“Life offers you a thousand chances…all you have to do is take one.” – Under The Tuscan Sun
DON’T BE A CHICKEN-SHIT
I am writing this article I think more for myself than for anyone else. I have come to a crossroads in my life after finally being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I find myself re-evaluating my life and looking for renewed inspiration and purpose.
This post is inspired by the movie, ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’, not only because it is one of my favourite films (the storyline is enchanting, the cinematography beautiful and the scenery breathtaking), but because my all time favourite quote is featured as well ;-
Patti to Frances: “You know when you come across one of those empty shell people, and you think “What the hell happened to you?” Well there came a time in each one of those lives where they were standing at a crossroad…someplace where they had to decide whether to turn left of right. This is no time to be a chicken-shit, Frances!”
UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN
The story revolves around Frances Mayes an author who discovers her husband’s infidelity. She goes through a traumatic divorce and is then stuck in a cold, miserable rut, living in a furnished apartment amongst miserable divorcees.
Her best friend Patti persuades her to go on a trip to Tuscany where she meets Katherine, a free-spirited beauty who inspires her. This new-found inspiration sees Frances taking a risk and buying a run-down Tuscan villa.
The story unfolds while she renovates the villa. While renovating she meets Marcello, a suave Italian and has a romantic fling with him. There are many other fascinating characters and relationships in the storyline which is intertwined with magical slices of Italian life.
There does come a time, in each of our lives where we have to make important decisions liking taking stock or rediscovering ourselves.
What is clear is that we all have choices and the ability to change direction if we adjust our plan of action.
The question is how do we do this?
I have taken some inspiration from Under the Tuscan Sun ;-
TAKE TIME OUT
Frances: “Stop the bus!” Bus driver: “Sorry everybody, unscheduled stop.”
It’s critical that once we’ve realised something is wrong, to actually stop, reflect and rethink. It is easy to remain in a comfort zone and keep doing what we always do. That would be allowing lethargy and indifference to rob us of life.
I must add there are times in my bipolar life when I simply am incapable of doing anything. I have decided to not feel guilty about this and to use the good times to do what I need to do.
Katherine: “No matter what happens, always keep your childish innocence. It’s the most important thing.”
Katherine: “”Fefe said live spherically and never lose your childish enthusiasm and things will come your way.”
Katherine: “Ice cream changed my fate.”
Often as adults we become who we think we are supposed to be. In the process we lose our true identity. What we need to do is go back to our childhood dreams before we became aware of boundaries and limitations.
This is the real you.
We need to find a way back to the innocent and untainted times in our lives. This may just present astonishing new discoveries!
VISUALISE YOUR DREAM
Set sights on a destination or goal. For me these are more achievable when broken down into small segments and little steps.
Martini (realtor who sold Frances the villa): “Signora, between Austria and Italy, there is a section of the Alps called the Semmering. It is an impossibly steep, very high part of the mountains. They built a train track over these Alps to connect Vienna and Venice. They built these tracks even before there was a train in existence that could make the trip. They built it because they knew some day, the train would come.”
Frances: “I looked for it and I didn’t find it – but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.”
TAKE A LITTLE RISK
Frances: “I’d like to make an offer on the house. This is what I can pay, minus the work on the place, buckets, nails…chocolate, and a rental car to drive off a cliff when this all turns out to have been a terrible mistake.”
There are times when we need to take a risk. We need to live beyond perfection and allow ourselves to be imperfect. This is what liberates us.
It’s good to be wise about decisions and think things through. However, sometimes we miss out on amazing opportunities because we over-think and over-analyse.
Spontaneously embracing awesome opportunities can bring us closer to our dreams.
Which leads me to my last point…..
FEAR OF FAILURE
Marcello: “If you smash into something good, you should hold on until it’s time to let go.”
Katherine: “Regrets are a waste of time…they’re just the past crippling you in the present.”
More than anything I think that fear of failure cripples us. So what if we fail, it certainly won’t be the end of the world. Provided we learn from our mistakes an move forward, failure isn’t such a bad thing after-all.
TWO FINAL THOUGHTS
Frances: “What are four walls, anyway? They are what they contain. The house protects the dreamer. Unthinkably good things can happen even late in the game. It’s such a surprise.”
Frances: “Do traffic lights mean anything around here?”
Marcello: “Yeah sure. Green Light – Avanti! Avanti! Yellow light – decoration.
Frances: “What about the red light?”Marcello: “Just a suggestion.”