Thursday, January 23, 2014

Mitty-ing Around

My 2014 resolution to think less, do more, is off to a good start. It feels wonderful to reconnect with my blog friends. Blogging is so much more intimate than catching up via FB or Instagram, though I enjoy both. 

With all the talk of Oscar buzz right now, I have been going to see more movies. And although I try to stay away from the mainstream movie theaters (I think it's better to read the book, and almost every movie was first a book; AND they are expensive!) I had to see the Secret Life of Walter Mitty. I had been intrigued with Mr. Mitty since I saw the trailer. After seeing the original film on TMC and learning this installment would be very different, I got more excited. 

The film didn't disappoint. In fact, it is one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. It's a movie that is actually moving. It stirred something inside of me that I had let lay dormant for a long time. The truth is, I can relate to Walter Mitty. I have always been a dreamer; I have always had a vivid imagination. But I identified so much more with the version Ben Stiller portrays. His Mitty suffers from wanderlust, the pressures of family, the perils of romance, all while dedicating himself to a magazine that is sadly going out of print. Mitty has given so much of his life to working on Life Magazine that he realizes he hasn't lived his own. The mission statement of the magazine haunts moviegoers and Mitty throughout the film:

"To see life; to see the world; to eyewitness great events ... to see and be amazed; to see and be instructed."

While I feel like I have packed a lot in this life for the past 29 years, this movie helped me to see that there is more to life than work; there is even more to life than what you can imagine. It opened my eyes to the fact that sometimes taking a chance makes for the best story. The magazine cover at the end of the film says everything. For people like myself who have the privilege of working in publishing, we are able to reach the masses every month (or week, or day) and sometimes we can feel like we know more, or dare I say it, are superior, because we get to research, edit, and churn out content from a computer in a cozy office in a nice building somewhere. But what do we really know? We are not the ones living daily in the trenches of life; in fact, we are oftentimes shielded from it by our cubicle walls. 

I struggled to think of what sort of photos I would share with this blog post. I haven't been to Iceland or Greenland or Afghanistan (like Mitty). I haven't really traveled in some time. But as I looked at my phone I came across some pictures I meant to post on last summer, and didn't. What got in the way the past six months? I have no idea. But these images were saved on my phone for a reason. I have obviously been clinging to the memories, the ideas behind these images. The 1920's poster represents my favorite decade, a place I wish I could travel back to; the British Pub reminds me of being back in England (my favorite place I have visited), and the band at the Chandelier Bar reminds me of a scene in the film where Mitty is motivated to jump onto a helicopter because he imagines his love interest serenading him with a guitar. I loved that moment in the film. It's all about finding out what will push you to take a leap of faith. 

I'm sad to say the film didn't get any award nominations (I obviously think it was robbed). So I thought it only fitting to finally commit these images to this post; to make the things I have been imagining more tangible, more real, more possible. It's interesting to note that "Walter Mitty" and "Mitty-esque" are in the dictionary. They describe this type of person who is given to adventurous dreams. I wanted to make my own play on the term, to describe what I have been doing, and perhaps a bit of what I have not been doing. I have been trying to live, but I feel like I have been living to work instead. I'm so glad for this film, that both amazed and instructed me, that pushed me to finally publish this post. Pushing yourself to see the amazing, and to take a leap of faith are what life is all about. For a while I haven't been blogging because I didn't know if I wanted to share anymore. I didn't have faith that there was anything worth sharing, or that people would even want to see the world as I see it. But thanks in part to Mr. Mitty, I'm willing to take that chance. 


  1. I haven't seen the new Mitty yet. But I did watch the original on TMC. I enjoyed it and although they said that the new version was nothing like the old one, I'm hoping to see it. I'm glad to see you back on your blog. Think less and do more is such a good idea!

  2. I hadn't even thought of seeing this movie before reading your post, Beth.
    Ben Stiller isn't one of my favorite actors, and I thought it would probably be given a "something about Mary" -type treatment.

    From what you've said though, it sounds like it's much more deep and meaningful than I expected. I'll have to take a closer look at the trailer and maybe go see it, now!