Last night I watched 'The Notebook' - to catch up on the bits I'd missed when the DVD was skipping at Claire's. It's very very lovely. I also finished reading 'The Story of Lucy Gault', which is a great book. However, both of these things made me sad.... and I was trying to figure out why.
They're both about people's lives from childhood/teenage years right through to old age, and something about that makes me sad. I think it's partly that it seems to highlight the brevity of life - especially when someone goes from a teenager to an old people's home in the space of a 2 hour film, or a day's reading of a book. And maybe it's also because they both show people making choices which affect their lives right to the very end - in one case, a choice which led to good, and in the other, a choice which led to sadness.
In 'The Notebook', the choice is very obvious - there's a scene where the girl (Allie) has to decide then and there who she's going to be with forever. She makes the choice, and that's that - they all live happily ever after. In 'The Story of Lucy Gault', the choice is not so clear-cut - even by the end of the book, there are lots of 'if onlys' hanging over the outcome... if only one thing hadn't happened, if only someone had written a letter a little bit earlier, if only they hadn't assummed so much... Lucy makes a bad choice early on, but it's influenced by something else and then compounded by other things that happen later.
I think it's the 'if onlys' that make me sad.
I'm currently trying to decide about work.... where do I go from here - should I change jobs? To what? - something similar but with more prospects? Something totally different? Or should I stay in my present job? It would be nice if it was a clear-cut Allie choice - if I could follow my heart and live happily ever after. But it's not. I guess I'm scared of the 'if onlys'... will I look back in 30 years and say 'if only I'd made that move sooner' or 'if only I'd chosen a different career' or 'if only I'd not spent so much time trying to find the perfect job for me'? Or, in the long run, will it not make much difference?
I can't control how things will weave together or the questions I'll be asking in 30 years' time though... so I guess I need to make the decision for now. And right now I want to find a new job. So I think that's what I'll do... any suggestions are welcome!!