I realized earlier this week that I’ve gotten old, or older anyhow. I don’t think that I look much older than before, whenever “before” was. I mean I still fit into my high school jeans and I can still go shirtless at the beach. I work out!
But this week I feel older and honestly I don’t mind it.
Time has passed and what felt like just a week ago was actually fifteen years. It’s bitter sweet as they say. No, I didn’t just go to my high school reunion, I didn’t find an old yearbook and I didn’t stumble upon my first grey hair.
I went to see the Titanic…again.
I liked it the last time, but this time, it changed my life.
Everything has changed.
When I watched it as a teenager it seemed so exciting. Evil rich people, poor heroes, young love, and tragedy. I had a girlfriend at the time and we went to see it together, we were in love just like Rose and Jack. I knew I’d marry her, after all, love lasts forever when you’re only seventeen years old. What an absolute adventure, Rose and Jack against all odds, with everything to loose except for the love they found for each other after only ten days at sea.
That’s how I remembered it anyway. I even wrote a Blog about it called “What we learned from Titanic”
http://werejustnotthereyet.blogspot.com/search/label/Titanic It’s still one of my favorite pieces that I’ve ever written till this day. So when the film returned to the theaters of course I had to go check it out; there I was waiting in my seat, twenty dollars poorer, with my 3-D glasses on and I was ready to be entertained.
I got my moneys worth and then some.
Except I didn’t remember the movie being so…
Well, so tragic. It was a completely different movie this time around; I wasn’t a young teenager cheering for Jack to get the girl. I was watching it as a grown man and I’ll be honest with you, it hit me and took the wind right out of my lungs.
In fifteen years I’d learned the true meaning of loss, death, status, wealth, family, tragedy, greed, opportunity, character and love.
Every word had a different meaning to me now.
Watching 1,500 people parish, falling into the icy sea as families were literally ripped apart, reminded me of staring at a TV as two tall buildings crumbled on September 11. When I was a young man old lady Rose seemed so ancient on the screen, but this time the old woman was my grandmother’s age, so frail.
Caledon seemed so utterly convinced that his wealth could solve any problem. I know now that extreme wealth is a sickness and the first symptom is greed. I was instantly reminded of all the greedy men on Wall Street who robbed our middle class blind. Those men just like Caledon didn’t see us as real people, we were just 3rd cabin class passengers to them. Status is a very real thing in America now but I don’t remember even giving it a second thought back in 1997. I didn’t give anything a second thought back then actually, but now I know better.
Family is priceless, death is forever, and love is still worth dying for.
Jack Dawson boarded that boat with such hope. He came from nothing and saw an opportunity to better his life. He lived his life by the motto,
“To making it count.”
That meant nothing to me then but this time it meant everything. I left the theater and as I lay in bed I thought about the last fifteen years of my life. What had I done, what had I seen, what had I lost and what had I learned?
I can’t easily explain the emotions I felt but I can tell you this,
It was the best twenty dollars that I’ve spent in a long, long time.
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