The Truth About the Montage

So many Hollywood movies have one that I don't even have to describe what type of montage I'm talking about for you to fully understand my meaning. The typical formula goes a  little something like this:

  • Person wants to be on the basketball team (cheer-leading team/soccer team/learn to dance) so they squander for about an hour of film time (usually with some sort of love interest) until they reach the inciting moment when they decide I WANT TO DANCE!
  • insert dancing montage here
  • Then after 5 minutes of work, they are ready for the dance off.

For those of you keeping score at home, that's one hour of useless squandering and 5 minutes of dancing/cage fighting that'll help us all to fulfill our goals and lead more productive lives. Unfortunately, as you probably already guessed, the montage is a lie.


I think that one of the most important things that we, as humans, must do at some point in our lives is to have the inciting moment when we decide that we are no longer content suffering through a passionless life. But that decision, however wonderful it may feel, is directly related to the hardships to come. The reason that movies fast forward through montage scenes is because they are not fun. During the montage is when Rocky pulls sleighs through the snow and punches deer carcasses and whatever other crazy things he believes will make him strong (I wonder what he would suggest for a climbing workout). And while seeing those scenes in flash forward played over a cheesy 80's techno pop song is super fun, take away the glitz and there is no way I'm watching Rocky pull a sleigh for another hour.

I've really taken to heart Don Miller's idea of living life as if it were a movie script (go read A Million Miles in a Thousand Years if you haven't already), but I must admit that this whole work part of the process has really got me in the dumps. I decided about a year and 3 months ago that I was ready to find the girl of my dreams. Now this is my warning--God listens. Later that same month I started talking to the woman that I am now engaged to be married to and it's been a heck of an awesome ride so far. But, it's also been incredibly difficult.

Because I really didn't have any serious post college plans until I started dating Britt, I'm really having to make up some ground now. I am (you guessed it) smack dab in the middle of my montage and let me tell ya, there are no 80's pop songs here. 

I am getting up every day more anxious about the fact that I am a creative spirit trying to find jobs in a bad economy based largely on my ability to work with people and communicate. Listen, it's very tempting to use my blog as a personal platform for me to write about how smart I am and provide useless advice on how to get twitter mentions, but that's just not my game. The montage is hard.

The conflict does not end with the inciting moment--it begins.

But I believe that the most important thing is to focus fully on the reasons why we ever decided to do crazy things like run a non profit, become a writer, sit court side at an NBA game, or marry the perfect woman. If the prize is great enough and the passion strong enough, God willing, we'll make it through.

But I'm in the middle of mine and can't see anything past another 3 hours of dog sled pulling so I'm interested to see what the rest of the cyber sphere thinks.