In this area I plan on reflecting on my personal history. My hope is by revisiting the road I have traveled so far, I can begin to see where or if I have really gotten off the proverbial track. I am a strong believer of “everything for a reason.” Because of this, I believe it is possible that while I may still be striving for more in my life, it is possible that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I refer to this phenomenon as the George Bailey Syndrome.

Like Jimmy Stewart’s character classic character in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” I long to travel; or in my case ROCK the world. However, also, like George Bailey, I married, my own version of Donna Reid who has her own dreams, which tend to stray less from home. Fortunately, like George, I have a wonderful family, including my wife, and to awesome little girls. But sadly, similar to George on his journey of self discovery, I have given in to frustration when I fail to see the beauty in my own life and surroundings. Broken banisters and incessant music has set me off too. But alas, like George when I do stop to see the beauty around me, I am one of the happiest people alive.

True Story: ADD Moment

As a kid, every year, I used to look forward to sitting down and watching “It’s A Wonderful life.” This was a big deal as it only ran once, sometimes twice a year. This was before you could view it anytime of day on a number of 24 hour marathons that dominate the airwaves immediately after Thanksgiving! DVDs did not exist yet and while it eventually became available on VHS, all I could find was the colorized version; please, do not even get me started on this most heinous of crimes!

 Why is this relevant? For one simple reason, but you must read on.  Since the movie was only shown once a year, and it often started later at night, I continually made a single monster flaw. After George jumped off the bridge and before he had his experience with Clarence, there would inevitably be a commercial break. It was right around this time that I would . . . fall asleep! Yep, fall asleep. Not once, but several times. For years I thought the movie ended with him jumping into the freezing water. There was no IMDB or Google to verify this, and I had no intention of actually asking anyone. Talk about conditioning at an early age.

 It was not until I was much older that I saw the movie in its entirety (not to be confused with the most excellent SNL “Lost Ending” ) However, even after knowing the full ending I still struggled with the movies simple message of being able to see the wonder that exists all around one’s self regardless of where you are.

While I had, and honestly still do have a crush on Donna Reid, I always blamed her for throwing her rock at the old house; and having her window breaking rock trump George’s dream. It is because of this that I can always tell how my mood is going to be at the holidays. In a good year I can relate to the value George brought to the people of Bedford Falls. However, if I digress into an argument with my wife regarding Mary’s responsibility for keeping George in Bedford Falls; then  I know I and those around me will have to suffer through some self pitying melancholy. This is usually accompanied by me pouting, hiding away in a room and strumming my guitar for hours thinking about how I should have been a rock star! Perhaps, I should get over it and write a song about it instead of complaining!

I am glad I can see the two sides of the story. I have been close enough to know that the other grass really isn’t greener just a different shade. While I have not yet fully reached acceptance in my own life regarding my contributions to my surroundings, I can sense that it is there. I am not sure my longing for “more” will ever entirely go away. I still long for adventures and traveling the world, and do so as often as possible. Now, however, I try not to be as disappointed when I have to return to my own Bedford Falls.

My two favorite movies of all time are It’s a Wonderful Life and Shawshank redemption; movies about prisons, faith, optimism and redemption. For this reason, I believe I will return to both of these subject matters often as the blog goes on. For those of you, who can relate, please enjoy, for the rest of you I hope I do not bore you too much. 🙂

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