So, Back in early 1994 I went on a not-so-great date to the movies…. we saw Shawshank Redemption. The date was nothing to write home about, but the movie, that is another story. The message of this movie hit me to the core, and has stuck with me to this day — the message I walked away with comes from one line in the movie: “Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying”. This line alone jolted me into a world of self-awareness. That life is a choice, and how I choose to live it is completely, 100% up to me. That I have no one to blame but myself for anything good or bad in my life. I am the captain of my ship (master of my domain if you are a Seinfeld fan… ).
So, a little background… I had spent many years working as a nanny and was very much looking forward to graduating and landing a ‘real job’. This was not an easy task given the US economy – we were a few years into a recession (not a depression)… no one was hiring, and you can be certain that no one in Utah was hiring ‘non-mormons’ (tight knit community, more on this later). Not that I wanted to stay in Utah, but being a non-mormon in a mormon community, It was probably best that I expand my job search outside the great state of UT, which was even more challenging given the economy.
I had no idea what I wanted to do, and no “real” skills in the business world. To summarize, I was not confident. But I saw this movie, and it forced me to go after what I wanted… I really got into the job search.. and I landed one of twelve open spots at Andersen Consulting… I thought i had landed a dream job (until I realized that I was working 80 hours a week for $30K AND living in SF)… BUT, the point is, I dont know if I would have gotten that job, or even had the confidence and drive to apply and push for it had I not seen the movie.
Sooo… there is not a single day that goes by that I dont think about this…this line, “get busy living or get busy dying”, the movie, and it forces me to make a conscious decision on how I want to live my life, where I want to go, and who I want to be.
SIDENOTE: As I write this, I am now thinking that this movie (and that very bad date) has ruined me… had the date been better I wouldn’t have had to tune into the movie, and I would/could be a coaster.. a person who just cruises thru life, enjoying what I experience, whats given to me, what I’ve experienced, and where I have ended up. I guess it is what it is, and now I’m plagued with consciousness… Damn those bad dates!!