“So you failed. Alright you really failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You think I care about that? I do understand. You wanna be really great? Then have the courage to fail big and stick around. Make them wonder why you’re still smiling.”
When I was about 39 years old, still married to the boy I dated in high school, but separated due to a work opportunity, I rented the movie Elizabethtown after reading a review that it had one of the best soundtracks in recent history. The reviewers were right–and I spent the next couple of years listening to it during my increasingly frequent cycling workouts, while I worked in the yard, and commuting the 20 mile stretch of US 81 between Concordia and Belleville, KS.
My father had died a few years before, and the business we built was falling apart at the seams, as was my marriage, and everything I’d worked for during the first half of my life. I saw something in Drew and Hollie Baylor and Claire Colburn that directly corresponded to what I was going through at that time.
Claire’s feelings of rejection. Drew’s career imploding after a marketing fiasco. His mother, Hollie’s reaction to sudden tragedy by trying to seize life and hold on tight, all spoke to me. The movie gave me hope, allowed me to laugh, and helped me to start to pick up the pieces of what remained of the package marked FRAGILE of my my life, after being run-over by a Mac truck. At least, that’s what it felt like.
Road trips are wonderful things for sorting out and solving all the ills of the world, and Claire is right–everyone needs to take a road trip. But my time for taking long road trips was about over–I needed to find what I was good at, and build a new life. I have. I plunged into the world of divorce and single parenthood. Instead of living in the shadow, hiding my discontent at being the woman behind the man, I’ve built a career, and I’ve found love, and I’m still smiling.