Today I watched Inside Out, a movie by Pixar Animation Studios. One of my goals for 2019 is to catch up on all the movies I missed. Catch up on life. I saw the trailer for Outward and like it so much, I wanted to see a Pixar movie. Honestly, I couldn’t think of one (that’s how behind I am on movies). I searched on YouTube and the first one to come up, after Outward, was Inside Out. I am so happy because this movie dropped in my lap exactly when I needed it.
The movie is about life through the eyes of an 11 year old girl. More precisely, the emotions of an 11 year old girl. The movie portrays emotions (joy, sadness, anger, disgust and fear) as characters, showing how they work together to show how emotions play out through the day. Everything was going well. Most of Riley’s memories were happy memories. Her and her parents got along well. She liked school, had friends…life was a blast, until her family moved from Minnesota to San Francisco..
At first, Riley was happy and looking forward to the move. Once they arrived in San Francisco, everything that could go wrong started to go wrong. The house they were moving into was a fixer-upper, the moving van’s arrival was postponed several days, and the father ended up having to work their first day there. Even the simple task of trying to get a pizza did not work out the way they thought. Keeping Riley happy was challenging and Sadness kept trying to touch memories, which turned happy memories into sad ones.
Not too spoil things too much, because I encourage you to watch the movie yourself if you haven’t already, but things went wrong when sadness touched a core memory, making it sad. This sparked an adventure for Joy and Sadness…and a lesson learned.
Too Much of a “Good” Thing
It became clear looking at the memories, most of them yellow (symbolizing happiness), was not an accurate representation of Riley’s true feelings. In life, there will be times when we are sad because something sad happens. The same goes with anger, fear and disgust. As humans we experience a spectrum of emotions.
Joy was trying to suppress the “bad” emotions so Riley would always be happy. That’s not healthy. The journey Sadness and Joy went on made Joy realize all the emotions make up Riley’s personality. If you suppress feelings and emotions, they come out a different way.
Pixar did an excellent job of visualizing how our brain works, how memories are made and how they are preserved. It’s, obviously, not an accurate depiction of how our brains work, but I’m sure many people who viewed the movie ended up thinking more about emotions and memories. In the end, the memory orbs (balls) reflected Riley’s feelings through each day. The mix of colors in the orbs shows how Riley has matured and of course, Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Anger and Fear needed a new console to properly respond to the more complex situations Riley will encounter as she grows up.
The movie was right on time to remind me, as humans, it’s okay to feel. Life is filled with challenges, some are easy to resolve and some seem like they are trying to emotionally drain someone. May 2019 was a challenging month for me. I mentioned on Twitter two cousins died within two weeks of each other. There were also a myriad of other issues I will share at a later time. For a while, I thought I was drowning, trying to keep it all together.
What I Learned…
Yesterday, seeing the memory orbs, I realized I didn’t want my memories to be “only” happy. I want my memories to accurately reflect the journey life has presented me, and how I responded to it. There will be times I am sad, but I should not let it overwhelm me just like I shouldn’t try to be happy all the time. Even as I type this, I see the color memory orbs and realize, if mine could be visualized, everything would be gray.
I need to fix that.