The Bazmark production company changes its logo for each film. (This one is from The Great Gatsby.) In each logo, though, are the same words:
Truth. Beauty. Freedom. Love.
A life lived in fear is a life half lived.
The last is a line from Baz Luhrman's first movie, Strictly Ballroom (1992.) It's generally described and marketed as a movie about Ballroom dancing. Really, it's a movie about life. Specifically, learning to ignore the critics, to dance your own way.
Very few people are lukewarm on the subject of Baz's movies, it's very much a love/hate experience. His storytelling style, his visuals, his use of music - all are part of a unique point of view that's uniquely him. Baz dances his own way, and is willing to accept the consequence that there will be those who despise his movies.
It's interesting to me that the dance that becomes the heart of Strictly Ballroom is the Paso Doble, a Spanish dance modeled on bullfighting. Interesting because of the quote that inspired the title of Brené Brown's book Daring Greatly:
Brown says about the quote: "This is about vulnerability...Vulnerability is not knowing victory or defeat, it's understanding the necessity of both; it's engaging. It's being all in." Vulnerability is "the catalyst for courage, compassion, and connection."
What does all this have to do with being cool? Coolness is an armor. Coolness is a front that keeps you from feeling too deep, loving someone so much they can hurt you, trying something that might make you look silly or imperfect, reaching for a target you might miss. I was looking for a definition of cool, and I found this guy's picture that actually does sum up cool perfectly:
This guy is so cool it hurts. He loves to be in charge. He hates asking for permission, not realizing that asking someone for a date, for a dance, for their number - all are asking for permission.
When you can let go of the idea that you can be in charge of anything, when you realize that asking for what you need is ok, you allow yourself to be vulnerable, real.
So what's in it for us? What happens if we show up, what's so great about being seen? Remember, "A life lived in fear is a life half lived." Some people call it "playing small," and there's no quicker way to become dissatisfied with your life. There is no success without risk. Real joy is often a product of living through real pain. Love is only love when that other person is seeing who you are, and loving you because of your imperfections.
Vulnerability isn't easy. It's a learned skill. We've had years of conditioning that tells us we need to hide our flaws, we need to protect our hearts, we need to be cynical and realistic. When we're born, we can't help but be who we are. When we grow up, we have to remember, to re-learn.
Still think vulnerability = weakness? Here's a quote from a thing badass punk rocker Henry Rollins wrote years ago in his book One From None, something I wrote down, and carried around with me for years:
Being cool is over rated. I'd rather be real.
Tell me your stories. Have you ever done something that made you feel icky while chasing the cool?
Chris babbles about movies,pop culture, life, and weird stuff that occurs to her. Oh, and occasionally something useful happens.