Let’s jump right on in, shall we?
Last week I watched the movie Shirley Valentine…again.
I’d seen it before…years ago, when I was a teen…and I always remember it fondly with a touch of the bittersweet. Even then, when most of my life was yet to be lived, I felt the loss of the younger me and empathized with Shirley V. big time.
Shirley Valentine is the tale of a housewife in her early 40’s who goes on holiday to Greece and rediscovers herself. The movie features flashbacks to pivotal moments in Shirley’s life…and it provides a fascinating look at her day-to-day predictable and lonely life.
Don’t get me wrong…Shirley Valentine is a comedy and there are laugh out loud moments throughout the film…but there is always an undercurrent of sadness and regret for the loss of the person she used to be before she settled, fell in line, and became the person everyone seemed to expect her to be.
As I watched the movie again I was struck by how different it felt now that I’m older. Shirley at 40 something doesn’t seem older…she doesn’t seem like she’s from a different generation even though the film came out in 1989. Now, Shirley Valentine and I aren’t so far apart…and I experienced her humor, regret, discovery, and empowerment through different eyes.
There is a song that accompanies the film…with lyrics that caress the soul…sung lovingly of the girl that used to be Shirley and how she could fly…how she was free…how she used to go dancing.
As the credits rolled on Shirley Valentine I reflected back on the girl who used to be me.
And yes, I could fly…we all have the ability.
The question before me was whether I would try.
Oh, hell yes.
I won’t always land smoothly (wink), but I think the important thing is to take off in the first place.
Go catch air, y’all!