Living in the Middle of the Montage
Every day is an adventure.
Or maybe part of the adventure is a better way to say it.
Movies typically skim through the long days because audiences would fall asleep. Can you imagine what it'd be like if Peter Jackson decided to show Frodo and Sam's entire journey in The Lord of the Rings? As someone who owns the 4-hour extended editions of the trilogy, even I would have to pass.
I think we are all living in the middle of the montage in some sense.
While movies have montages of detectives digging through case files, heroes practicing their new powers, or adventures traveling across the world on a plane over a 1940s map, we have to live through it.
Be it long nights of editing, sports practices, data entry, band rehearsals, marketing research, raising kids, or trying to stay awake in English class, we are all in the middle of something.
The question is what do we do with that middle?
Of course it's important to have that end goal in mind. To ask ourselves why we are really doing what we are doing. You keep doing the repetitive because you believe that it will really be worth it in the end. We need those bigger things to long for and work towards.
But let's be honest.
When life isn't ideal, the struggle is real.
Which means pretty much all the time.
The drudgery of living in the middle of the montage can be incredibly difficult, painful, and even devastating. Darkness and tragedy are very real things.
But I think one thing to have in our toolkit of life is asking yourself the question, "Who do I want to be in the middle of the montage?"
When things feel like they are falling apart, monotonous, or like they're not making any progress, I think this question is a good one to ask. In every tough or "dry" season, there is an opportunity to really grow into who we were meant to be.
Mourning for loss is good. Racking your head upon the wall for your next idea is good. Getting beat up on the football field is good. Sometimes even getting annoyed at work is good (because it can push you to leave your job for something better!).
And if you don't know who you want to be in the middle of the montage, then find a hero.
Find a George Bailey, a Princess Leia, a Sam Gamgee, a Lucy Pevensie...a hero who stands up and presses on. As silly as it sounds, Captain America inspires me to look at the work ahead of me and say, "I can do this all day."
Find a real legend that moves you, like an Abraham Lincoln, a Florence Nightingale, a Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Marie Curie, or a Martin Luther King Jr.
If you're fortunate enough to have one in your own life (like a grandparent, a parent, or a close friend), use them!
Let yourself be inspired by role models, by heroes, to keep going while you're in the middle of the montage.
Don't let yourself think you might never be one for someone else.