Postcard from Inside Out

When my friend Bridgette suggested a ladies night out in the form of complimentary movie passes, I jumped in head first without knowing what we were going to see. I so very much love going to see movies. Confession: I’m highly motivated by the popcorn. But also by being transported to another world for a few hours via film. Combine those things with the pleasurable company of fine females I don’t see nearly enough, and I had myself a trifecta winning Monday evening.

The consensus on flick choice was Inside Out. The only knowledge I had about it beforehand was that it is a Pixar production and Amy Poehler is in it. How bad could that be? With a bag of freshly buttered popcorn in hand, I snuggled into a cushy theater seat and prepared to be entertained, animated family movie style.

What a delightful film. You don’t need to be a kid to appreciate its value. It has all the good feels. From the five of us who attended, a resounding ten thumbs up. And yes - for the record - we were the group of 30-something ladies either laughing hysterically, crying silently, or somewhere in between during the entire film. We are comfortable with our wide range of emotions.

Adult take aways below, without spoilers, I promise. That said, don’t read ‘em if you don’t want to know absolutely anything about the movie.

It parallels one of my favorite quotes of all time, Tom Robbins’s “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood". The film sparked memories of both youth and youthful adulthood challenges and triumphs, and encouraged new ways of thinking about how we hold those memories.

We all need big, beautiful memory islands for fantasy, fun, goofiness, interests, loves, and passions. I’m excited for the continued growth of islands, and inspired by the development of future ones -- not just for myself, but for others as well.

Some memories are ok to lose, so you can make room for new ones.

Anger, Fear and Disgust CANNOT run a person. Chaos will ensue and it won’t be even slightly funny like in a Disney movie.

Adolescent boys have the most comical animated fear emotion. Still cracking up about this.

Subconscious can be a scary, dark place. But there’s also stuff in there that is funny. And there’s also stuff in there that can wake you up when you need to be woken up.

As I suspect many others will do, I left the theater with mixed feelings. A small smile with a hint of melancholy. A realization that Joy cannot fully exist without Sadness. Recalling a great essay on the subject that I pledged to reread upon arriving home. Thankful for the night out with friends, for all the people who created that lovely work of film art for our enjoyment, and for all the memories that I still have. Even the sad ones.

Everyone has that one core memory island that holds them together when the others have fallen, or are crumbling, or are feeling a little shaken up. 11 year old Riley’s was heartwarming, and appropriate to the theme of the film. Throughout our lives, our core island might change. But it’s always good to know at any point in time what your strongest island is. Infinite gratitude for my friend island, that keeps me afloat.

As I drove home with the windows down, the cool summer night air streaming in my car, joy and sadness hugged it out up in Christine headquarters. Creating a new core memory -- rooted in friendship, compassion, and love. A shiny orb, in mixed shades of gold and blue.