Saturday, June 29, 2013

Forrest Gump and Purpose


“You have to do the best with what God gave you.”

Sally Field as Mrs. Gump in Forrest Gump


Forrest Gump: What's my destiny, Mama?
Mrs. Gump: You're gonna have to figure that out for yourself.


I was tired and I was trying to rest, but I can’t.  I’m not tired now.  All I can do is think about how close I am to my goal.  Yesterday when I got sick I was so glad that I had already finished one blog and was almost done with another. Otherwise, things would be even more challenging.
I know that there are times when I need rest.  And I’m definitely not one of those guys who says, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”  But there’s a mixture of joy and fear, excitement and trepidation as I work toward this goal.  It’s fun and stressful at the same time.  I just wish I knew what to write about now.  That’s always the hard part – waiting for the subject to appear.  I have found that doing anything else, anything, that is not writing does not get me closer to getting to my topic. 
In other words, when I’m having writer’s block, the only thing that helps me is to keep writing.  If I go play an online game or chat or read a comic book, the same block awaits me until I begin writing again.  So I’m going to keep writing until something comes.  When it does and when I’m finished with this blog, I may erase this part because it feels too self-indulgent.  Or maybe I won’t because it accurately shows the struggle many writers have of finding their topic.
 I think this is the struggle many people have when working towards their purpose.  They have an idea of what they want to do, but they don’t know how to get started.  I’ve often said, “When you don’t know what to do, do what you know to do.”  What I know to do is to keep going until something comes to me.  I notice, however, that it takes a little longer every time. 
Still, I’m not going to worry.  Something will come.  Something always does.  To paraphrase Tom Hanks in the movie, Forrest Gump, “Writing is like a box of chocolates.  You never know what you’re going to get.”  I never know what I’m going to get when I write.  So I think I will write about my experience with the movie, Forrest Gump.
Forrest Gump stayed with me in a way few other movies have.  After seeing it for the first time, I could not stop thinking about the characters, especially Lt. Dan and Jenny.  The movie is about the life story of a man named Forrest Gump.  Gump has an IQ of 75, yet he manages to be part of many of the major cultural events of the 1950s to the 1970s, including teaching Elvis how to dance, desegregation, the Viet Nam War, Watergate and the running craze.
Although it’s been touted as a political screed and a condemnation of the liberal excesses of the 60’s and 70’s, for me it had different messages.  The messages are very Zen like. 
It’s about accepting things as they are and working through things that you can’t accept. (“He should not be hitting you, Jenny.”)
It’s about facing the facts without judgment.  (“It happens.”  “What?  Sh#@?”  “Sometimes.”)
It’s about loving people whether or not they loved you back.  (“I may not be a smart man, but I know what love is.”)
It’s about keeping things simple. (“When I got tired, I slept. When I got hungry, I ate. When I had to go, you know, I went.”)
It’s about following your heart even if it’s broken.  (“So you just ran!!!”)
It’s about being who you were even if it meant losing limbs.  (“You’re still Lt. Dan.”)
It’s about working through the pain of a horrific childhood.  (“Sometimes there just aren’t enough rocks.”)
It’s about being who you are whether people torment you, follow you or leave you alone. (“What's normal anyways?”)
It’s about learning to Get Started and Keep Going until you no longer need to run. (“I had run for 3 years, 2 months, 14 days, and 16 hours.”)