I've always liked the movie “500 Days of Summer.” I'm a sucker for any good love story, but I especially appreciate when the love story doesn't follow the typical chick flick plot. I like “500 Days” because, rather than being a story about how 2 people fall in love with each other, it's a story about how 2 people learn and grow and ultimately get to a point where they're ready to fall in love—even though it's not with each other.
When I first watched this movie, I got that it was ultimately happy, that both characters would ultimately end up in a better place. But I admit that the movie mostly left me feeling sad. I felt that I, like Tom, had gotten my heart broken. I had been strung along and had spent too much time pining for something that never was to be. Even though the movie did end somewhat happily for Tom, as he pursues his dream job and takes another chance in love, I couldn't help but feel sad for all the time he lost and all the heartache he had suffered. Moreover, I'd wondered if he'd truly be able to give love a fair chance or if he would be forever tainted by his experience with Summer.
I hadn't seen that movie in a long time, but today I watched it for the first time with my husband. This time instead of feeling frustrated with Summer's character for leading Tom on, or feeling sad for Tom's heartache, I saw 2 people doing the best they could to find love. Summer claimed she didn't actually believe in love, but obviously she held out some sort of hope as she pursued things with Tom, however “casual” she wanted to take it. And Tom, for his part, probably pushed too hard for love, but he was only following his heart and doing what seemed right to him. Summer just wasn't the right one for him.
This time I felt happy that Summer, who had obviously been hurt by her parents' divorce and didn't believe in love, was able to find it so quickly and so unexpectedly. At the end of the movie she tells Tom about meeting her husband. She asks rhetorically, what if I hadn't been at the coffee shop that day, what if I'd gone to see a movie, or had come 10 minutes later. She then tells Tom that he had been right about love—it just wasn't between him and her.
And I felt happy that Tom used the experience to improve himself by seeking a career that truly fulfilled him. I felt happy that, even after getting his heart broken, even after spending 500 days of his life in love with Summer, he was able to move on and find hope for the future.
I loved that one of my husband's first comments to me after the movie ended was in regards to Summer's description of meeting her husband. He said to me: “It's like us. What if we hadn't been at the same restaurant that night? What if we both hadn't taken jobs in the same foreign country?”
It's kind of overwhelming to think of how many little things could have gone differently for us. A small step here or there in another direction and we'd never have met. But they didn't go differently. This is our reality. This is our luck.
I spent a lot of time on this blog trying to figure out why I was still single. I still don't really have an answer for myself or for anyone else. Maybe it was just as simple as meeting the right person at the right time for both of us. Simple and serendipitous at the same time.
Maybe there's just a lot of luck involved. So many factors are out of our control. But I think the idea is to keep yourself in the best place you possibly can—for yourself, most importantly. But also so that you will be in the right place when the right person shows up.