You know that movie Reality Bites? Back when Winona Ryder was a big star and didn't need to shoplift because everyone wanted to cast her? And before Ben Stiller was famous in his own right for being the hysterical man he is so he had to recite other people's dialog? When Ethan Hawke was still young and hot and pulled off the tortured artist oh so well?
Well, i'm sure it comes as no surprise to you that when I was younger I absolutely LOVED that movie. I related to Winona Ryder (even though I was still in high school) and I, like every other young teenage girl watching that movie, had the biggest crush on Ethan Hawke. And I thought Ben Stiller was a yuppie schmuck.
I loved their passion, their fierce devotion to a life less ordinary, their struggle to stay creative and original in a world full of standardized expectations and planned-out lifestyles. They were messed up and they were somewhat naive but they were true to their inner selves and they struggled on. I ate it up with a spoon.
Now? Now looking through the eyes of a jaded, cynical, downright hateful person I see stupidity where I saw creativity. I see a common tale of post graduates rather than originality. I see a few dumb kids getting their butts kicked by the world which has no interest in letting them continue on with their ideals intact.
And Ben Stiller? The intelligent, well off yuppie with a great career that pays him enough to buy a big house and live a traditional lifestyle? I envy him. And I don't feel bad that Winona Ryder dumps him for the artsy Ethan Hawke because I think HE is too good for HER. Because she's unemployed, and naive and will inevitably end up overwhelmed with debt, breaking up with her artsy boyfriend because they fight about money all the time and eventually moving back in with her stupid parents who don't understand her.
I no longer want to be her, I want to be him. Monotonous job, maybe. Maybe you have to wear a suit and tie and suck up a little. But living well off, advancing in his career, surviving? That's what I want.
I went into my career thinking that because I loved the field and felt passionate that would be all I needed. Now i'm so jaded that I couldn't care less about passion. It's not even on my list of things I want in a new job.
So I guess maybe I still relate to Winona Ryder. My butt got kicked by the world and my ideals are no longer intact. Reality does bite.