Identity: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bats and Summer Love
Inadvertently watched The Dark Knight Rises again and (500) Days of Summer for the first time today. Little did I know Joseph Gordon-Levitt would be the vibrant connection between both movies. And he has a similar character too. Hope is what binds both flicks together. Levitt hopes for the Batman to show up to save Gotham. Levitt also hopes for Summer to show up and be more than just a platonic friend. Both show up and both exceed those expectations.
However, both also end up leaving him. And they also leave something behind for Levitt: An opportunity. It’s a special chance to adopt a new identity. Bruce Wayne leaves behind more than just a lair of military toys, masks and gadgetry. He awakens Robin. Summer leaves behind more than a 24 karat wedding band of rejection. She awakens the architect. And that architect “just so happens” to meet Autumn, his competition at an architecture firm.
During the rolling credits, my lips pursed in the agreeable gesture (you know, that ugly frown you make while unconsciously nodding your head). I thought, “Yep. That’s my life.” From my first love to my last breakup. From my first internship to my last freelance project. That’s my life. I will have to meet Batman before I become Robin and Summer will have to break my heart before I fall in love with Autumn. By now I’ve been through many a Summer. (1,000+) Days of Heartache to be exact. And Summer has once again arrived. Maybe this is the season my luck’ll change. Maybe not.
One thing I’m still learning to do is to simply enjoy the seasons as they come—and go. Levitt couldn’t control Summer. He wanted consistency and the assurance she was committed to an exclusive relationship. She couldn’t promise that. I remember being with a friend just like that. And I remember once wanting such assurances.
She had a fear of labels and messing up a good thing by tying down the wings of love to one cardiolocation. And then, just like Summer, she found herself in the arms of someone else—committed and locked in for life. She found the answers of certainty in someone else, which she couldn’t quite discover with me. And while I may have been right about synchronicity and love, I just wasn’t right about her.
“She” could be anyone or anything. For Gordon she was Summer Finn. For me, she was a friend, my professional narrative, spiritual journey—damn near everything. But what she’s always left behind is an opportunity. A chance to become bolder. A chance to be more resilient—to believe wholeheartedly in someone or something one more time, regardless of the outcome. A chance to rediscover my true identity. A chance to live (again).
Summer, I love you. Autumn, looking forward to meeting you—whenever that may be.