Friday, March 26, 2010

Pick yourself up and dust yourself off...and learn from your mistakes

It would seem that Sandra Bullock has been weaving in and out of my psyche as of late. I watched her performance in The Blind Side last night and think it was Oscar worthy, although I still think Meryl Streep was better as Julia Child. But that is not what I wanted to talk about. I want to talk about what is happening to her. Not only has she been in the news with her successes, but her personal failures as well. I suppose "personal failure" is an unfair description, but if she is like most women, she probably does blame herself in some way for the crumbling of her marriage to Jesse James. Once the perfect man in her eyes, turns out he was nothing more than a lying cheating prick. She picked him out of millions of others that were available to her, so she must have been a poor judge of character. At least that is possibly how she sees it now as she takes her journey down the path of pain and humiliation. I journeyed down that same path once. My first husband couldn't keep it in his pants either. I was lucky he didn't bring much baggage into our marriage and left with little as well. No kids before, and none during. It was a simple even split of what little assets we had accumulated in our 4 year union and he walked out the door with his tail between his legs, muttering how sorry he was. The mutterings were too little, too late. I was, and have never been the forgiving kind. One of the benefits of a failed marriage I later learned was the opportunity it presents for self-analysis. It really almost forces you to stop and take stock of who you are, who you became during the marriage, and who you will never be again. That process doesn't necessarily happen immediately. There is usually a period of anger and blame and sadness that comes prior to that journey, but it ends up being the best part of the whole damn thing. I hope Sandy moves on to that part quickly for her sake. That guy isn't worth a single wasted negative emotion from what we can see, but she won't likely move into that zone quite yet. It was one thing for a gal like me to go through the agony of separation and divorce, but quite another thing for someone like her doing it in the public eye; millions of strangers following her along her path like voyeurs peering through her fish bowl existence. She has no where to hide. No where to pause and lick her wounds. The paparazzi will lie in wait for her first public tear, or better yet, an angry confrontation with him in a restaurant or her driveway, or some other place. I can see it now. The tabloids commenting on her appearance. Headlines screaming - "Bullock fading away - unable to eat!", or "Sandra spotted at fast food joint scarfing down burgers - eating away her pain!" What is it about someone else's problems that interest us? Why should we care? Celebrities we have never met become the topic of office gossip. We take sides. Remember the "Team Aniston" and "Team Jolie" T-shirts that made the rounds? I know there are folks out there who manage to ignore this type of fluff. They are usually academic types who profess to have bigger, better and more important things to think and talk about, but even they hear the news. We live in a society that worships celebrity. No matter how much we reason they are just human like the rest of us, we still can't help but be intrigued by their stories. Why are their broken hopes and dreams any more or less important than our own? They're not really, but they have risen to the top and we have a sort of sick obsession with observing their rise and fall. And the fall almost always comes. The pedestal we perch them on is never strong enough to hold them forever. They are simply human like the rest of us. Surely it is only a matter of time before we all fall. There are the likes of Obama and Oprah and Ellen - the ones we love.....for now. We loved Tiger and Brad once too. How long before everyone stumbles? It's in the picking yourself up after the stumble that creates the necessary change. Humans have evolved, but we're not there yet. Some of us, apparently more evolved than others.

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