Monday, January 15, 2018

It Gets Easier

I can come off as elitist.  Especially when it comes to film and music.  And sometimes television.  I embrace this snobbery and I actively look for new tunes, flicks, and shows to experience.  The one place I’ve never really gone when it comes to entertainment is in the animated stuff.  I have never seen a single episode of South Park, Family Guy, American Dad, Futurama, etc.  I avoid anime like the plague.  Those weeaboo scare the bajeezus out of me.  I’ve done some Simpsons in the past and I laughed like an idiot, so there’s no real reason I should avoid such highly-rated, universally-loved programs.

While cruising Reddit I came across an interesting post in r/getmotivated that referenced a current animated TV program called “Bojack Horseman.”  I thought the post was clever and I decided to give the show a try.  I love Will Arnett’s humor so I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed.  It is hilarious, cringy, and bizarre...just as I’d expected.  What I did NOT expect, however, is the poignant insight into serious life issues like anxiety, depression, abandonment, usefulness, and self-worth.

Bojack is not a “horseman” in the traditional sense of the word.  He’s not a man on a horse.  You’ll not see him participating in the Olympic Modern Pentathalon anytime soon.  Bojack is actually an anthropomorphic horse that stands on two legs and speaks english.  He is a

In the 1990s, Bojack was a wildly popular television star.  The lead character in the network hit “Horsin’ Around.”  During his hayday (best pun ever?), Bojack lived it up.  Parties.  Women.  Booze.  Constant attention and fame.  And the love of a media-crazed world.  But now, 25 years later, Bojack struggles.  He tries to maintain an outward appearance of bravado and panache, but in reality he is quite sad.  He feels abandoned by the fans that once adored him.  He struggles to maintain friendships.  And he really struggles with self-worth.

I can identify with Bojack.  I think on one of thousands of levels, we all can.  Everyone knows what it’s like to be disappointed and sad.  I’m sure I'm not alone in having felt old or ugly or fat.

A scene from the Season 2 finale of Bojack Horseman hit me like a freight train.  Bojack is unhappy with his physical form and has decided to start exercising.  So he goes out for a run.  He is struggling.  It’s hard.  “Oh God, lungs on fire...running is terrible.  Everything is the worst.”  After a short period of time he can’t go any farther and collapses on the ground, exhausted.  As he’s pleading “Oh my God, Oh my God” through tight-shut eyes, a random character called “Jogging Baboon” appears over him and delivers this incredible bit of insight:

THIS IS IT.  This is the secret to everything in life.  I’m convinced of it.  It applies not just to physical exercise, but to every other difficult aspect in life.  I’ve been trying guided meditation.  It’s rough.  I have a hard time focusing and relaxing. But it’ll get easier.  I just have to do it every day.  I’ve been struggling with balancing nutrition intervals.  But it’ll get easier.  I just have to commit to it...every day.  When my thoughts take me places that I don’t like, I have to just remember that pulling them back in WILL get easier.  I have to just commit to doing it every day.  That's the hard part.  But it will get easier.  I am investing in myself.  I am rewiring my perspective.  I am re-evaluating and reframing relationships.  I am relentlessly pursuing happiness and freedom.  And all of these things take WORK.  Tiny steps that need constant attention and the dedication to do them every day.  That’s the hard part.  But it’ll get easier.  And once it becomes EASY, I’ll be right where I want to be. I'm documenting my progress here.

I have a feeling this life lesson from a talking, animated, jogging baboon is going to change my life.  Help finds a way to find you.  Sometimes from the most creative of places.

No comments: