Day 2 of 31 // Real Life is Not like the Movies

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

In my 20's, I was fiercely guilty of living with the impression that life really could be like the movies. For example,

-After college, I would move into my own cute and fully decorated apartment in a fabulous new city.  And occasionally, I would go back to my charming hometown and spend a few days laughing and making memories with my quirky but loveable family.

-I would easily land that dream job in marketing and then get to spend my days working in a stylish office with modern decor and the wardrobe of Jennifer Anniston.

-I would have a funny/clumsy/charming love story, marry the handsome guy who was perfect for me, and we would live out our happy life together.


Back to reality here... Life is NOT AT ALL like the movies, well, most specifically it's not at all like the romantic comedies I had become so fond of.   Not that life wasn't beautiful in my twenties, but it was a slow (very slow) realization that many of the naive hopes and dreams I had built up in my mind, weren't going to happen the way I had scripted in my head.

-My parents got a divorce when I was 23 years old, which meant going home to visit was painful and complicated.

-My first job out of college was fun but it was spent in a gray cubicle where I wore polyester dress pants from Forever 21 that cost $19.99.

-And although I did marry a very handsome man, our love story was actually full of doubts and confusion and indecisiveness.  And I think most couples would agree that marriage is one of the hardest things you'll ever experience.

Now in my thirties, I'm just starting to figure things out.  I'm starting to understand that the messy, painful, confusing parts of everyday life are the good stuff.  The stuff that keeps life interesting.  And therein lies the art.

I think Shauna Niequist says it best in her book, Cold Tangerines:

"Life is a collection of a million, billion moments, tiny little moments and choices, like a handful of luminous, glowing pearls.  And strung together, build upon one another, lined up through the days and the years, they make a life, a person.  It takes so much time, and so much work, and those beads and moments are so small, and so much less fabulous and dramatic than the movies."

It's so much more about the transforming of my character instead of the achievement of worldly standards.  To me, the real art in life is when God actively chooses to prune and water and harvest this rebellious heart of mine.  It's messy and ugly and wouldn't make a great movie.  But like a master artist, he sees the end result in his mind and knows it's beautiful.

This post is part of a series I'm writing for the month of October entitled "31 Days of Seeing the Art in Everyday Life."  See all other posts in this series by clicking here


  1. I always love your honesty. You're a wonderful writer:)

    1. Courtney, your feedback means so much to me today! It's sort of weird being so honest on this space sometimes. Thank you for taking the time to read and get me. :)

  2. I can't wait to read that book! Did you just start it - What do you think?

    1. I just started it and it's sooooo good. I think this book found me at the perfect time to be writing this series. :) I am super excited about P&S this month by the way! So up my alley!

  3. beautifully put. I'm just barely into my 30's but I totally know what you mean. Maybe our 30's is a season of being okay with things not turning out like they do in the movies. Because our real lives are so much more interesting than the rom-com's we love so much:)

    and also, that section is highlighted in my copy of cold tangerines !

    1. REEVE! First of all I just have to say how much your worship leading blessed me this past weekend. Truly your singing voice is a gift to this world. Blown.away.

      Secondly, thank you so much for your feedback and thoughts on this post. I definitely agree that our 30's is a time of sanctification and wisdom seeking.

      And yes, how good is Cold Tangerines?? Ahh!

  4. that quote is beautiful. and you're so right. the messy an confusing parts are the good stuff. a woman at my church once said that the confusing and hurting moments are the shadows that God is painting to bring out the other colors when the painting is done. (or something like that. lol) but i hung on to that. and when you write it here, it resonates as well. loving your series.

    1. Hi Leah! Thank you so much for sharing that word picture with me about a painting that God is coloring in for me. It makes total sense, and being the visual person that I am, that really sinks in. Thank you for reading my blog!

      I am excited you are taking on the "from scratch" series on your blog. Focused writing is such a fun challenge dont you think?

  5. I LOVE how God has woven "story" into our lives. He is an amazing author and it's only when we take the time to reflect on our lives do we get to see that. It is sad that there are people who never get to appreciate the beauty in all the messiness that sometimes makes up our lives. We live in a world that loves a "storybook" perfect ending, too bad many people don't get to see that God wants that too, in our relationship in heaven with Him.


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