Reality BitesThere are many things that influence who you are today.  Who you are today contributes greatly to the choices you make and the situations you are in.  The 1994 movie Reality Bites does a good job of  showing how this works in the live of twenty somethings transitioning into the workplace.

Reality Bites is also about family, love, friendship, aids, sexuality, work and above all the search for identify.   It contains the good, the bad and the ugly related to the struggle of growing up Gen X.  A generation that was widely ignored and often misunderstood.   The movie starts off with Winona Ryder’s character Lelaina Pierce saying:

“And they wonder why those of us in our twenties refuse to work an 80-hour week just so we can afford to buy their BMWs, why we aren’t interested in the counterculture that they invented as if we did not see them disembowel their revolution for a pair of running shoes. But the question remains what are we going to do now? How can we repair all the damage we inherited? Fellow graduates, the answer is simple. The answer is…The answer is…I don’t know.”

In this movie “they” were parents, corporations, commercialization or anything these twenty somethings didn’t like. They knew what they didn’t want but had no clue what they wanted. Like the characters in this movie, if your current reality bites, you may be stuck because you don’t know what you want out of life.  You just know THIS isn’t it.

This movie, and being stuck in a reality that bites, is captured best by Lelaina:

“I’m making this documentary…about my friends, but it’s really about people who are trying to find their own identity without having any real role models or heroes or anything.”

What about you? Where are you now?  Who have you become?  Do you have role models or heroes?  Have you become role models or heroes to someone else?  Do you know who you are now?  If the answer is NO then chances are you haven’t learned how to bite back…

You can’t start a fulfilling life doing what you were meant to do if you don’t know who you are.  If you don’t admit that you’re stuck, that you’re lost, that perhaps over the last 20 years you let materialism or something else trump your values then how can you change your reality?  The first step to biting back is looking at what got you here…

While it may seem that one day you woke and suddenly you are working for the man or have become the man; it’s not that simple.  It seems like suddenly you are working 80 hours/week and your entire life is built on what your job provides.  And one day you find yourself stuck trying to achieve your dreams. You realize that perhaps you never decided, back in our twenties, who you really wanted to be due to pressures to pay student loans, to please other people or by telling yourself that things were temporary.

Despite your idealism you let “reality” step in and while you may have became successful by others’ standards you desperately want to change your life.   Somewhere you settled.  Little things at first and slowly over twenty years your choices built up to create bars on a self-created cage.  You feel like you can’t get out…but you can…I’m proof of that.

Why is “Reality Bites” a concept you can all relate to?  Is it because this has been or currently is your reality?  My question is why do  accept that?  Maybe it’s because YOU are YOUR biggest oppressor.

Bite back by creating your own reality:

FOCUS on what’s going right in your life.  Think about those things and build on them.

THINK about how much you’re loved by your friends and family.  Think about the things that you like to do and that God created you to enjoy your life.

REMEMBER that the hard things build character and perseverance.  They are only temporary and can only steal your joy if you let them.  Use all that you have learned to come back to who you are .

– You have a CHOICE to smile in the storm.  Choose to do so.

BELIEVE that right now, right as you are, you have something to offer the world.  Don’t tell yourself  “I can’t do that”, “I just don’t have what it takes to step out “, “That’s not for people like me”.  That is a bunch of crap friend.

When you choose to practice biting back, everyday, you start to see opportunity.  You start to see how you are oppressing yourself and causing a reality that bites.  You can create your best day when the world seems to be going all wrong…by choosing to