Five things applicable to singles from The Dark Knight Rises

Aside from the obvious eye candy that is Christian Bale’s everything, I have been looking forward to The Dark Knight Rises for roughly six months. I love Batman as a metaphor on several levels: the altruistic billionaire bad boy, the secret identity that is actually more of an open secret, and the idea that we can fight what ails us without being bloodthirsty self-obsessed monsters.

I intended to see the movie once, but a friend invited me along for another screening, which was a real treat. I see most movies I love over and over again. Viewing them a second time, I get the chance to really think through some of the dialogue and process it. Here are five things that resonated with me. I’m being vague because I don’t want to spoil the movie if you haven’t seen it:

“Fear is why you fail” – There’s a mental cassette tape (showing my age here, I know) playing in my brain that meditation and prayer help me silence (running only helps when it’s not 104 degrees). Self-doubt is a major impediment to my happiness, and it usually has a lot to do with my perceived failures in life and in dating. Some say cultivating courage leads to fearlessness, but I actually think that fear is healthy as long as you don’t have too much of it, which can paralyze you.

“So that’s what that feels like” - There’s a little moment of levity in the movie when Batman gets left standing alone and he mutters to himself, “So that’s what that feels like.” It resonated for me because I love the split second moment of empathy he has for all the people he has just disappeared on over the years. It made me realize the power of understanding the impact of one’s presence or absence in the world. I mean, when you gotta go, you gotta go. But it’s wise to take into consideration what that feels like – for you and for the other person.

“Structures like shackles” – In my transition from working and writing for other people to working and writing for myself, I have wrestled with what it means to live life outside of a neat container. It is liberating, beautiful, limitless and daunting, especially after a lifetime of trying to fit in relationships and structures that just didn’t suit me.

“There’s more to you than that” – This feels like what friendship and true love is built on, to me. It is someone seeing past all of your defense mechanisms and being mirrors for you to help you rise to greatness.

“Anyone can be Batman, that’s the point” - I always say, ‘If it was easy, everyone would do it.’ That’s true for being single, being a writer and making your own path when you haven’t found one that suits you. It’s nice to know there’s an option, and that it could potentially come with a fancy superhero outfit.

Have you seen the movie yet?

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