I have watched a handful of Chinese and Korean dramas with Rebekah over the last couple years, so I was looking forward to watching this movie with her, which we did over the Thanksgiving weekend.
For me Crazy Rich Asians was not as interesting as the dramas she's handpicked for us, but one scene from this movie has stuck with me. I cheered it when I heard it, and I've paraphrased it a few times at home over the last few weeks.
Eleanor Young : You're a foreigner. American - and all Americans think about is their own happiness.
Rachel Chu : Don't you want Nick to be happy?
Eleanor Young : It's an illusion. We understand how to build things that last. Something you know nothing about.
Of course, I like to be happy as much as the next person (perhaps even more), and I am happy most of the time.
But my happiness, overall, doesn't come from pursuing happiness or expecting people, places, or things to provide happiness for me. In fact, I don't pursue happiness at all. Simply put, I understand the long view and taught myself how to build.
That's where happiness lie.
In nearly sixty decades of life, I've built all kinds of worlds, real worlds and pretend worlds. I've felt great happiness when building and even greater happiness enjoying the finished structure. And, yes, I do think many people don't comprehend this secret to happiness.
Since I began this blog in 2010, I've rarely missed a day of contributing to it. But I needed time over this weekend to put in story form the greatest thing I've ever built. I shall present this story to my family when we celebrate Christmas on January 7.
I shared a snippet of this story on Christmas Day at church to one of the attendees. Surprised, but pleased, she said, "Who would have thought, all those years ago...?"
She didn't finish her thought. She didn't need to finish it.
First drafts are messy and often full of confusion and frustration, to the extent many people stop too soon and never reach the goal.
Staying the course often means walking alone as the early cheerleaders fall to the wayside. That doesn't mean the walk isn't full of doubts and potholes, Of course it is, especially when the naysayers cry more loudly than the yes-sayers - or worse, when the yes-sayers all throw up their hands and go home.
As this is a gift for my family, this particular story won't be posted here or be available for sale.
But that's not the takeaway here, is it?
Illustration by Kathleen Rose Van Pelt for "Bryony."