I have to admit, I didn't totally know what this film was about. I had a basic idea but other than that I waded in pretty unsure which I liked. I could watch and form my own opinions as the film went on. As I watched the movie and became engrossed in the adventures of the lead, Alex Supertramp (Christopher McCandless) as he worked his way to Alaska. After college, he gave all his savings to charity, packed up a bag and left his family without a word, never to speak to them again.
The film, produced and directed by Sean Penn, documents his travels and the lives he touched along the way. As I watched it I became engrossed in his struggles and in awe of his happiness and wonderment of the things and experiences he saw. It was heart warming and touching.
I have spent a lot of time alone recently and I have had moments of happiness. But I have sought to be alone, I preferred that to being in groups. I couldn't stand to make conversation or be in social situations. The thought of having to make myself smile was just too much energy which I didn't have. I began to think that being alone was the best thing for me - you read so many things which say be around others but I disagreed. I much preferred being by myself and not feeling the pressures to 'put on a show' which I had felt the the whole year. It became exhausting.
I was just that, exhausted and began to think being alone was the best thing I could do. As my medications and therapy began to work, I realised this was not true. I realised that having others around me was extremely important. I an share my smiles and the fun things I see. During therapy, we are pursuing the walls which I have built around me and I am trying to understand the reasons behind why I do this. Why I don't let people in. But, through all of this I am realising the importance of others.
Friendships and families are important. You don't have to spend all day every day with other people, in fact learning to be alone is a skill in itself, but having contact and sharing is important. Finding the happiness and sharing it makes us whole. As the film carries on, the main character finishes his soul searching and when tries to go back to civilisation can not. The time gets harder and it seems to suddenly dawn on him that - Happiness is only real when shared.
Obviously, my opinions on the movie are just that - opinions. But in thoughts to the happiness shared - I truly believe that happiness is only real when shared. Even if you experience the happiness alone (like 'Alex' in the movie), sharing that later with another person makes it real. As I begin to find myself and feel more positive, I am finding the happiness again and wanting to share it with others and not to stay in my own shell. I am not saying I will let anyone into my life, because I won't. But, I will start to let those close to me in once again and share the happiness. Christmas seems like the perfect time to do this.
Also, check out the soundtrack, it is amazing and has many fantastic Eddie Vedder songs:
"You think you have to want more than you nee."