Dreaming in La La Land
While watching La La Land a few weeks ago, I realized I never lived out my dreams, and to an extent, I've forgotten I even had dreams. I'm not quite sure what happened, but I figure it has something to do with trying to live up to the American dream, while all the same losing sight of my own. I also couldn't reconcile the bittersweet ending between Mia and Sebastian, where they achieve their own individual success, but fail to do so with each other. Could I have considered having to choose between my career and a loved one? I'm not sure I can, but seeing as I've never tried endeavoring for either dreams, maybe I shouldn't speak.
To make matters worse, I had no right to complain. I'm probably living the dream of countless people throughout the world. I graduated college in four years, started my career in a relatively short period of time, and earn income. That's the kind of the path we're all expected to take nowadays: education, work, retirement; in that regard, I'm on the pathway to success, and I can't deny that. Rather, finding the equilibrium between finding success and following your dreams is what I find difficult to do. Taking aside wanting to become a professional basketball player or following the footsteps of Ed Sheeran, column writing would my next choice. I don't think I'm a terrible writer, and if anyone thought so I wish they would have told me, but that's exactly the point of La La Land, where two talented individuals just couldn't achieve the sort of success that could make their dream both an enjoying and sustainable career.
It's difficult for me to find solace in the ending of the movie, knowing the final acknowledgement between Mia and Sebastian guaranteed a torn audience, debating whether chasing after their respective dreams was worth the cost of their seemingly perfect chemistry and relationship. The again, maybe it's only because we're too infatuated with the idea of Emma Stone or Ryan Gosling in our lives. Either way, I couldn't imagine turning in my resignation at work the next day in an effort to dedicate myself fully to this blog, much less also, miraculously, find a Mia attempting the same sort of craziness as I was. But I could write a story about it, probably starring me in a coffee shop I frequent, eventually spilling coffee onto a girl by the counter, or something of that sort.
Barring that kind of future, I didn't know how much of La La Land I could fully embrace. Mia's dream of becoming an actress could only happen to so many people, and Sebastian's jazz bar represents an extremely niche market that would almost surely spell disaster for most anyone attempting such an establishment. But we're somehow supposed to find hope and inspiration from all that, to believe in our seemingly unobtainable dreams. It's easy for me to dismiss my own aspirations. Doing so for others, however, well, maybe you shouldn't have read so far into my blog post. In the end, I found watching the film akin to an article I read a while back when the Powerball Lottery prize reached a record number. The author suggested buying a lottery ticket was worth it, contrary to the low odds of winning, simply due to the possibilities churning in our mind as we thought about how to spend a hypothetical lottery winning; it's enjoyable thinking about what I could do with millions of dollars. Watching La La Land was extremely similar to envisioning that small possibility of winning the lottery, though in this sense, it came in the form of finding the perfect lover and/or achieving our dreams to the fullest extent.
For an $11.25 movie ticket? Definitely worth it.