#3 – Chef
I get great inspiration from this movie – a southern guy works to redeem himself after a failed marriage and has to learn how to be a responsible, attentive father, while maintaining and/or creating the career that he wants.
I really struggle with these same things.
I love every moment that I spend with my daughter, but it is very difficult for me to balance my life sometimes. I constantly deal with this internal battle, often asking myself, “Am I doing enough?” Sure, the money is there without fail, and I don’t miss her recitals, plays, school or church events, but what of the time we spend? It probably isn’t enough. What is “enough” anyway? What is stopping me? It’s not easy to decipher sometimes. I’ve been given perspectives, criticisms and accolades from all sides of the spectrum. There are those who have told me that I need to spend more time, and there are those who applaud my efforts and actions with reservation. Some have even said that if you have to wonder whether or not you’re doing enough, then you probably aren’t. Hmmmm. Not sure about that one, but I still listen.
At the end of the day, it just makes me think about the situation, do my typical Virgo over-analysis and try again to come up with the best plan – it is a beautiful struggle. Chef has certainly helped by showing me that patience is always a virtue; to slow down; to be as inclusive as possible; and to keep striving for my lifelong dreams, which can surely aid my developments in fatherhood. I know that it’s just a movie, but it’s a cool movie – funny, great music, southern scenes, and food! Check it out sometime…
# 2 – Definitely Maybe
During the roughest times of my divorce, I was lost. I was lonely in many ways, even though I had family, friends, and lovers always prepared to assist and support me throughout the process. I had a number of people who judged me for my mistakes and missteps (perhaps they felt good reason to do so), but they were still by my side and loved me enough to want to see me make it out of my mess. And for those who didn’t want me to make it? Well… no love loss. I’m human – we ALL have skeletons.
But, again, there were some very lonely times (many by choice) that I had to deal with. I had some serious choices to make. During those times, I would read, I would bike ride, I sought counseling, I would drum, I made a pitiful attempt at prematurely dating, and I would have drinks. Above all, I threw myself into my career and I had to find ways to entertain myself, to take me away from my personal reality sometimes and offer me some relief. One of the first opportunities for me to do this came when I first saw Definitely Maybe.
Definitely Maybe touched me. The father-daughter relationship in the recently split home? So applicable. So me! I would watch this movie every Sunday morning before going to visit my little one year old princess. I missed her during those times. I had no clue what to do or how to do it. Sure, I saw my Dad, brother, uncles and grandfathers who all provided examples of what to do (and sometimes what not to do). But for me, I was in a strange ‘Land, with few examples around me and it was not easy to navigate.
When I would watch this movie, it provided a context for me. I began to see how things could look in the future if I could just hold on and do my best. I needed that. I’m appreciative. In fact, when my Dad came to visit me during those times (and make sure I wasn’t completely cracking up), we watched the movie together. I think he liked it too.
I love the music (starts the opening credits with Sly and the Family Stone’s “Everyday People”. Kinda hard to go wrong with that one.) I also loved the NYC backdrop, especially since I had to travel to New York during that same time for work. I also can relate to the early 90’s, political setting, which reminded me of the college days at JSU. And I simply love the way the daughter can see through the fathers masking of his feelings and offers HIM advice – luv that. Pretty cool movie. Corny, but cool.
PAUSE for a maybe not-so-inspiring “fatherhood” clip – hmmmmm.
Classic! So, for my top inspiration…
#1 – Roots
As a father, the greatest joy for me was watching my daughter enter the world. Front and center, I saw her awkwardly shaped head come out of the womb and into this world. I saw her yellowblack face for the first time, and after holding my breath for about 12 seconds, heard her whimper, acknowledging that she was indeed breathing. That was probably the longest 12 seconds of my life. But when it was said and done, I was so proud, thinking of all the memories and possibilities as a child, thinking of the lineage of our family, and thinking of this scene from Roots where Omoro names Kunta. Ritual.
Kali is the name her mom and I chose (which I love because the name exemplifies compassion and the death of the ego)
Mariah being the middle name (a mutual family name of sorts – with a meaning of ‘wished for’ child).
Fatherhood is quite obviously displayed throughout the Roots series. Watching the interaction between Kunta and his daughter Kizzy are also some of the most touching and inspiring moments.
This text message from Kali “inspired” me too! ha ha!
And so, these are some of the films that inspire me. If you have one for me, let me know!
Final scene. Watch the whole clip!
– PEACE AND LOVE
You can check out my ‘Inspiration’ Board on Pinterest!