I watched Arrival about a month back now, and I’ve still not fully wrapped my head around it.
What a movie. The best of 2016, possibly? Admittedly, I’ve not read the short story it’s based on. I will soon, though. I am curious about what exactly people are saying they’re disappointed with in the movie version.
Onwards, to what has me completely befuddled: what would you do if you knew the story of your life? If you knew exactly how each decision would turn out, would you make it anyway?
I wonder this a lot. Even before Arrival, even when not in the deepest depths of depression, I’ve wondered what I’d do differently with my life if, at the point of taking the plunge, I knew it would go this way. I won’t spoil the movie here, but the argument it puts forth is, basically, you should live your life as if the answer to the question of “would you have done it differently” is a resounding ‘no’. Is that mindful, complete living, or is that incredibly selfish when knowing that momentary happiness will come at the cost of infinite sorrow to you and others later?
Even while writing this, I’m trying to puzzle it out. I am deeply unhappy in my marriage. This is a fact obvious to even the occasional/rare reader of this blog. Would I decide not to get married, if I could “have a do over”? I’m not sure about that. I am today a very different person from the, yes, child that happily got married 6 years back. I am significantly more unhappy, but I am also significantly more mature. I have faced many challenges over the years and learned what not to do in many situations, unlearned many things and generally become a more balanced adult. I still have a long way to go, I think, but I am (mostly) proud of the person that I am today. I don’t know if I would have become this person if my life hadn’t proceeded the way that it did, but the lessons I have learned over the years are precious nevertheless.
Go watch the movie if you haven’t already. It makes you ask many more questions than this one, but I thought this was the most pertinent to address here.