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  • Writer's picturezandaleeindigo

The Novelty of Serendipity

Updated: Jan 7, 2022

This is the start of what may become a series of posts dissecting my love of romcoms and romance media, because it's simply that time of year. One aspect a handful of my favorite romance movies and shows have in common is the reliance on destiny and the belief that fate is responsible for making things happen. Nowhere is this theme seen more concretely than in the 2001 romantic comedy Serendipity.

Staring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale the film is about two strangers meeting one fateful Christmas while shopping for their respective significant others. They both reach for the same pair of cashmere gloves and subsequently go out for ice cream after hitting it off. Beckinsale's character, Sara, is an avid believer in destiny and decides to leave Cusack's character Jonathan without telling him her name or number. She instead has him write his number on the back of a five dollar bill and she leaves hers in an old book, saying that if the universe brings them back together they'll know it was meant to be.

Years pass and the two are living completely separate lives, both in seemingly happy relationships only steps away from marriage. That is until they both start seeing small signs that remind them of that crazy night they had years prior. At first they try to brush it off but eventually they can't ignore them anymore and both begin this mad quest to find each other. In the end, of course the two get together breaking up with their significant others and celebrating their first anniversary in the department store where they met for the first time.

There are a few movies I've watched recently with a similar premise for instance Still Breathing (1997), a heartwarming gem of a movie in which worldly forces draw Brendan Fraser to the woman that's meant to be the love of his life.

I don't think the reason I enjoy these movies as much as I do is because I believe things are preordained or that I somehow lack free will to make my own dreams come true but rather because they're comforting? It's nice to operate on the assumption that good things are out there and are going to find you. That the perfect job and person exist somewhere waiting for you to stumble upon them. Because believing that whatever is meant to find you will find you helps me focus a little less on the "what ifs" and more on trying to live life in the moment.

The only problem with that I find is that I give up on things so easily. I can start making moves toward something I want to do, a person I want to be with, a place I want to go and then one day things don't go my way-----I fail at a task, I don't talk to the person as frequently as I'd like, I spend a little too much money somewhere and I give up. I resign, I throw my hands in the air and say "screw it, if it's meant to happen to me it'll happen, otherwise I'm done."

But then nothing ever comes to me. Because that's not how things work, manifestation, the law of attraction, nothing is going to come out of any situation if there's no effort put in to make it happen. And now that I really think about it, even in my fate filled romcoms the characters are still forced to take action in order to get what they really want.

John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale would've never found each other again if they didn't drag their friends on wild goose chases across the country, and Brendan Fraser would've never nabbed Joanna Going if he didn't do everything in his power to spend as much time getting to know her as possible. It was their drive and passion to find each other the inevitably brought them together and really considering the narratives, I don't know that they would've ever been drawn back toward each other if they didn't take the leaps from their safe and comfortable lives to have faith in their potential relationship with each other. There's a happy medium somewhere in there, between obsessing over something to an unhealthy degree and detaching from it completely that I've always had a hard time finding. But I'm getting closer. I feel it.

I guess this post was kind of reflective for me, and um if anything hopefully urges y'all to take some leaps of faith. Do the work, make shit happen! I know I will. And I look forward to unpacking more of the lessons that can be learned from my favorite romcoms. Everything is educational :)

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Nov 23, 2021

Well, THAT'S definitely been our model these past few years; no matter what's going on in the moment, we are creating and disseminating, so that we are planting the seeds that will one day grow into a beautiful, lush, and lovely tree. But we have to "make moves" to realize that vision. I am glad that you are inspired by these movies, but STILL know what you WANT to go toward, no matter what. 🥳🙌🏾

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