The first three months of this year have been a soul searching, existential struggle. After an urgent and unplanned escape to Jamaica, I have a renewed sense of hope to share with you.

MOVIE WATCH: Liberal Arts

I caught this gem of an indie movie on Air Transat’s in flight experience, but it also available on Netflix. The premise revolves around 30something year old Jesse – recently dumped and uninspired by his job in college admissions.

His retiring professor invites him back to his alma mater for a final hurrah. While there he meets Zibby (Elizabeth Olson), a sophomore bursting with possibility and maturity beyond her years. Side note: I now have a girl crush on Olson who is so authentic and delicious to watch. Think Maggie Gyllenhaal meets Jennifer Lawrence.

This film could have become a predictable rom com but the Zibby/Jesse relationship is really just a catalyst to explore the fact that adult life has not lived up to 20 year old Jesse’s expectations.

On a personal level, I connected with this yearning to go back in time. To shrug off the chain-linked cloak semi-adulthood has gifted me. The past always looks rosy through hindsight’s glasses. But we all have to keep moving forward and embracing the next phase, which was emphasized by the Professor’s departure (Richard Jenkins).

As Jesse struggles with his decision to get intimate with Olson, he’s really wrestling with igniting passion back into the adult version of his life. But how and does the fire still burn? If you feel lost, this movie will make you feel less alone.

MUST READ NOVELS: Your Voice in My Head / Losing Clementine

Both pieces of fiction revolve around female protagonists who are clinically depressed yet successful in their creative careers. Don’t be put off by the heavy subject matter – these women see humour in everything and are endearing because of their self deprecating and honest world view. Both books are page turners that will give you perspective.

Your Voice in My Head is a memoir written by Emma Forrest (coming to theatres in 2014), who developed self defeating behavior in adolescence (bulimia, cutting, attempted suicide), despite growing up in a normal, loving household.

Emma sank deeper into self loathing behaviour after unhealthy relationships with both men and women until she met her therapist Dr. R. She ultimately gained freedom from her demons after dealing with his untimely death and a heart wrenching break up all on her own.

Emma’s writing is breathtakingly beautiful, here is a taste:  Time heals all wounds and if it doesn’t, you name them something other than wounds and agree to let them stay.


Losing Clementine review

Losing Clementine, a great beach read.

On the other hand, Ashley Ream’s Losing Clementine is about an artist in her late 30’s who cannot overcome her scarring past with therapy or medication. She was abandoned by her father and raised by a single, maniacally depressed mother who ultimately died alongside Clementine’s sister.

Clementine gives up and hatches a meticulous and thoughtful suicide plan. She has 30 days to tie up loose ends and live each day like it is her last. It is her pursuit for closure that forces her to confront forgiving herself and her family history.

A Caution on Comparisons

If I were to give advice right now to myself and by extension to you, it would be to stop blindly comparing yourself to people who have more than you because you are ignoring the other half of the population that has less. #1 doesn’t really exist and the race is in your head.

Despite the bombings in Boston, the universe is doling out energizing surprises to everyone around me. It is easy to  ignore the blessings we already have and engage in self pity. Let’s choose to believe that the positive energy is contagious and we’ll be eating fistfuls of confetti sooner than we think.

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