Friday, October 9, 2009

Gump It

This is for the recovering perfectionists. Those are perfectionists who have seen the destructive nature of their obsession and are trying to overcome it with the help of a higher power. We should have a group, Perfectionists Anonymous.

I like the movie Forrest Gump. I've heard the book isn't worth reading.

My heart goes out to poor Jenny, who spends her entire life running away from pain and ends up running away from love at the same time. I usually start crying when Forrest meets her at the Washington Monument and I don't stop until the movie's over. That's a long time to cry.

However, what I like about the movie is the single-mindedness of Forrest. It's part of his supposed disability, but the guy does one thing at a time, really well. That one thing at a time takes him places most people never go. At the end of the movie, he summarizes his life to Jenny, telling her of all the things he's seen and how she was with him the whole time. It reminds me of the death of Roy Batty (yea, Rutger Hauer!) in Blade Runner.

As a perfectionist, on occasion, I resent choices. I resent having to choose between one thing and another. Do I spend time with mom or the nieces? Do I order this dessert or that one? Do I write a book or read a book? Options that are both perfectly good, but mutually exclusive because of time. A perfectionist asks "which one is the best?" Poor grammar, I know, but better doesn't convey the sense of finality I want.

Forrest didn't worry about the best. He just did what he was going to do and focused on it with everything he had. "Why did you assemble your rifle so quickly, Private Gump?" "Because you told me to, Drill Sergeant."

Exactly.

My point? Maybe there is no best in most choices. Just make your choice and focus everything you have on it. Don't waffle. Don't regret. Give it your all. Gump it.

Who knows? At the end of all things, you may have a trunk full of memories you can cherish. Forrest sure did.

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