Important Life Lessons Learned From Watching 'Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind'
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Important Life Lessons Learned From Watching 'Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind'

Spoiler alert...relationships are not perfect.

Important Life Lessons Learned From Watching 'Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind'

To sum up one of the most heartbreaking and mind-puzzling movies I've ever seen, "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" is the psychological thriller you need to see at least once in your life. This is a story about a shy man, Joel Barish, who undergoes a memory erasing procedure after finding out that his ex-girlfriend, Clementine Kruczynski, had him erased completely from her mind. Throughout his journey through his subconscious mind, Joel realizes that the good memories shared with Clem are not worth forgetting. Besides the fact that this movie is one of Jim Carrey's best roles, here are a few life lessons I learned...

1. All we have are our memories.

Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) decides to have his memory erased when learning that his ex, Clementine (Kate Winslet), has had her memories that she shares with Joel erased because she was unhappy at the time. Impulsive I know, but I think we can all relate to the impulsivity that is brought on by pain and sadness. I’m sure we all might have a few memories of exes that we would love to erase from our heads, but with relationships come good memories, too. Joel realizes looking back at the fond memories that he has with Clementine, and he doesn’t want to let go of them. Joel’s favorite memories outweigh the painful ones and he wants to stop the erase.

It is OK to have some not-so-great memories since we learn some things from relationships, after all. So next time, before you quit out on a relationship, remember the good times—they’re all we have left in the end.

2. We can’t help who we fall for.

Although this is the biggest cliche in the book, Joel and Clementine can’t help but be drawn to each other the second time they meet. Even the shy, reserved Joel can’t help himself from being attracted to the free-spirited, extrovert with piercing blue hair that Clementine Kruczynski is. It can’t be explained why two people are connected to each other, and there is no need for an explanation. In the film, one of the technicians, Patrick (Elijah Woods), that helps erase Clementine’s memories of Joel, copies his mannerisms and memories together to woo her on his own. This attempt fails, since you obviously feel different for a specific person, not just by basing attraction off of his or her actions. There is much more to love than that.

3. Relationships can thrive if you are willing to grow.

Joel and Clementine, after the erase, are still willing to give their relationship another shot after seeing each other again. Although they don’t know at the time they have been in a previous relationship, they still give it another try because under all of the disagreements that they have, nothing can take the love away from them. Relationships can’t thrive if you hold a grudge over tiny arguments that happened forever ago. It’s a lot easier said than done for people (like me) who have the ability to hold grudges for years. But what is gained from it? Nothing. You lose people you love along the way, and it just ends up hurting you more. All that’s left are repressed feelings and a heavy ache in your heart. In order to love, you have to let go.

4. It’s OK to try again.

A majority of us have a difficult time getting back with an ex for obvious reasons: lack of communication, stopped caring, got bored. The list could go on and on. However, most of the time we are resistant to try again because we believe that the same thing that tore the relationship apart in the first place will repeat itself. Although that may be true in some cases, getting back into the same relationship with that thought process will make it inevitable for failure. Joel and Clementine are faced with willing to be together again even when they find out their past relationship failed. With some slight hesitation, they attempt a fresh, new relationship. Nothing in life is going to be perfect, so why not make a second chance worthwhile?

"Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind" was made in 2004. Written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Michel Gondry.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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