Life is what you bring to it, and sometimes what you don’t…

…Yes, some spectacular moments these past three weeks.  First, finally, my last day was the 20th and t was like a breath given to you and even if I did want to go in the next day, it was an official break and everything seemed easier after June 20th just because it was a break, a major “Brake” and well needed break…:)

Two films I have been lucky enough to see recently have stood out, one, being The Fault in Our Stars as well as Heaven is for Real.  I did see criticisms and critics as well as great reviews and this is my personal feelings on both together.  Some people, just as in life, bring a multitude of optimism, hope, and refreshing air to life, conversations, and other people’s friendships.  Others bring the exact opposite, what seems to resemble a closed bottle, “stuffy rooms” of their experience, gossip, and leaves that for us to wade through and make ourselves to the top to feel that refreshing breath of fresh air, kind lot like when you realize that vacation has started.

I feel the same about films, I know it is Hollywood most often times more than not, yet, I go into the films wanting to escape and feel as part of what I am about to see leaves with me as well, mainly because, I love films and see the amazing art that it takes to make one feel that way.  The Fault in Our Stars didn’t have to be realistic in every comment or thought, and it did not have to be what might really happen in real life.  According to WHO I’d like to ask?  Everyone brings a separate, individual style of responses and reactions to their life, and while I do not think John Green intended to know what every person that deals with the very difficult situations that these young people deal with, he does want to bring a sense of dignity, hope, and beauty to their lives.  He does just this through this film.  I hung on the words, reactions, and situations that present themselves because, well, I truly love the art of filmmaking.  In The Fault in our Stars, I held this reserve of tears just on the lids the whole time through the movie, the whole time.  I am not sure that has ever happened, and I really do not think it counts as a full out cry, it was just that I always had this welling of tears because of the beauty I felt, saw, and loved in so many different forms.  LOVED.  Add an amazing soundtrack to this film and despite many feeling offended by what John Green brings up in his book and his film, I realized he was able to reach down and reach so many young people through his book and film, that he deserves a larger round of Kudos for the attention he is able to bring to his work.

In viewing Heaven is for Real, I have to say, I felt another, but different sense of beauty in the sense that people can be, and often are afraid to truly live, because that would lead to other questions such as if they have been doing something incorrect up to this point and afraid to change, or that they might have had something wrong and to admit it would be worse than changing and living a better life, sounds ironic, but I sense that concept to the realest moment in this film.  I truly love the devotion of parents to their children and this being a true story, it felt even greater knowing this exists.  I realized I am a better person for the time my parents gave to me as well as sacrificed for me, despite what others felt about them or me.  This truly was worth seeing to its fullest moments to and I loved the fact that we get to see the family that this is based on at the end of the film.

Both of these films bring a sense of beauty to life, but only to those willing to accept that, as one of the women in Heaven is for Real pointedly made clear after some full-blown realizations in her life about her own son.  Somewhat related, I was lucky enough to spend some quality time with a great friend on Sunday, where by the way, if you haven’t explored Mercado Roma, WOW.  (See more here– #125).   – but in the process I was able to see the change in her son.  A year or so ago, the worries of how to deal with the struggles he had in reading, comprehension, as well as the basic social skills he seems to shy away from was at the forefront of her days, with valid reasons.  This past weekend, and within a year’s time, I saw a completely different young man, one who was confident, one who was amazingly advanced compared to where he was a far ago, and I could not help but draw the parallel to these films I saw.

I do believe amazing parenting and support does wonders, and in this case, it surely did.  I also see how much optimism and never giving up, even if perceived by others, has an effect.  I know when I am around such people, I have dreams and ideas that truly seem possible, but seem buried when I am around individuals that try to find the conversations that exist under stones and should remain buried.  You can guess which type of people I prefer to be around.

I see the future so bright in the next few months as I make a commitment to see other lands, meet other people and apply many things I have learned about myself inane attempt to grow more as a person.  Which, even though I was HIGHLY upset at the Mexican-Holand game, perhaps, one of the most upsetting moments in sports history for me (I had my heart SET, I mean 100% set on Mexico to make it), and for them to be eliminated not to their lack of talent, but mainly (I say mainly because even with mistakes they made), the disappointing, ignorant, and untimely Holland call was a smack in the face and a door closing, which I can not accept.  Mexico deserves better.  Yet as I am learning to cope with this anger, imagine how individuals that have followed the World Cup and Mexico for years, maybe all their lives have felt each time that have come close? I find myself wanting to be more sympathetic and knowledgable about what makes Mexico better, because this is a country easy to fall in love, head over heels with.

In fact, I took notes during the game, and those that remember, and see these will remember the heartbreak of losing this match…

18:00 – Almost a goal a great shot and wow! Mexico! Mexico!   Mexico!

19:22 – almost a goal again!

 23:19 – Almost a shot in,b locked! SO CLOSE!

38:02- shot attempt andblocked but getting there I can feel it!

42:0 and change, a shot, stomped n, but agh! NO goal yet!

 46:39 – Defended yeah!   #15 hurt

#14 Holland– awesome – Robbin?  He is good and all over the place…

47:49 – GOAL! #10 out of nowhere!

55:01 – Another shot for a goal, but blocked!


 61:24 takes it away out of danger!


Javier Hernandez in! 74:33

87:12 GOAL for Holland….? Noooooooo…..Noooooo…

Seriously? A yellow card for no contact? A most HEARTBREAKING loss and win…


Don’t get me wrong, I would not be where I am today without the amazing parents, friends, students, and family that I have had in my life.  I miss the aspects of the United States that supported me, pushed, me, and gave me opportunities I might never have had anywhere else.  My main hope is that I can also add the amazing culture and respect in seeing other countries as they really are, not as they are told in newspapers and textbooks worlds away, but always living, experiencing, and realizing what their values are as a country that can’t be defined by another country.

As the United States goes to battle for the World Cup, of course I find myself cheering for my country, and wanting them to excel.  It is just now I have a part of me that also appreciates what Mexico has brought to the World Cup and I want them recognized even more than they have, out of respect and admiration I have for them in a new light.

I look forward to a 2014-2015 far that is full of growth and changes that propel me and those around me to such a level of strength, that this far will be a shining one and leave those that still remain in the basement of their negativity, dead end thoughts, and false assumptions behind.  In this way, everything we do in life, from seeing films, to the way we interact/support each other, and the way we see the mornings, will all hold a totally different light.    Life is amazing I am lucky to find out each and every day, in a different way, and I hope I can do this with so many valuable people around me that do the same.



About Harry Brake

Employee of Woodbridge High School, Library Media Specialist, Media crazy! :)
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