Friday, September 14, 2007

Somethings Take Time After Time

Sometimes I don't get things right away. Movies don't make sense to me or they're not funny. Songs annoy me. Then just out of nowhere one day, I get it. I understand what they were trying to say, I find what it means to me or I realize I just wasn't in the right mood when I first encountered it.
When I first saw the movie Napoleon Dynamite I felt disappointed. To me it wasn't the movie everyone had made it out to be. Then when I had to watch it again I thought it was funny. Maybe because the second time around I wasn't expecting much.
The t.v show Scrubs use to be annoying to me. Of course, I think I was jaded from the beginning because someone I didn't particularly care for loved the show. Maybe I never gave it a fair chance but the more I watched it the more I liked it.
This happens with books too. The first book in the Stephen King Dark Tower series, The Gunslinger, I didn't like it all that much. I think mostly I didn't like that there were so few characters. It seemed a lonely book and I didn't like the choices the Gunslinger made. I forced myself to read the next book because the thought of not completing the series drove me nuts. The next book introduced more characters and the Gunslinger was no longer alone. I started to like it more. Later on I reread the first one, knowing where it was going and while it wasn't my favorite in the series, it made more sense to me.
And would you believe it if I said the first time I saw RENT I loved it but I didn't truly get it? It was a musical and I'm a sucker for those. It was entertaining and I enjoyed it. Then the music got stuck in my head so I finally bought the soundtrack. I started really listening to it and that's when I really felt connected to it.

What got me thinking about all of this? When I was about three years old I ran around singing Cyndi Lauper songs like a maniac. One of her songs, Time After Time, had a significant place in my heart due to an incident when I got lost in a store and thought that if I looked I would find Cyndi and was mad when I ended up finding my parents. Other than that I really had no reason to like the song. It's a good song but I really had no reason that it meant anything to me. A few days ago Jenni wrote me an e-mail where she was trying to put a really difficult decision I had to make into perspective for me and as I was reading her explanation it hit me. For some reason the words to that song popped in my head and I finally understood what the song meant, at least to me, and it kind of helped me figure out my problem.

This whole post probably seems like a really odd thing to write about. I guess one of the reasons that I felt like mentioning it was because it got me thinking. Sometimes things come to people at the wrong time when they're not ready for it yet. They won't like it or understand it for some reason or another but that doesn't mean that all is lost. It doesn't mean that they won't ever like it or understand it but some people need time to think it over and somethings need time to become truly appreciated.
I'm trying to apply this philosophy to my work. Maybe it's not all bad. I'm sure some of it might be. Everyone flops sometime but maybe my work just hasn't been on the right desk at the right moment. The editor might have just been in the wrong mood or maybe they didn't give it a chance for some reason or another. Or maybe it was just a bad story.

And this post may seem kind of odd, like I'm grasping for it to have something to do with writing. That could be because I am having a really rough time with a complicated situation. I wanted to talk about it but I didn't want to share all the details with the entire world. So this is how I ended up mentioning it on a blog about writing.

"Sometimes you picture me, I'm walking too far ahead. You're calling to me, I can't hear what you've said. You say 'go slow', I fall behind..." -Time After Time


whimsicalnbrainpan said...

I think going back and giving something you didn't like a second chance shows that you are open-minded and mature.

jenni said...

Ditto with "Scrubs." I used to think it was so stupid and dopey and I just about gagged every time it was on. Then I started watching it and I finally started to understand the characters and I just got hooked.

I'm not sure if I'll ever love "Napoleon Dynamite" but I did get to the point where I can laugh while watching it. I feel like there was way too much hype about it and I very much wanted to be a cool kid who loved it but at the same time, I didn't really get what all the fuss was about. The funniest part for me was that it was made by Mormons and contained no swear words - but was like an instant success and I'm sure has made tons of money. It seems ironic that other movies spend gajillions of dollars with all sorts of special effects and violence and sex and "Napoleon Dynamite" probably pretty much outdid them all in one way or another. Maybe that's the 'thing' we're supposed to get.

Also, this idea of not liking or understanding something the first time but having better luck with it the second pretty much describes my entire experience with American Literature. There was so much stuff that I didn't get or didn't truly love when I went through it in high school but now that I'm teaching it (again and again) I am starting to really appreciate and enjoy quite a few of the pieces. Some of the other teachers were saying how they wouldn't do this or that story "because the kids hated it" and I was all the time going "man, I love that one though" (and so I made my students do it anyway!).

And just so you know, your emails do the same thing for me - totally put something in perspective and such - but we won't get into all of that here for the good of the order ;)

Ashley said...

Whim- I agree with you. Not that I'm trying to brag that I'm super mature or anything. I think the Mr. Potato Head collection might keep that from ever being possible.

Jenni- I think I really started liking Napoleon Dynamite when I watched it a second time and realized that he reminded me of my sister. (Don't tell her I said that!) Of course she's much hotter but the attitude is pretty similar.