The Thing I Like About …

No Escape: when he apologizes to his wife for not giving her the life she wanted.

In No Escape, Jack and Annie have been caught up in a civil war in an Asian country where they know no one; they have nowhere to go, and they fear for their lives. As they wait, hiding, Jack thanks Annie for staying with him even though it hadn’t been the life she imagined. She shakes her head, and tells him that the life she “wanted” wouldn’t have been nearly as good or rewarding as the life she ended up with.

We start life cobbling together lots of dreams and plans and goals. We think that life lets us down; we consider ourselves “jaded” because we’ve stoically accepted that so many dreams go unfulfilled. The things that happen to us that are beyond our control? – we assume those things are inherently bad. But most of the time, life turns out exactly the way we crafted it – whether we mean to or not, we put ourselves on a path designed by our own inclinations, fears, and responses.

And most of the time, the place we “end up” is actually far better than what we imagined for ourselves in our early dreaming days – before we knew what the world had to offer, or what we would want next year or the year after that. Life doesn’t “let us down”. We change. We learn and grow, and make new dreams. We let go of plans and goals that no longer serve us, and choose new paths. That’s not “jaded”. That’s living.

When you were eight, did you know how it would feel to love a child? When your plans of being married by the end of college are “dashed”, are you able to predict how incredibly happy you’ll be with the person you find twelve years later? Isn’t your degree just as valid even if you find joy in a completely different field?

Life is full of surprises – good and bad, good disguised as bad. None of us ever really gets everything we want … and that’s probably for the best. And when we’re hiding from people who want to kill us, our only dream/goal/plan is to have one more minute, one more day, one more chance.

That’s really the only goal in life that matters.

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