Just Do The Next Right Thing
If you're reading this, I'm in my ICU bed (a story for a different day) and this is a pre-written post. Anyway, over Thanksgiving break, my parents took us to see Frozen 2 with my sister and her fiancé. Firstly, it was probably one of the best movies I have ever seen (and I've seen a lot). Secondly, it resonated with me in a way I wasn't expecting. I also cried a lot.
Quick note: I'm going to try my best to avoid spoiling the movie, but there might be minor spoilers within this post.
Even from the first Frozen movie, I've always really connected with Anna as a character. Maybe it's because she's the second sister, and the bond Anna and Elsa have reminds me of how close I am with my own sister. Or, maybe it's because she's goofy and a little crazy, and has a really weird way of viewing things (in a good way).
But in this new movie, there's a completely different side of Anna that's revealed to the watcher. She's nervous, anxious, emotional, and overwhelmed. I was surprised to see how vulnerable she was; how scared Anna was. She was fighting her fear the entire movie.
Then, at the end, there's this scene.
Something horrible happened. Something so absolutely terrible that Anna literally is brought to the ground by her emotions. And, then, she sings the final song of the movie.
This scene was so indescribably dark. And it hit me really hard.
Anna is curled up on the floor of a cave in this scene, and she is breaking apart at the seams. But, then, during the song, you see her fight to take the next step forward and to keep going.
The name of the song is "The Next Right Thing" (if you want to hear it, here's a lyric video:
If you decide to listen to it, be warned: there are spoilers. But, I'll share some of the non-spoilery lyrics. Here's a section from the end of the song, the bridge and the fourth verse. This whole song really smacked me in the face, but particularly this section.
I won't look too far ahead It's too much for me to take
But break it down to this next breath
This next step This next choice is one that I can make
So I'll walk through this night
Stumbling blindly toward the light
And do the next right thing And with the dawn, what comes then
When it's clear that everything will never be the same again?
Then I'll make the choice
To hear that voice
And do the next right thing
Here, Anna is talking about the voice inside of her head that is encouraging her to keep going and to take her life step by step.
I'm crying just writing this out. It's frustrating how hard this hit me. I mean, I've been told so many different version of this sentiment. But, none of them stuck. People keep telling me, "Take it one day at a time," or "Ask yourself what you need right now," or "Look at your feet. Ask yourself where you are physically," or "Center yourself in the moment," or even, "Just breathe."
None of them worked.
And then, this children's character comes along and says just the right words that strike me through the heart.
Do the next right thing.
I'm mad that it took a children's character for me to really realize what it meant, but I think within the context of the song and the situation, it was the only thing to truly get through to me. Anna and I connect on such a deep level -- and yes, I am aware that I'm talking about a fictional character -- and especially so with this new movie. Maybe I love Anna so much because I'm a younger sister, and I really do relate to the things she says and feels about her older sister.
Maybe it's because of the level of darkness that Anna has through the movie. She's constantly combating different types of anxiety, doubting her relationships, and over all, is incredibly insecure in herself. Though it's never stated directly, you can tell part of it is because Elsa has powers and she doesn't. And at the end of the film, Anna struggles with a type of darkness that surprised me -- I wasn't the only one. You should've heard some of the reactions of the other people in the theater.
For a character who was incredibly childish and immature in the first movie, we really get to see how Anna has grown as a character. Clearly, things are significantly different. And, get this -- Anna recognizes something most adults have a hard time recognizing.
And with the dawn, what comes then/when it's clear that everything will never be the same again?
Anna recognizes that after everything, she can't go back to the life she once had. This is HUGE for so many reasons. The biggest one is that she is processing what happened, completely and fully. Personally, I've seen a lot of things happen to various people, but no one takes the time to recognize how different life will be. They just want to go back to their old life.
With everything going on health-wise and during my emotional journey with all of this, it was really difficult for me to hear this song. I couldn't just walk out and leave though. I sat there, and listened. And, I mean really listened to the words. I listened with my heart. And then, I couldn't stop crying. I actually saw the movie again last night with a friend, and she said after, "I could hear you crying."
I unashamedly told her why I get so emotional listening to that song.
I have had so many times where I just am laying on a cavern floor in the dark and crying. I have felt alone, completely and utterly alone. I have felt blinded and lost. I've felt drowned by pain and emotion. I have been there. I have been there, and I have also been there alone. I have been there with people as well, but there is nothing quite as terrifying as being in a dark period of your life where you fear for just the next five minutes, where you can't even imagine trying to think about the future.
With my life, I am taking a moment to acknowledge that nothing will be the same after this.
With my family, I acknowledge that things won't be the same after this.
With my future, my schooling, my career... Nothing will be the same.
With my friendships and relationships...
And, honestly, just since everything has happened, something has changed in my spirit. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I know that I'll never be the person I was.
All of this is actually things I'm having a little bit of a hard time processing. I'm forced to give up a part of my life for a while now, and it's hard. But, I know this time I'm not alone.
I know that nothing will be the same again, but I also know that when I'm drowning, when I'm struggling, if I tell myself, "Do the next right thing." I will. Even if it's something as small as folding my laundry, or something like calling a friend.
Maybe I'm over-analyzing a children's movie, or maybe this was something Disney intended their readers to get out of it. I honestly don't know. I don't really care either. I was able to find hope from the song Anna sings, and that's enough. Maybe one day, I'll understand why all of this has happened in my life. Why I got cancer, why I had to drop out of school, why I am where I am.
But, I'm not going to think about that right now. It's already a day-to-day effort for everything right now.
So, instead, I'll lean into the fact that I am not alone and just do the next right thing.
Written: December 7th, 2019 at 10:00pm
One Thing God Gave Me: Coffee!!!!!
After-Blog Thoughts: To be honest, I really feel like this post is all over the place. I got emotional writing it, but in a weird way that made it difficult for me to focus in on what it was I wanted to say. I think I was able to get my thoughts across, but I wish I could've figured out how to be more focused.