My daughter’s favorite movie right now is Moana. We have to listen to the soundtrack in the car and watch the movie at least once a day, if not twice. And Moana never fails to bring a tear to my eye, every time I watch. Not necessarily for the reasons you may think. Mostly because it’s so relate-able.
At the center of this movie, you have Moana, the girl who dreams of something more while everyone else tries to convince her to just be happy where she’s planted. And it’s not necessarily that they’re wrong, because you should absolutely find happiness right where you are. But, why try to convince a girl to give up on her dreams, her desires, her calling?
It’s no secret that I hate my job. But instead of having family members like the grandmas in all the Disney movies who encourage you to do what makes you happy, I have family who are more like Moana’s father and village, encouraging her to just be happy with what she does have.
“At least you have a job”
“Well, when I was working at -insert company here- they -insert ways the company was not a good employer- and I still stayed with them”
And it’s not that I don’t value hard work and the occasional sacrifice. But how much are we supposed to sacrifice? When your job makes you suicidal, why should you be expected to just be happy you have a job and deal with the unfair treatment and misery? Why should I just deal with feeling like this? I should not have to sacrifice all of myself just to pay the bills. I spend majority of my time at work. Why would I want to spend majority of my life being unhappy?
I have a lot of dreams in my head that I’d love to pursue, but capitalist America has me afraid to try. I have so much to lose, I can’t afford to be too risky. So, everytime I see Moana yearning for the open water, I get teary eyed. Because I know those pains, that feeling of longing. And when she goes for what she wants I get teary eyed because I want that so bad.
I’m trying to take a page out of Moana’s book, though. I am trying to test the waters, to find a way to reach out and go for what I want. Baby steps, but steps forward all the same. I will cross the horizon one day.