Inside Out: A Love Letter

Ever since childhood, my social situation isn’t exactly the best. This is something that I already mentioned in my Naruto and Hachiman comparison post that I made a while back. The general problem was that I’m socially awkward and I don’t feel belong within the major social circle in my school, mainly because of differing interest in life. Problem which still haunts me even now.

Of course, the go to person for me to talk to whenever I feel down about all of this, or just whenever I feel depressed in general, was my parents back then, often in tears. My mother more specifically since she’s also been in the same situation as me when she was in college.

She’d often opt to lecture me every time I did that, often with an intense voice instead of a calm one, and her advice are always the same whenever I talk to her about it. “Don’t think too hard about it, school isn’t about making friends” she said, “You have to hold on” she said. Basically, she wants me to be strong, whatever that means.

Her advices aren’t exactly wrong. Life always has its down moments in store for us. The best thing we can do whenever that happened is to stay optimistic and just go through it right?

It’s a good advice…..but it’s just not what I want.

Apart from the fact that I don’t think it’s addressing the reason why I had that problem and why I feel the way I do,  to one degree it doesn’t feel like the sympathetic gesture that I want out of her, like putting her hand on my shoulder and said “I get it.”

I mean yes, staying optimistic are pretty much bottom line in getting through not-so-glorious moments in life, but other times I just want to cry, be sad, and just have her listened to my problems and validating my feelings. That’s just all I want really.

Because of that, I rarely talk to my mother about my social problem even now, despite her insistent to talk her every time I have problem. But because of no one to talk to, I’d often isolate myself to my peers, I lash out all the negativity inside me to someone for pettiest of reasons, and just well, kind of being an “emo.”

Pixar’s Inside Out, above all else, was Riley’s story. Joy was the one driving the plot most of the time in the movie and from the way it was portrayed and framed in the story, it does seems like the emotions are their own individual being which makes it they’re the one who controls Riley, but Joy, as well as the rest of Riley’s emotions, was part of Riley’s psyche. Their action is also driven by Riley’s wants, which is to be happy. So Joy’s growth and self-discovery throughout Inside Out is Riley’s by extension.

Inside Out begins as we watch Riley’s early childhood life in her hometown in Minnesota. It’s not a perfect life in there, but she was, for the most part, happy. She has a best friend she could hang out with, a sport which she loves doing. All in all, an almost idealistic childhood life.

But then as she hits eleven, her family moves out to San Fransisco because of her father’s job. She’s more or less having a hard time adjusting. Her home is crampy and dirty, the food is gross. Things aren’t just the same as it was back home, no matter how much she tries to be positive on things. After her breakdown during her first day at school, she was about have it, but then her mother told her before she sleeps to always smile for both of her parents because they’re also both trying hard to adjust. She complies.

However, to always be joyful in a harsh environment is impossible. Soon enough, during the same time Joy and Sadness got out of Riley’s brain HQ, she becomes moody and recluse. She isolated herself in school, she lash out to her parents, she even can’t play hockey properly. At the movie darkest moment, Riley packs her bag and ran away to her hometown. As the remaining emotions in her brain began trying to stop her, the controls of her action began to shut down. She’s becoming numb. It was after Joy and Sadness returns, and Joy letting Sadness took control of Riley’s action that Riley snap out of her action and return home to her parents.

After that comes the moment that makes the movie for me. Riley breaks down, she confesses how she’s hard time in her new home, and she missed it and wanted to go back. Her parents looks on and embrace her, telling her that they felt the same way. Tears drips through my eye when I watch that scene, the first time I ever cried watching a movie.

That. That’s all I ever want to do and what I want my parents to do for me every time I hit bad moments in life. For me to just let it all out while they listened and comforts me, even though they don’t necessarily get it and just figure things out together.

Inside Out primarily are about growing up. About time will passed, about how things change, how we should overcome those things and make the best of our emotions. But for me personally, as you might already guessed from my favorite moment in the movie, it’s about how its okay to let it all out. To be sad, to acknowledge you’re in misery and then move forward

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