Not all movies mind you.
Just certain ones. Not ones where someone dies or where two star crossed lovers uncross their stars.
I cry at movies where some character (often not the protagonist) achieves something that they never thought they could. I cry at movies where the challenge is large and the characters attack that challenge without truly knowing what outcome will occur.
(In my own defense, I love movies. I watch them constantly. I have walked out of one movie in my entire life. There is something amazing about the visual telling of story, even if the story tellers suck.)
Last night I was watching the Tooth Fairy (I also watch almost every mainstream movie that comes out), and in the story, there is a kid who feels like he doesnt fit in. He plays guitar by himself, and has played so much that he becomes a decent guitar player. Not to give away anything, but he plays in the talent show, and is received gloriously. As he finishes his playing, and he looks up and sees that the crowd is cheering and that his mom is excited for him, and a smile crosses his face.
Not the smile of accomplishment or the smile of joy, but a smile of both achievement and realization. That combo smile gets me every time.
Now I dont consider myself for crying, the expression of emotion is the singularly most human thing I do. I assume that people are more surprised at my enjoyment of a movie like Tooth Fairy than the fact that I can be rather emotional.
But the expression of emotion, free from the perceived judgement of others is an important outlet. Im not demonstrative, I dont go to many happy hours (I find them too difficult to enjoy), I find myself spending a lot of time thinking about how to improve things. Work things. Personal things. Sometimes, even physical things.
My therapist tells me that I am too hard on myself. I think I am not hard enough.
So when I see someone achieve the one thing that I truly equate to success: achievement and the realization that you deserve the accomplishment, I cry. I smile. I absorb everything about the moment. I try to understand what that really will feel like. I study, I learn and I hope.
It might be strange reading those words from me. Many people think I have accomplished stuff. I havent. Ive done some things. some well; some not so well.
I cry. I cry about things that matter to me. That drive me each day at Graphicly. Do you know how amazing it is to see people accomplish things and see the look in their eyes when they know, really know, deep down inside, that it was through their effort that they achieved that accomplishment, and the accolades and respect that they have garnered for themselves is so well deserved that it actually doesnt need to be reinforced?
So, at least once a day, while watching TV or a movie, I find myself choked up. And it reminds me that my purpose is to help people find ways to learn that they are able to do the things that they have set out to accomplish.
At Graphicly, we ask everyone to think about three questions:
- “What can I do today that helps Graphicly today?”
- “What can I do tomorrow that helps Graphicly tomorrow”
- “What do I want out of this experience.”
Because its when those three questions intersect that people truly become engaged and are able to accomplish wonderful things.
As I get ready to bail out of Graphicly for the day, I am excited to head home and watch a movie. Im thinking something light. Perhaps Schnidler’s List? I probably wont cry at all.