I was pondering the other day after my mother once again pointed out my “ridiculous” habit of reading or watching the same things repeatedly. Now, I’d like to clarify that I do not watch or read those things exclusively (most of the time), but I will often return to them. Sometimes after a year, sometimes after a week. I’m not sure why this habit is so bothersome to her since I am not reading aloud, and I watch my movies on a laptop and let her use the television. Most of the time I don’t bother to lend her questioning any credence since I see no reason for it to bother her, but I took some to time to ponder the situation.
Why do I watch and read the same things over again, even when they aren’t necessarily of excellent quality?
I could say that perhaps my tastes in literature or movies are plebian, but that does not sufficiently explain my habit. I can enjoy the scripts and often superior acting in the older black and white movies. I love the tendencies to mix songs with the movies so the results are similar to musicals on stage. I love the cinematography of Citizen Kane, and the concept in The Matrix. I like Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and have seen it numerous times. The Green Mile was an outstanding movie, as was We are Marshall.
Some of my habits boil down to emotions. I pretty much hate to cry. I especially hate to cry in front of other people. Many stories are saturated with emotion, and are so well done and intense that you have no choice but to experience exactly what the character is experiencing. That is quality writing and filming. My life is often a rollercoaster of emotions though, so when I relax I dislike experiences which will make me sad, feel despair or leave me feeling hopeless. I know what I need, and for me that is a light, hopeful, happy scenario. It reminds me of the good things in life, the things to celebrate, to appreciate, and that I need to keep jumping in feet first with the same amount of zest. This is one reason, one that has always been more obvious to me. This next one crept up more quietly simply because I took the time to consider.
The subtle nuances
I think the basic core of my repetitive habit is that I enjoy picking up on the details of stories. Even if the writing, script, or acting is not what I would consider “good”, a story or movie can still have value. I have mentioned a few times that the Twilight series is a comfort food for me, as is the movie Pitch Perfect at the moment. Many people, especially those who have never read the Twilight series, will jump to the conclusion that I just want a perfect guy in my life and that’s why I read it all the time. At first I even bought into that, but strangely enough I always fancied the “Jacob” character more, even before the movies. I have had the benefit of a couple amazing guys enter my life and even if we didn’t work out as a couple, I’m blessed to have an amazing friend.
I was still a little surprised to find that this wasn’t what pulled me to the books. I like that the characters are “real”. If we strip away the fantasy aspect, the supernatural, we see multiple faces of humanity. Neither of Bella’s options are perfect; both men are flawed in different ways. Bella is sometimes shallow, often selfish, and yet also willing to fight for the people she cares about. She makes difficult decisions with remarkable grace, and is determined to make the most out of her life regardless of the cards that she has been dealt. We could all learn a few lessons from this character.
These stories are human. They remind us that our everyday choices are what make or break us. We are remarkable, not necessarily for what empires we create in this life, but for how well we develop our character in this life. These are stories that remind us of the good in humanity and that we endure through struggles. We can either become the bitter villain of the story, or the celebrated hero. These are the types of stories that tell us to remember the journey we are on, and to look at that journey from a different perspective.
As long as there are little secrets about humanity, character, and revelations about myself I guess it won’t hurt anything to keep rereading and watching the same movie repeatedly. There is always room for improvement in our lives, and you never know what the vehicle to positive change may look like. There are a bunch of other reasons, but this post is getting absurdly long so maybe more random thoughts next time. Have a great week and happy writing!