bxrtley

A personal trail of synchronicity

Tag: dark knight rises

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.

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Identity: Your Dark Knight “Deshi Basara” Moment

Remember when Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne was stuck in the pit Bane threw him in, after breaking his back in The Dark Knight Rises? He eventually healed and tried to escape, but kept falling short of the rocky ledge that separated him from freedom and ultimately saving Gotham.

Why did he keep missing it if he was fearless? How was that possible if he wasn’t afraid of death and felt like he had nothing to lose? It’s because those were the very reasons he could make the climb, but not the jump. Aren’t those the qualities you need to make it out of the pit alive? Yes—and no.

You will only make the climb and the successful jump out of your hole of despair (or unemployment, obesity, self-doubt, etc.) when you do have something to lose (in the case of obesity, it’s got to be more than pounds of flesh). Fearlessness will get you up the wall. But fear—healthy fear—will help you make the jump.

It’s similar to how your passion can guide you to a purpose and kickstart your productivity, but commitment will keep you in the game when passion ebbs and flows—you need both emotion and logic. For the climb and jump, you need both bravado and butterflies—lots of them. In Bruce Wayne’s case it was bats—lots of them. But you need both courage and anxiousness, not anxiety. Too much fear and you will paralyze yourself, miss the jump altogether and fall to your proverbial death. You need the hubris of being a conqueror and the humility of just being mortal.

You get the idea.

And I have a feeling you don’t have any problems making the climb and scaling the mountain. But you’re struggling with the jump. You lost motivation. You’re tapped out. Going through the motions. Not as sure as you once was in the beginning. It’s because you forgot what you actually have to lose.

You’ve spent so much time in reckless abandonment writing that book, developing that app, designing that website, but you lost steam for the editing, the testing and iterating. You lost the weight and the why of the project, career, relationship and what would happen if it fell and died in the pit.

It’s now time to figure out what you have to lose. Seriously think about it and write it down. It’s why I’ve lost motivation at times. I forgot what it was that I could actually lose if it all went south. What have you got to lose?

By the way, “Deshi Basara” is the chant during Batman’s Jump scene. It means “Rise up.” So rise up. Make the climb. And make the jump count.