea in my head. I now have a clearer vision of what it looks like for the typical cubicle clone on the treadmill (rat caught in a maze) to start letting life in. One of the phrases that pops up through the movie is the “Been There Done That” section of his online dating profile. That is actually a powerful thing. In fact, I may start a page on this blog with that title, just so I can have a literary mirror in which to see myself. Just like someone wanting to transform their body uses a mirror to gauge their progress, this will help me prioritize living life over slavery.
This doesn’t mean simply living my life for the next adventure, or depending on new and novel experiences to validate my existence. It means I am going to live the life of my hearts desires. I am not going to strive for this, but I am going to be more go with the flow. Every adventure story has ups and downs, highs and lows, ebbs and flows, trials and triumphs. In some great stories the hero is imprisoned or enslaved for a number of years, they often face challenges that seem almost insurmountable. In the stories years of nonevents can be passed over with a simple subtitle, sentence or symbolism; the challenges are gripping but we are usually quite certain the hero is going to come out victorious, but if we were to experience it in real time alongside our hero it would probably seem far more terrifying and hopeless. Much like when we live it out in our own lives. Walter Mitty never thinks about the things he is doing in terms of “having an adventure” or “how cool this is”. He’s doing it because it is a part of the path he is on, and it isn’t until he is looking back and summarizing it that it takes on those aspects of adventure. Don’t do it for the adventure or experience, do it for the role it has in fulfilling your deeper passion, fulfilling your purpose, and being what you love.