We watched The Family Man the other day. I love that movie. I have a theory that that movie would be a huge hit if it had a different leading actor. If Ryan Gosling or Bradley Cooper or Jon Hamm played the lead role. No one likes Nicholas Cage. But it is a great story nonetheless. Towards end, when Nicholas Cage is telling Téa Leoni about the life he had before he was a family man, this is how she responds:
Kate: I think about it too. I do. I wonder about what kind of life I would have had if I hadn’t married you.
Kate: Then I realize I’ve just erased all the things in my life that I’m sure about. You and the kids.
Jack: Good things.
I love that. I don’t know if it’s natural, but being a (previously) fiercely independent woman, I sometimes wonder about if life had turned out differently. If I would be married or have kids or live in a house or be happy. And what Téa Leoni said is exactly what I know. If I didn’t have Steve and Brandon and baby Holden, I wouldn’t have anything solid at all. My boys are the first people I have ever felt loved me unconditionally. They know I’m stubborn and opinionated and moody. They love me despite my shortcomings. They don’t only accept me as I am, they love me as I am.
My whole life I have felt pushed and prodded to be someone other than myself. To be someone different – someone that people will like and accept as normal. I always feel pressured to act more pious or diplomatic or agreeable. It all feels phony. And I’ve come to realize that it’s hard to be anyone other than yourself. To be these different versions for different people is exhausting. It emotionally drains me and I am stressed out and anxious and frustrated as a result. And I wish I could say I no longer have to be those other versions. But I am. So it is home where I find my solace. My boys here love me for the authentic me. They are the only things in my life that I am sure about. Good things.
(Sureness: Middle English, from Old French, safe, from Latin securus; see secure.)