“I’ve heard her called a quitter for leaving, an aimless wanderer. But not all who wander are aimless, especially not those who seek truth beyond tradition, beyond definition, beyond the image.” Kirsten Dunst as Betty Warren in Mona Lisa Smile.
Last scene of the movie when quote is said.
Today’s quote of the day comes from one of my favorite movies ever that I happen to watch again last night, Mona Lisa Smile. Despite the fact that the story is set in the early 50’s, I think to some extent, the issues portrayed in the film are still current today. The women’s movement has come a long way since, and our rights and opportunities have significantly improved over the past 50 years. However, women today still often find themselves conflicted by the roles they play in their lives, by the expectations people place on them, and by trying to figure out the balance between their responsibilities and desires. I do believe that trying to find or define ourselves and trying to discover our place in this world are not exclusively women’s issues, they are universal, therefore I believe men face those challenges too; nonetheless, perhaps because we are more open to discuss these topics, it may seem we come across women’s stories about such struggles more often than men’s. So I just hope when watching the movie, even if refers specifically to women’s stories and situations, we don’t forget most of the brilliant messages in the film are universal and can apply to any human being, regardless of age, gender, race, status, etcetera.
Now, back to the quote itself. Besides loving it for and in itself, I also love it because it hits a little close to home for me. As I mentioned on a previous post, it feels like I’m always seeking, searching, looking for something. There have been times, I didn’t even know what it was that I sought… but I’ve always known it’s out there, and little by little I’ve been collecting the pieces and clues, while always trying to find more. This search I’ve been on most of my life has taken me to many different places (literally and figuratively!), and at times, when frustration has hit, I too have felt like an aimless wanderer. The beauty of this quote for me is that it reminds me that I am not. That any traditions I haven’t kept, any definition of myself I have broken out of, any expectations, both from other people and myself, about what my life should be or look like that I haven’t fulfilled… all of that has been in order to discover my own truth… the truth about who I am and who I want to be.
There’s another famous quote by George Bernard Shaw that says “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” With all due respect to Mr. Shaw, but I disagree with half of his statement. I think life is about both finding yourself and creating yourself. I think to know who you’ve been, who you are, and why, is half of the equation of figuring out who you want to be.
I am pretty content with my findings so far, but I am excited to continue the search, and even more excited to see what this puzzle that I’m building (a.k.a my life) will look like when I’m done.