It’s no secret to those who know me that I’m a pretty sensitive and nostalgic person. I enjoy reflecting and figuring out why specific things make me feel a certain way and how different experiences effect the way I think. I guess that’s why I love writing. Because in it lies the very essence of trying to making sense of it all. Writing is like trying to articulate all the jumble of emotions and feelings and words you have bouncing around in your head and finding a way to put those words together in a way that best expresses those feelings. It becomes a pivotal part of who you are.
For someone who enjoys writing as much as I do, it’s difficult to switch off at times and just experience things for what they are. Instead I choose to dissect them into tiny pieces and scrutinise the theory and meaning of it all. I will read a book or watch a movie and spend hours afterwards asking questions and reflecting on the why’s and the hows. It drives my husband dilly, It can drive me to drink but at the end of the day, It’s just how I operate and how I process things.
Sitting watching Finding Dory with my 5 and 3 year old’s yesterday I, as usual, found myself thinking of the many hidden meanings underlying the beautifully scripted animated story about a fish who suffers from short term memory loss. A fish who you can’t help but love and in many strange ways, aspire to be like. Here are a few very important life lessons that Dory taught me through her journey of reuniting with her parents.
- She taught me that family are very often the close friends who walk the road beside us. The friends who have weathered life’s storms but also been there for every celebratory milestone. Friends like these are the ones you want to hold on to for dear life and the friends who you will go to just about any lengths for. Dory’s love for Marlin and Nemo is a fierce family kinda love. One that knows no limits.
- She taught me how important it is to never give up! The one thing she is certain of throughout her life is that she suffers form short term memory loss. She forgets some of the most important details and knows she cant travel alone because she won’t be able to navigate her way to her destination. Yet she continues to trust her instincts and rely on faith, no matter what. How many times have we surrendered our problems to the world and admitted defeat prematurely? Usually just before we hit gold and catch a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel. She teaches us a certain kind of endurance and shows us how the things we fight for, are in fact worth it in the end. *Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming…..
- She taught me that I need to stop making apologies for who I am. Well, in all fairness, she says she’s sorry A LOT in the movie, thinking that her forgetfulness is a result of her losing her parents. But she also (due to her STML) has a beautiful positive and upbeat energy to her the whole time. She tends to irritate people sometimes, but in remaining true to herself, everyone who she comes into contact with, eventually can’t help but fall in love with her. She is 100% authentic and will in no way compromise who she is for the benefit of of others. She is unapologetically Dory and it’s pretty contagious!
- She taught me to not be afraid to ask for help– How often do we as human being try to pretend we can do it all ourselves? We become so self-reliant, thinking that asking for help means we are incapable or lazy. How much easier would it be if we just reached out to people and said four very simple words: “I need your help”? In the frantic search to find her mom and dad she must ask for help a kazillion times and each time she has faith in the fish she is asking- even though 90% of those sea creatures either laugh at her, don’t stop to help or ignore her straight out. I love her unaffected determination to reach out to her community. And in doing so she brings them all that much closer together.
- She taught me or reminded me of the reason I started this blog and spend my days sharing our lives on this space. You see, I worry that my long-term memory is a little dodgy and so it’s pretty cool I get to document our story by writing this blog (and sharing it with compete strangers sure!). The whole time Dory would forget, I kept wishing I could hand her an iPad to write things down so she could remember her mission – kinda like how I record our adventures out of fear of never remembering these precious years with my children.
Who would have thought there would so many little pearls of wisdom and life lessons in a story about a fish? The next time I feel as though life is about to swallow me whole, I’m going to remember these lessons and Dory’s determination as I sing through gritted teeth, “Just keep swimming, swimming swimming!”. I’m going to do my best to remember that there is light at the end of the tunnel, to persist with determination and that everything is going to be Okay.