The Conventional Wisdom: A Response

Stuck in my newest routine as an intern, as I wait for my seniors to come, I came across The Daily Post’s Discover Challenge about Conventional Wisdom. It asked its readers to either:
write a cliché one never agreed on, or
to review a book, a poem, a movie, or a song innovatively, or
to capture a (yet) unappreciated beauty of things people would just pass on, or
to re-sketch a classic.

Not a surprise, I have had plenty of thoughts buried in my mind regarding to this topic. It has been there, inside my imaginary cabinets of thoughts I haven’t re-open yet.
I’ll do two:

  1. A cliché I’ve never agreed on.
  2. La La Land — how the plot and the lyrics to the songs, affects me.
 A Cliché I’ve never agreed on.
(or perhaps, I no longer agree on.)

I was born in a Catholic family, one that is not that religious and at the same time are not atheists. When I was little, up to junior high, we rarely go to church. It was only Easter and Christmas; like most of “ID-only Catholics” scattered all over Jakarta.
Then, one of my grandmother got cancer and she was hospitalised for quite some time. My mom, my aunt and I began to go to Mass every Sunday. My mom and I even went for it; we went for the one Cathedral in the city — we never go to the church near our residence. In those old days, I was also praying for my first-ever serious boyfriend alongside praying for my grandmother’s best outcome.
Nonetheless, she passed away some year in January. It was her birthday 19 days ago…
And I broke him up too, anyway. Praying for someone to change had been proven to not work (reminder: to self; self, this is a reminder!)

In high school, a friend introduced me to this community where we study the Bible. The woman who “preaches”, as far as I know, is a Catholic too. Yet as she grow up, she began to discover God in a different way; a deeper, more intimate way. I’m not saying that it’s wrong, I truly am not. But after some few years trying to be like her; well, not exactly, I just tried to apply the practical things she taught us and sometimes — I don’t precisely know the exact weights — it does not work for me. Every now and then I thought it was me, it was me who is not able to be hard on myself (yet I have people saying I’m too hard on myself already); it was me who is not able to be patient, it was me who is less faithful than the other people in that community. Occasionally, to be honest, I felt as if I am not and I won’t be good enough to fit in. I tried, hard. Since I moved to Melbourne, though, and found a charismatic Catholic community, my habits influenced by the one back home gradually vanished; up to I no longer read the Bible day and night.

For the sake of clarity, I’m not saying that I no longer believe in God. I do. I do believe He’s up there watching me and keeping me safe, but sometimes I am just very impatient and very critical about things. About things people say is right or wrong, about things people tolerate or not tolerate, with the basis of faith, or religion.
Take an example.
LGBTQ. Churches say that gay actions is a sin, in the Bible it is said that they will be punished in Judgment Day. As I grew older, with the internet strongly impacting my daily life, and the reality that I experienced myself, I do support #LoveWins. Because it always wins. I am relieved that the current Pope took the same perspective.
I always asked myself why do gay people exist if God really does not create them; they are all human beings after all, and they do have the freedom to be who they really are. I really don’t understand churches that say to gay people that they would go to hell because homosexuality is a sin; hey, we’re all sinners anyway!

Back to the personal level. I began to question back the “teachings” of my previous community. In Melbourne, I was captivated by the beauty of Catholics’ Eucharist, the magic behind a Mass. Last year when my heart was broken, I went to Mass everyday. I yearned for the revelation, the peace, the Light. I was trying to supress my intrusive thoughts.
I do felt peace, eventually. Yet recently I was preoccupied with my new relationship that I began to ‘leave’. I still pray, I still believe, yet I don’t know whether I am still very bothered with sinning or not. Sometimes I think its just me being human, however, other times I feel very sinful I just wanted to shut everything down.

Christian posts in Instagram or Facebook would always say things like, ‘Just believe! God has something great for you!’ while Catholic teachings frequently say, ‘Sometimes following God means you have to suffer.’ which are two very paradoxical things. The community I was in, I must say, is very much more Christian; even though they don’t actually care what religion one hold. In my life, thus, I’ve encountered a paradox that confuses me even now.

About these two previous paragraphs; what I can say is that, all people are sinners and that religions are just ways for a person to recognise God. Even the most godly person in the universe, will have at least a hamartia; a fatal flaw. I can no longer strive to be a perfect human being, because I am a human. I know God has great things for me, for everyone, even. But I would no longer ask and ask and ask and ask, as I do believe that the answers will come at the right times.
This, is for the sake of my mental health, too.

La La Land — To Me

I’m so in love with the music. That’s for sure. The second time I go to the Movies to watch it all over again, the meaning became different to me.
The opening number, Another Day of Sun.
At first, I thought it has nothing to do with the plot as neither Emma Stone or Ryan Gosling is singing in it. Yet as I carefully listen to the lyrics:

When they let you down,
You’ll get up off the ground
As morning rolls around
It’s another day of sun

It is basically one of the main message of the Film; to rise again after you’ve been rejected. To never give up, to embrace the new chances available for you in every single, new day.
(well honestly I don’t know whether these thoughts are unconventional or not. teehee)

The second song, Someone in the Crowd.
This song, to me, is paradoxical. Mia’s friends told her to come to party because she might meet the person that would turn her life upside down. (spoiler alert! I hope everyone already watch though!) While as the song finished, Mia was the one who escaped from the party, walked home because her car was gone, and that one moment when she heard Sebastian play from the outside, she met The Someone who changed her life — not someone from the crowd (the party).
The song, Mia & Sebastian’s Theme; throughout the Film, acts as a ‘signal’ to the couple; and being the hopeless romantic that I am, my heart melts every single time.

Fourth, A Lovely Night.
During my first watch, the impression was that this song is quite funny and Very cliché. Both of them saying they’re not each others’ types — duh, what a foreshadow! (Another foreshadow was the scene where Mia was in the cashier shift and someone famous came to the café, then at the end the someone famous was replaced by her. That’s cool.)

Audition (The Fools Who Dream).
The more you listen to this song, trust me, it makes you want to dream. I experienced it myself.
Generally, I must say that I see the world as it is, what is tangible, what is the reality. I have never been very passionately want to be someone, or actually have a serious, serious life goal; a dream. The closest would be to be a cast member at Disneyland; but thinking about it now, how would I be one anyway? My life had been planned, unfortunately not 100% by me (let’s keep this topic for another day), and sometimes it just seem impossible for me to be who or to do what I want to do; it’s just not realistic in my situation. I know I sound very pessimistic (its probably PMS), nevertheless, it’s true.
At times, I’m swift in judging when a thing is impossible for me; at other times, I can be very optimistic about someone else’s decisions. I don’t know. Probably I should’ve been a psychologist.
Anyway. This song still breaks my heart every once in a while…

EPILOGUE!
The epic soundtrack to an epic ending. I was very heartbroken the first time, I hated the plot. But as I watch through the Film again and listen to people’s opinions about the ending; I kind-of had accepted it by now. People say it’s the most realistic ending for the couple: they inspired each other, parted and chased their own dreams in their own places, then at the end the girl had married another man and the other still had the passion to even play their theme song once more. (p.s. I’m holding back the pain inside my heart.) I don’t know why Ryan Gosling always played that role (psst, The Notebook.)
Somehow though, the ending makes me want to prove that couples shouldn’t always end that way. Two person can pursue their dreams together, can’t they?

peace out, gg.
Conventional Wisdom

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