JUNE 28, 2007
A HOLLYWOOD BEGINNING
Is there really such a thing as a real Hollywood Ending?
You would think so, considering how many movies come out of this town with everything – that was such a mess only one brief act ago – somehow wrapped up neatly in expensive Japanese silk screen paper, tied in hand dyed silk ribbon. It's not that these typical happy endings are the same necessarily – maybe the guy gets the girl or the girl reconciles with her estranged parents and gets them to accept her for who she is or the guy and the girl find out they're pregnant after adopting a Chinese baby even though they were originally told they were infertile – but what they do have in common is the feeling of satisfaction they give us by the time the credits begin to roll. And when the guy doesn't get the girl or maybe you can't really tell because the movie ends with them talking at the diner as the camera pulls up and away so you can't hear what they're saying (as they do in so many independent and foreign films), we feel cheated. Since we so rarely get neatly-wrapped resolution in our real lives, we tend to demand that the celluloid versions of our fantasies are not only more definitive (This is what happened. Period. End of story.) but also more positive (The best possible outcome, hurray!). Fade to black. Roll credits.
Considering all that has happened to me over the last year, I could see how someone might say, "Molly, you finally got your Hollywood Ending!" But as happy as I am with how everything has turned out, I would hate to think of any of it as an "ending." That's what messed me up in the first place: In marrying Kenny and getting all the accompanying trappings, I let myself get lulled into the three-dimensional fantasy that I had gotten my Hollywood Ending. I had no idea that there was a sequel in development, or that it was going to be a horror flick.
But now I know life is a work in progress. And not just for me but for everyone in my life. We've all gone through major things recently – Cricket, Joan, Sam, Lou, Lavender...well, maybe not Shoshanna – and have come out on the other side knowing so much more about who we are, what we're made of and what makes us happy. But that doesn't mean we're "done." It turns out there's always more to learn – and room to improve.
I've also learned that starting over is not about throwing everything away (except for the Pre-Colombian People's Choice Award) and starting with completely new stuff. And it's also not about going back to the beginning, before everything became complicated or messed up, and starting again. (With any luck, honey, you've outgrown those outfits and even if you haven't, they're not in style anymore so let them go. Time to move on.) I couldn't have gotten to where I am right now if it weren't for Kenny – not only him sweeping me off my feet and whisking me away to a better street address, but also and probably more importantly, leaving me. Look at all the wonderful things I have brought into my life as a result, not only for me, but also for my daughter! Thanks, Ken!
And clearly I needed to fully understand all of that in order to become the best role model for Jaden. Only until I had full and complete confidence in myself and my capacity for creating a "life worth saving" could Jaden trust me and be brave enough to go into the water again. She's a pretty smart kid. Takes after her mother. So, am I now living a life worth saving? Hell, yeah!
Now that's what I call a real Hollywood Beginning.