What If We Don’t Want A Formula To Life

From the movie, Beginners, the father coming out to his son in a purple sweater.

I just watched the movie Beginners, which I labeled in my head as Purple Sweater before I knew what it was called.

In the previews, the 75-year-old dad told his son that he was gay after his wife died. We got the internal monologue of the son, and in his head, when his dad told him he was gay, he imagined him wearing a purple sweater. When in reality he was wearing a robe, a brown robe.

It was an intelligent movie, a clever movie. It was humorous in a dark way, and it was really sad. It had to do a lot with death, but I remember my mom telling me when I was younger that death in dreams had to do with rebirth.

What in my life had to “die” in order for something new to grow? It was time for letting go, for change, transformations and new beginnings.

Although Beginners was sad, it also carried a message of hope. At any time in life, at any moment, even close to death, you can choose to live your life. You can choose to begin again.

It also touched upon feeling your emotions. The main character’s parents didn’t feel their emotions or they repressed their emotions in someway and didn’t lead happy lives while together. The main character, Oliver, although often sad, he at least felt that sadness and he was also able to feel joy. He felt his emotions, whatever they were. He broke the pattern that his parents taught him. He took risks. He didn’t let his fears overtake his life. He felt his emotions. He held onto hope and he began life again, pushing through his fears of the unknown and being okay with not knowing what would come next in life.

How cool is that? He wasn’t super happy. He wasn’t leading the “perfect” life, but what is perfect anyway? The movie showed running images throughout history of what represented “perfect” and it was all lies — because there is no single definition of perfect.

Perfect is diversity and perfect is living and feeling, the entire gamut of emotions.

I’m going to end this post on two notes:

1) Prop 8 was ruled as unconstitutional today, same sex marriage is still on hold in California. The opposition could possibly take their argument to the Supreme Court. If they do, it’s exciting and scary. The Supreme Court may discuss same-sex marriage on a national level, as opposed to just California.

Learning about this today made me both sad and excited. Sometimes I forget that this is even issue — because it seems so bizarre that sexual and gender minorities aren’t afforded a handful plus of rights that heteronormative culture is afforded. And sometimes it’s hard not to take it personal.

I thought today, if someone is against same-sex marriage, they are against me getting married. I’m a good person. Why should I be denied basic human liberties? Why should a whole group of people be denied the same freedoms that are allotted to everyone else, solely based on something as arbitrary as their sexual orientation and gender? People are taking one aspect of us, and are using that to confine, define and label us. People are taking one characteristic, which is different for everyone, and saying that this one trait defines your whole character and it defines it in this way, without even knowing us as individual human beings.

It’s not just about same-sex marriage or the many other liberties we aren’t alloted. It’s about being treated with respect and being treated with dignity, something that every individual deserves.

In the news I read about a victory and it made me upset, but there’s a fine line with taking something personal. It’s important to feel the anger and the whole range of emotions, but it’s also important to not only view the negative — because there is so much beauty in this world. And if I were only to focus on the negative, I would miss out on everything else.

I titled this post, What If We Don’t Want A Formula To Life because the closeted 75-year-old father in Beginners wanted the ideal life. He wanted to be straight. So he married a woman, a woman who proposed to him. She knew he was gay and told him that she would fix him. He wanted so badly to live the “perfect” formula life, so he accepted. He had a kid, and he lived an unhappy life until his wife died. Then he lived a happy life for 4 more years, until he died.

There is no formula to life. If one were happy all the time, life would be dull. It would be sad. It would be boring. Passion, emotion — life needs to be felt and lived.

A perfect life is one full of mistakes, trial and error and risk because without trying, without taking risks, without confronting our fears, without exploring and discovering our passions and loves — what would life consist of?

We don’t fall out of the womb knowing exactly what we want from life. Life is a journey, and we are explorers.

2) The second note to end this self-love post — a poem. A poem that Lindsey Wert shared in one of her self-love posts, and one that resonated with me so deeply that I put it on the Love Warrior Community site. This poem is one of my definitions of a perfect life.

We Have Come To Be Danced

We have come to be danced
Not the pretty dance
Not the pretty, pretty, pick me, pick me dance
But the claw our way back into the belly
Of the sacred, sensual animal dance
The unhinged, unplugged, cat is out of its box dance
The holding the precious moment in the palms
Of our hands and feet dance.
We have come to be danced
Not the jiffy booby, shake your booty for him dance
But the wring the sadness from our skin dance
The blow the chip off our shoulder dance.
The slap the apology from our posture dance.
We have come to be danced
Not the monkey see, monkey do dance
One two dance like you
One two three, dance like me dance
but the grave robber, tomb stalker
Tearing scabs and scars open dance
The rub the rhythm raw against our soul dance.
We have come to be danced
Not the nice, invisible, self-conscious shuffle
But the matted hair flying, voodoo mama
Shaman shakin’ ancient bones dance
The strip us from our casings, return our wings
Sharpen our claws and tongues dance
The shed dead cells and slip into
The luminous skin of love dance.
We have come to be danced
Not the hold our breath and wallow in the shallow end of the floor dance
But the meeting of the trinity, the body breath and beat dance
The shout hallelujah from the top of our thighs dance
The mother may I?
Yes you may take 10 giant leaps dance
The olly olly oxen free free free dance
The everyone can come to our heaven dance.
We have come to be danced
Where the kingdoms collide
In the cathedral of flesh
To burn back into the light
To unravel, to play, to fly, to pray
To root in skin sanctuary
We have come to be danced
We have come.

– Jewel Mathieson from This Dance: A Poultice of Poems

– Emelina Minero


Self-Love Diet Front CoverMichelle Minero, the Co-Founder of this blog and the overarching Love Warrior Community published her book, Self-Love Diet: The Only Diet That Works. You can buy her book online or at the Petaluma Copperfield’s bookstore. For upcoming events and book signings, starting Feb 7, visit Michelle’s Events page.


EmelinaEmelina Minero writes for Curve Magazine and EDGE Gay Media Network. She’s launching her own progressive LGBTQ publication, The Human Experience. She’s a Connection Connoisseur, Networking Maven and Self-Love Enthusiast. She founded Community Bucket List and co-founded the Love Warrior Community. Find her on Twitter, @CommKr8veWriter.

About emelinaminero

I'm passionate about people, community, self-love and the diversity in the human experience.
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2 Responses to What If We Don’t Want A Formula To Life

  1. I loved reading this poem and hearing your thoughts on the movie we watched together!
    You are eloquent, and have written so clearly, passionately, and with heart.
    I envision a day during my life time when people will have equality. On this day same-sex marriage will be legal, as it should be. On this day people regardless of their sexual orientation, will be treated with respect, acceptance and dignity. On this day it will be proclaimed that every human being has the right to love who they do, and be given the same rights that heterosexual couples take for granted.
    As we are planning your sisters wedding, I have been imagining yours, and I am keeping your future loved one close to my heart.
    Hauo La ! (“So it is” in Chinese)

  2. Thank you mom. 🙂 I have never really put much thought into my wedding, except I always kind of imagined this cross image of a forest and a beach, those two environments combined. 🙂

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