The story of love, addiction, and stardom begins with Jackson. He is a middle-aged boot wearing country singer. He is a on the decline of his success and after a show he is performing at decides to visit a bar. However, it wasn’t a conscious choice it was something his mind and body craved. He needed a sip of alcohol. Jack was completely unaware of this of course. At the bar he stumbles upon Ally, an aspiring singer. She is talented but unsuccessful, until she meets Jack. Now if the story is starting to sound familiar it is because you probably have seen the movie, A Star is Born. If you haven’t you should! I will summarize it and sorry if I spoil it for you. But Jack pretty much is a singer who is lost, he is an established singer and has fame. Yet, lost in the sense that he has no control over his life. He is a struggling alcohol & drug addict with a sprinkle of severe metal disorders. His decision ultimately spiral his life downwards – even when his life is looking better. With Ally entering his life so does the introduction of love come into Jack’s life. What I will try to explore is the idea that being lost could be beneficial to one’s life or it could be detrimental.
In order to under to understand the journey of being lost we must first define it. Webster’s definition of lost is – unable to find one’s way; not knowing one’s whereabouts. Acting impulsively or not thinking about the consequences of our actions is the same as being lost. The reason is because impulsive or irrational decisions are made when we have no end in mind. Think of the countless of stories you hear about impulsive buyers who cannot save money. Simply stating “ Cash burns holes in my pockets”. Or addictions that start with a small sip. Obviously, many factors come in to play when are talking about addictions. However, losing ourselves starts with one small decision.
Our decisions are complicated. Most of us do not understand why we act the way we do at times. If we simply did what we knew was best to do we would live in an ideal world. Everyone would be pursing their best version of themselves. Unfortunately, this is not the case. To understand the way we act many psychologist and therapeutic practices preach about understanding our past. Another big factor in our decision making systems is defining our end goal. Is that the most important way to get to our destination, to know where the trip ends?
In Goodfellas, Henry Hill is a Italian Gangster who for – as far as back as he could remember wanted to be a gangster. He goes on to become a very respected gangster … all with paying the high price of course. A downward spiral of his life is the price. So the question to ponder is if Henry did things right? I mean he did accomplish all he wanted. He stayed consistent with the map of his life. For the love of movies I don’t wish to spoil the ending of both movies but the endings are not happily ever after. The underlying themes of each movie is very different so they have opposing main characters. One who drifts through life and one who had a very clear direction of what he wanted to do. Both get to experience some very high-low points in their life, and everything in between.
Although they are movies, both characters do raise some interesting questions. What is it that leads to destruction of your life. Is it subconscious choices we make or the conscious evil we pursue. For the opposite of destruction of your life would be happiness. Isn’t that what we are all after – a happy life. The pursuit of happiness is not a materialistic pursuit or stumbling upon love. It is the acceptance to our situation. The adaptation to our external world. See if Henry was pursuing respect and money there is a multitude of ways he could of accomplished that. He would have been grateful for the ability to be born in America when his parents moved to the states. He could of gotten out of the gangster life, early in his life. If Jack would of first loved himself – he would then be able to love Ally. He would not be insecure about her rise to the spotlight. Had he adapted his view to one that serves the world not just him, a tragedy would have been avoided. So its not that we need to find ourselves and map out our life. We do not need to have an end destination. What we must have is a simple understanding of where we are. Whether it is in self-denial, struggling with mental disorders, or wherever it may be for us. The first question is, where am I?