Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Why did I watch "The Fault In Our Stars"???

I think I'm half a year behind on this post but then again, I'm not 14. Still, I made one of the biggest mistakes of my life yesterday: I watched "The Fault In Our Stars"! What the heck was I thinking? I knew it was going to make me cry but I didn't see that Niagra Fall coming. That movie is not a tear-jerker, it completely ruined my life. Ten minutes in I was crying like a baby. I'm in shock this is the work of a man, not a pathetic housewife! However, I want to make a point not to focus this post on how much cancer sucks. I have seen how destructive that disease is to the affected and their families first hand and that experience, and this movie, have made me aware of how lucky I am to be healthy. I'm sure we can all learn that cancer sucks from watching that movie but I refuse to see that as the only message of it. To me, personally, the message is omnipresent, not just to sick people. And it's not just empty words like "Live every day as if it was your last"! Cancerfree or not, these themes concern all of us...

#1 Disillusionment
In "The Fault In Our Stars" the protagonists are teenagers with terminal cancer who are facing the disillusionment of life. To me that's the central theme of this movie: Life doesn't care if you like it or not. It is way more unfair to them than to me, however, I can identify with a much less destructive version of the feeling that it has not held the promise I thought it had made when I grew up. I was told I can get what I want if I try hard... LIE! I was told the world is my oyster... LIE! Kids, no matter what age, are told their life will be sweet... LIE! The most heartbreaking line of the whole movie is Hazel saying she doesn't want "this particular life". I'm 25 and healthy but I have caught myself thinking that although I do admit it's rather embarrassing to admit that given how fortunate I am. I can't think of anything worse than knowing you will die before your life really started. Even the strongest people in the world would start feeling like God is taking the piss if they're lucky enough to believe in one. We all expect to get old, having lived a happy life. The past months have shown me that that's going to be a very hard feat to achieve even without cancer. I might have more time but life surely didn't turn out the way I thought it would...

#2 Entitlement
Children, sick or healthy, are entitled to a good and reasonably long life. I was shocked too when I realized we're entitled to nothing. Entitlement is a funny principle because it turns out we deserve absolutely nothing. You would think that Hazel at least deserved to get some answers from her favorite writer since she's dying from cancer and all but he was like life, he did not care. People who believe in Karma are closing their eyes to the fact that kids with cancer are a real thing. Or millions of starving babies in Africa. None of them could possibly have done anything to deserve it. All we're entitled to is to somehow die one day. I used to think I'm entitled to a nice life full of extraordinary things, too. Instead I got quite a bit of hardship. Now life can still be great but many things I thought and did deserve I did not get. As much as I would love to say that the kids in this movie at least had each other, there are other kids with cancer who don't find love. And there's a lot of people living a long life, still not finding love. And much worse, there are a lot of people who are cruel and bad and they have both a long life and many lovers. Who really deserves anything they're getting?

#3 Pain
"Pain demands to be felt" is one of the most horrible book or movie quotes ever. The fear of pain is what hinders me to do a lot of things, most notably fall in love like those adorable kids. The difference between me and Hazel and Gus is that they think the good times are worth the pain. Boy, these kids are much wiser than me because I definitely struggle to look at life like that. Every memory of my childhood is a cruel one to me because it was so nice, and it's not so much anymore. Now I could say "at least I had a great childhood" but I often find myself thinking "if it hadn't been so great, now wouldn't suck so much" because the comparison would be less drastic. Hence, I will only be able to admit I'm in love when the chances of pain are reduced to an absolute minimum which is pathetic. I only lost my father, not my child, but I guess I know it's true there's a life with pain. However, that pain was so bad I will apparently do quite a lot to prevent it from happening again. At least after watching the movie I feel stupid about that.

So this year's equivalent to "The Notebook" and "A Walk to Remember" totally got me. I never admitted falling for a movie that targets an age group a good ten years younger than me but geez, I don't see anyone being resistant to watching kids die. The only way to stay happy is to not watch this movie. I swear to God, if I had known what the movie was about I'd chosen differently. However, although I'm not dying of cancer right now as far as I'm aware I relate to the movie quite a bit. I was eased into these enlightenments but I had similar experiences as these kids in the past year. The bottom line, and the most true sentence of this movie, or life in general, is that it's not fair. This whole post is very self-indulgent, yet I do not intend to talk other hardships down. Dying of cancer is way worse than anything I had to go through. However, I'm glad it's the little hardships in life that have taught me these lessons already. I hope I do not have to battle cancer to understand life, if there is anything to get. And we're all on that "journey"...

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