Recently I re-watched LA Story.
The first time I saw it, I was part of the domestic exchange program and spending a semester at the University of Alabama (Roll Tide!). They played it in the campus theater. I think I was the only one who laughed at all. I wonder if it is only funny to people from Southern California.
In re-watching it, I was struck by the line, “Why is it we don’t always recognize the moment when love begins, but we always know when it ends?” I realized that while the line is definitely true for love, it is far from universal. In many things in life, I can point to an exact moment where my thinking changed.
Since I moved back to the States a decade ago this week, I thought I’d recapture the exact moment when I decided to move to England, which happened when I was in Paris.
I was on my first trip abroad, triggered by the death of a dear friend; I was almost 30, newly divorced, and lost … emotionally. As I was walking through a glorious mini park tucked off the main path, a thought crossed my mind, “You could live here.” Then it hit me: I really could.
I took a seat on a cold park bench (it was February) and had a good think. I thought the language barrier would be too much for me, but I’d just returned for a glorious week in the UK, and I almost spoke that language. I could move there. I had money from the house sale sitting in my account. There was nothing holding me in place. I would kick myself forever if I didn’t take advantage of this unique opportunity.
And so I jumped and worried about the details later. Well, not all the details. At the airport for my flight home, I pulled out all the francs I had left and placed them on the counter in the gift shop. In my broken French, I asked if that could possibly be enough for a pen and some paper. (My homemade notebook resourcefulness hadn’t developed yet.) The woman took pity on me and found a tiny little notebook on the shelves, reached behind the counter for a pen, and then took my money. I was so grateful.
I spent the flight home writing lists. What would need to be done? Ideas of how to handle my cat (not Carmen). The last list I tried to write was, “Reasons this is not insane.” Nothing went on the page. It didn’t need to. My mind was made up. I knew it was right.
What has been some of your life-altering thinking changes? or Has anyone else watched a much loved film and picked up on something new?