The mess we make
I’D RATHER WATCH ALMOST ANYTHING ELSE THAN A MUSICAL.
And yet, here I was, watching La La Land...and really feeling it.
It happened when Emma Stone sang a song with the words, “Here’s to the mess we make.” I sat there not quite understanding why the song was affecting me so strongly. Later, as I laid in bed, I realized why.
WHEN I WAS A KID, I BUILT A TREEHOUSE AT MY GRANDMA’S HOUSE.
But it wasn’t just any treehouse. This was my dream treehouse. I labored on it all summer long. I was so proud of it. The day I finished, I was standing out on the balcony (yes, my treehouse had a balcony) and I yelled to my grandparents to come and see my work. As they stood looking up at me, the balcony suddenly collapsed.
YOU KNOW THOSE OLD ROADRUNNER CARTOONS?
When the bottom drops out, and the coyote hangs there, suspended in mid air for a moment? That’s what it felt like.
Not gonna lie, it hurt. Bad. I hardly ever recall my grandma being angry but man, was she mad then. She yelled at my grandfather, “Leonard, I told you to help Michael!”
As I lay there amongst the nails and boards, I remember feeling...happy. Why? My grandfather hardly helped me at all. It was my mess. I made it.
I'M MAKING A MESS.
That's the reason Emma singing hit me so hard. At an age when I should be happily cruising until retirement, I’m trying new stuff. I’m building a dream.
Will it make pay the bills? God, I sure hope so.
If not, the fall's gonna hurt.
IT HAPPENS SOONER THAN YOU COULD EVER IMAGINE.
You find yourself in middle age. And any ideas of making messes are long gone. Time to play it safe. Kids are in college. Mortgages and all that. But I'm doing it. Like my treehouse, it’s my mess. Me and my family.
WE NEED TO MAKE MESSES.
And so, I love LaLa Land because it reminds me that we need to make messes. Our messes.
Too many people play it safe. They don’t create the course, or write the book, or pen the play, or take that risk. Because, it might be a mess. And the world is the lesser for it. We're all lesser for it.
Is there something you feel you need to do? Even if it costs you something--especially if it costs you something--do it. You need to.
Please, make your mess. Nobody else can.
We need the mess you make.