Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Rest of the Story

Over the holiday I sat down to watch one of my most favorite childhood movies, The Wizard of Oz. I was anticipating to be swept away with Dorothy in the cyclone, land in the colorful world of Munckinland, a little scared of the Wicked Witch of the West with her Flying Monkeys, and finally relieved when the Wizard announced he himself would take Dorothy home. It’s always been a sort of magical movie that even as an adult I immensely enjoy and always look forward to watching.

As I settled in and started the movie all was fine. There is just something about a tried and true classic such as The Wizard of Oz. Not quite halfway thought the movie I had to turn it off and was filled with a sense of disappointment of sorts. The story was the same, the songs and characters were all the same, but something was different. It just wasn’t the same. I tried watching it again the next evening. This time I did make it through the whole movie but that disappointment was still there. Something was off. What was it that wasn’t quite right?

After giving the situation some thought, I realized it wasn’t the same because this time watching the movie, I knew the "rest of the story". The Wicked Witch wasn’t just the old mean Wicked Witch. She has a name, Elpheba, and after seeing Wicked, she’s now my favorite character in the story. The beautifully tragic heroine who leaves everything behind her to live the life that in her heart she knows she needs to lead. After knowing the rest of story, The Wizard of Oz will be forever changed for me.

How often this is true in real life as well. Knowing the rest of the story changes things, probably the biggest being our own perspective. I am easily caught up in how everything relates to me. I am the center of my own universe. When I am in a hurry to get somewhere and there is a little old lady who can barely see over the steering wheel driving a big tank of a car in front of me going 15 miles under the speed limit; I only focus on how late she’s making me. That I have places to go and errands I need to run. That I need to be going at least the speed limit, preferably a tad bit over. Or there are times when I run into the grocery store for just a few things and there is someone in front of me with a huge cart full of groceries who insists on splitting the order and then seeming to take forever directing the bag boy which groceries go in which bags when all I wanted to do was check out and get on with my day. I don’t stop to think about the rest of the story. The old lady in the car may have vision problems and no one around to take to her to a doctors appointment so driving is her only option. The person who is splitting the grocery order may be taking them to a shut-in.

When I am completely in the moment, its hard to remember that there is a “rest of the story.” Some days my bad mood, my temper or lack of patience gets the best of me. Changing perspectives is difficult sometimes, other times it happens without me even being aware its happened. I need to remember that the situation before me is just that—a moment in time I am seeing unfold before me; and while I know my side of the story, I don’t know the whole entire story. I need to remember that there is always a "rest of the story." If I am lucky enough to ever find out the rest of the story, I may just find myself changed for the better.

17 comments:

Andy said...

I LOVED this post Mandy!!! Really!! It left me "bouche-bée", as in speechless.

And I agree. I tendo to go very easily with only one side of the story, not considering sometimes that the story changes of perspective from person to person.

Auburn Kat said...

OK, I need to see Wicked!

LBluca77 said...

So true. I always try and picture how a situation is going to go before hand. Usually I expect the worse and it ends up being better than I thought it would be.

Mandy said...

Andy -- thank you! I think we all do that to some extent.

Auburn Kat -- you haven't seen Wicked? You absolutely must -- next weekend would be a good time to go see it!

Lbluca77--I do that sometimes and then I am pleasantly surprised.

Stacy said...

Awesome post!

MeLaNiE said...

LOVE IT! I need to see Wicked!

Amy said...

Feeling better! Thank you, and this post was AWESOME! It helps in life when you put yourself in someone elses shoes, road rage, in your face rage, and always treat others as you want them to treat you!

lspoon said...

I was once asked to choose between Liza Minnelli and Judy Garland. I couldn't do it.

And I can't do it with The Wizard of Oz and Wicked either. I'm so in love with both.

I've recently started to put together a Wizard of Oz/Wicked wall, and not surprisingly most of the things I have for the wall so far are Wicked Witch related. :)

mycynicalpov said...

Great post! I haven't seen Wicked, either. I must go!

Rachel said...

Wow. Wicked has always been one of those books I've said "later" too, even with all of the loving reviews I'm always hearing.

Now I need to get involved.

Katie said...

What an amazing post! It so easy to get caught up in our own stories that we forget to seek others out.

I'm reading Listening is an Act of Love right now, which highlights stories shared in NPR's StoryCorps project. I love all the tidbits of lives that are shared. It makes you realize the wonder and the depth of people who are all around you.

♥ Tiffany ♥ said...

great post and so true. i try to keep that in my mind alot because it makes people real and not just objects around us. we all have a story to tell and i think youre blog is amazing!!!!

Frank said...

I refuse to see Wicked.

I have nothing against The Wizard of Oz - I must have seen it at least 30 times, but my sister went and saw Wicked and then bought the soundtrack...and proceeded to listen to it day and night for the next 3 months. If I hear those songs again, I swear I'm going to punch someone in the face.

Katelin said...

oh man i love wicked so so much. i was never a big fan of the wizard of oz and still aren't really, but wicked, i could watch that forever and ever!

Amy said...

Awesome post. Wow. And I couldn't agree more!!!

Kyla Bea said...

This is a great post - keeping perspective can be really hard...but it's really worth it!

alexa - cleveland's a plum said...

the old lady with the vision problems got to me. i think about that all the time when i see the elderly - you know what sometimes they can't help it.

it always pulls on my heart strings.