How Titanic Saved My Life

Apr. 24th 2012

Okay, the title might be a little overly dramatic, but let me explain. First of all, this memory has come flooding back (see what I did there?), thanks to the re-release of Titanic in 3D. I saw the original for the first time in December of 1997 (with my beloved) and was wowed, just like everyone else.

I then went on to see the flick another three times (at least) in the spring of 1998, and here’s why: my beloved and I had broken up, and I was, quite simply, devastated.

I was a young pup — I’d just turned 25 — and my heart was breaking, and no, Celine Dion, it didn’t feel like it would go on. This was before the Internet had taken off and everyone had email. Facebook didn’t exist, nor the smart phones and texting and online Scrabble we’ve come to know and love today. Time went by so slowly back then, but even more so for me in that stretch of spring circa 1998 when every minute it seemed my tender little heart ached and broke some more. I needed distractions, something to fill the endless, empty hours. Enter Titanic. I mean, there’s nothing like a 3.5 hour movie to kill off a chunk of time.

Yes, it might seem odd that I opted for a flick with a love story — and a sad one — at its heart, but I had few choices. So off to the theater I went, by myself, when I didn’t think I could stand another moment in my body. The hours I stared at the screen with glazed, red, and puffy eyes saved me.

I’ve seen the movie probably a dozen times since then and know much of the dialogue word-for-word. I haven’t seen it in 3D and don’t know if I will. The memories it’s stirred up are enough.

But it’s those memories and experiences, I think, that shape and complete us (corny sounding, even as I write it, but it’s true), and, for me, all of it has inspired me, my writing, and my vision for my future.

It’s taken me fourteen years to feel this way, but I’m grateful for all of it, and I am, finally, at peace.

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