Kathleen Kelly has a comfortable life. She has a nice apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, a nice boyfriend and owns a small children’s bookstore given to her by her deceased mother. Her world is shaken up when she finds out Fox Books, a large discount book store, is opening near her.
“Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life-valuable but small, and sometimes I wonder: do I do it because I like it or because I haven’t been brave.” -Kathleen Kelly You've Got Mail
Many dream of a comfortable life. One that includes being in a comfortable relationship, making a comfortable living and having a comfortable job. There is something safe and secure about living a life where there are no surprises. The only problem with this familiar world where no growth takes place is that something inevitably comes along to shake things up.
This is exactly where we find Kathleen Kelly. She is coasting along in her predictable existence with her boyfriend Frank, a columnist with a fascination for typewriters and her three loyal employees at the children’s bookstore she owns. Perhaps all this certainty is what propels her to take a small step into the unknown and begin a friendly online relationship with a stranger. This seems to set into motion a new trajectory for her life because soon after, the big box discount store Fox Books comes onto the scene and by its mere existence, threatens her comfortable world.
She holds tight to what she has, confident it will all stay the same. But as her email relationship with the stranger, who unbeknownst to her is the owner of Fox Books, intensifies, and the reality that her customers are starting to disappear, she begins to examine her life. And as her life begins to slowly crumble, it finally dawns on her that she may be stuck in a realm of familiarity. When she says, “Do I do it because I like it or because I haven’t been brave,” we know she is contemplating some major life changes but in order to be brave, she knows she is going to have to let some things go.
Many of us have been in a similar situation. Life is going along smoothly but we begin to toy with the idea of making some changes. Maybe it is with a job, a relationship or moving to a new town, but regardless of what it is, we know there is risk involved. Either we decide to be brave and move boldly in this new direction or we wait until the last minute for the situation to fall apart, forcing us down a different path. The good news is that regardless of how we end up on this new road, growth is inevitable.
Trying a new path in life requires an incredible amount of bravery and even faith, because these new roads are bumpy and the twists and turns don’t always allow us to clearly see the destination. So, as we watch Kathleen Kelly find the courage to be brave and step out of her comfort zone, we are inspired to examine our own lives to see if there are areas we need to makes some changes. Maybe it is with a relationship, or a career or pursuing a dream? Regardless of what it is, it might be time to summon up the courage to let go of people or situations holding us back, and embrace our new destiny.
This new Hot Chocolate Press blog feature, Monday Movie Inspirations, is written by Kerrie Flanagan and Pam Farone. They take a movie quote and dig deeper into the meaning and how it applies to our lives. We hope it nourishes your soul.