January 15, 2018

You Are the Product of Your Experiences (And That Can Be a Good Thing): The Vow (2012)

File:The Vow Poster.jpg
Image Credit: Wikimedia
Who are you? Do you like who you are? Would you be shocked, disappointed, or saddened to eavesdrop on a conversation in which you were the subject? Let's think about that for a second.

For better or worse, our life experiences or moments of impact, if you will, help shape the people we ultimately become. Yes, every life experience. Sure, I could say only the good stuff counts, but that would be a lie, and you and I both know it. In fact, many would say the not-so-good (technical term) stuff that happens to us matters more than the good stuff because it reveals true character. Be that as it may, the good news is as long as you have the gift of breath, you can always turn it around. Just ask anyone who has lived a full life, and they would gladly offer up the notion that there are more than a few chances to go around. My point is that yes, even the "bad" stuff that happens has shaped the person you are right here and now. So as you think back on your life, are you content with the person you are? Have you allowed negative experiences to take you down a dark road of self-pity and despair, shutting out those who you love and love you back? Although there is enough self-deprecation to go around (hence the notion "misery loves company"), you can turn it around and make every life experience you've had meaningful in a good way, even if you have to create new ones. And who better demonstrates this point than the real-life couple from the movie The Vow (2012)?
Image Credit: Flickr
In the movie The Vow (2012), newly married couple Paige (Rachel McAdams) and Leo Collins (Channing Tatum) are dealt a devastating blow and the ultimate test of any romantic relationship when they are involved in a car accident that causes Paige to lose her memory, especially the last five years of her life. The problem, or at least one of them, is that during the last five years, Paige met, developed a relationship with, and married Leo and her family was also estranged. But more on that later. So, in effect, all of those precious moments of falling in love with the love of her life were all gone. She woke up in a hospital with a complete stranger looking at her and telling her that she was married to him. Little did they both know that they had their work cut out for them in the coming months. Add in the fact that Paige only remembered being engaged to Jeremy (Scott Speedman) and things couldn't get more complicated, or could they? Remember the estranged family I mentioned earlier, well, they, of course, used Paige's memory loss as an opportunity to come back into her life, but who could blame them? Although it didn't look so good for Leo and the prospects of winning back Paige's affections, with time (the healer of all wounds as they say) and unconditional love, a reunion was inevitable. And perhaps the best part is that they got to have a second courtship, creating new experiences with each other as they embarked on a new life together.

While The Vow is a compelling love story with an equally appealing cast, it also serves as a reminder to us all that we are the product of our experiences. Like Paige (and Leo) in the movie, we too can take the not-so-good experiences in our lives and wallow in self-pity or use it. Use it to make us stronger, better, wiser, and hopefully, kinder. No one's life is without challenges/obstacles/tribulations, but the difference between those who are fighters and everyone else is that the fighters use their experiences to enhance the quality of their life and character. So, go forth and use your life experiences to become the best version of yourself, and the next time someone asks if you know who you are, with your head held high, you can say, "I'm a good person." (Or a fighter...you fill in the blank.)