May 16, 2017

Be True to Yourself: Twilight (2008)

To borrow a quote from Shakespeare's play "Hamlet," "To thine own self be true." If only it were that simple, right? The problem is there are always a few unsolicited advisors, be it family and/or friends, who will feel the need to share their thoughts and opinions about your life to dissuade you from what they think is a big mistake or wrong turn. And while their weighing in may, in fact, be well-intentioned, sometimes it can do more harm than good; further confusing a maybe difficult decision or situation, particularly for the impressionable. But when you know who you are and what you want, it's a completely different story, is it not?

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Having a strong sense of self, that is knowing what who you really are -- not the labels that people put on each other but really having a clear understanding of what it is that makes you you -- makes all the difference in the world. It's the difference between playing it safe and not giving a you know what. It's the difference between living according to someones else's rules for life and making your own rules up for yourself. In other words, if you're vanilla, be vanilla; if you want to live in a tiny house and not be forced to work a job you can't stand just to be able to afford a house that's too big for you anyway, go for what makes you happy; or if you don't feel like you fit in with the people you currently call your friends, go find new ones that accept and love you for exactly who you are. In a sense, that's what Bella (Kristen Stewart) did in the movie Twilight (2008), which is probably why the movie makes for a great reminder to us all to be true to ourselves.

In the movie Twilight (2008), Isabella "Bella" Swan, a beautiful seventeen-year-old who moves to the small town of Forks in Washington state to live with her father Charlie (Billy Burke), is forced to choose who she wants to be as she attempts a new life in a strange place. New in town and standoffish to say the least, although others gravitated towards Bella, they weren't exactly her cup of tea. Bella was different and she knew it. That's why Bella was drawn to the Cullen siblings, and more specifically, Edward (Robert Pattinson), whom she got to know in biology class, despite a couple of awkward initial encounters. Bella was intrigued by the seemingly socially-inept Cullen, who really was just a softy with a big, dangerous secret, one that he and his family were trying to desperately keep from the townsfolk. Keeping the secret from Bella, though, didn't last very long; it couldn't because Edward was drawn to Bella, too, in a protective way. But more than just the initial attraction or whatever it was that initially drew them to each other, Bella immediately felt at home with the Cullens, even after learning of their family secret. What's more, she was so confident she had found her rightful place in the world, being with Edward and the Cullens, that she too wanted to become a vampire. As the saying goes "birds of a feather flock together," and, well, Bella Swan had found her flock, being with the Cullens. And by the end of the movie, nothing and no one was going to change her mind about who or what she wanted to be.

Although Twilight (2008) is a romantic drama with a fantastical twist, it is also a great reminder to us all about an important life lesson of being true to ourselves. Like Bella in the movie, we can't be afraid of being who we are and doing what we want, even if that means venturing into unchartered territory and parting ways with our family and friends who don't necessarily agree with our choices from the onset, or ever. Besides, one of the things I know for sure is that people who really love and care about you will always come around to supporting whatever decisions you make in life, even if they need a little adjustment period, initially. So, go forth and forge your own path, the path that will undoubtedly help you to be true to yourself and ultimately live your happiest life.

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