Last week I went to the cinema to watch Me Before You. I'm not going to go into how amazingincredibleohmygoodnesswow it was because I will write a film review, but today I want to touch upon one of the main themes. Although I don't think it's a spoiler, if you don't like any spoilers at all, look away now! (Well, for the whole post!)
Ambition and the different versions of ambition.
Before Will Traynor's accident he may as well have been nicknamed "Overreacher." His life was action-packed. He was constantly overreaching. There was nothing he wouldn't try; no sport he couldn't do. It was his main drive. And then it was taken away from him. Lou Clark, however, loves her home. She loves her job. She doesn't ever want to move or change.
Throughout the novel Will scolds her for her way of life. He calls it "boring." She disagrees. And yet they learn from each other. He sees the magic in her simplicity and she sees excitement in "different."
One might immediately call Lou less ambitious than Will. Less adventurous. Less "carpe diem." Yet I believe ambition isn't a notion to be pinpointed. Lou isn't less ambitious than Will; their ambitions are different. I personally definitely have Lou's love of simple things- books and the feeling of home. And yet I have a good smidge of Will's adventure (no where near as extreme though!): I love new challenges and running and pushing my body to my version of extremes. This makes my ambition different to Lou's and different to Will's; different to my mum's and different to my friends'.
It's ignorant to call someone else's ambition "less worthy" than our own expectation of ambition. It's ignorant for a million reasons but it's because we can't ever fully understand someone else's goals and norms and expectations. That's what goes on in their head... Not ours.
Importantly, what we can learn from differences in ambition is that we can take on others' ambition if we want to. In different ways, Will and Lou experienced each other's ambition and norms. Their characters develop from it. I have my own ambition- that is someone else's nightmare; someone else's "easy." And that is A-Okay. I personally want to feed off of others' ambition in the best possible way. I personally (which may not be the best route for others) want to stay true to my own ambition too. Both are possible. For me, both are brilliant.
Home & Away,
The Girl in the Moonlight.