I love Nicholas Sparks.
His books are incredible, but in my opinion, the movies are even better.
Nicholas Sparks has had 11 of his books adapted for feature film and 1 made for television.
I've seen every feature film and own a copy of them all, with multiple copies of select films. I often find myself re-watching these movies over and over again, but not because I'm a girl who loves watching a good love story unfold (although I won't deny I don't). I love Nicholas Sparks movies because they are realistic and beautiful, and they take place in some of the most beautiful locations I've ever seen (and I don't mind staring at Channing Tatum and Ryan Gosling for two hours, either).
Nicholas Sparks' beautiful words are brought to life in some of the most unimaginable circumstances, but at the end of the day, the love stories told are proof that love is tragic and happy and heartbreaking and exciting and confusing and an array of emotions one can't even begin to describe.
From the soundtracks, to the beautiful settings, to the beautiful love stories captured, I often find myself wishing I was a character in a Nicholas Sparks movie, without the heartbreak, sickness and death of course.
I could go on and on about why Nicholas Sparks movies are brilliant and every girl's dream, but the movies tell so much more than a beautiful love story. They teach people about life.
I watched "The Choice" the other day and was mesmerized by the central theme in the story: life is about choices. There were two scenes that truly exemplified the theme and made me revaluate everything I've ever believed.
The introduction and conclusion start the same. Travis, the main character, is driving his boat through the crystal clear tidal marshes in Wilmington, North Carolina, where the movie takes place. The sun is shining, the wind is blowing and the song "The Secret to Life," by Marcelo Zarvos, is playing in the background.
In the opening scene, Travis narrates the scene and says these words:
"I'm about to tell you the secret to life. The whole damn thing is about decisions—little seemingly insignificant decisions that clear the road for monster truck life alterings. Every path you take leads to another choice, and some choices change everything. Every damn moment for the rest of your life hangs on it."
While someone's life hangs onto every moment, I hung onto every word narrated by Travis.
Later in the movie, Gabby and Travis "break up" (they were never official but they were basically dating) when her boyfriend Ryan returns from a business trip and she chooses him over Travis. The scene following shows Gabby placing a letter on Travis' chair, telling him that she and Ryan are engaged and that:
"Life is held together by choices, one after the other, all shapes and sizes. Right or wrong doesn't matter, because life just keeps unfolding; it won't wait around for you. If you sit still it could pass you by altogether. I guess I'd like to believe all those choices are made for us the instant we enter into this world, because if that's true, then we're exactly where we're supposed to be. Forever."
Nicholas Sparks movies provide a love story filled with heartbreak and happiness that usually ends with a happily ever after. More important than that, however, are the life lessons one can learn from watching a movie like "The Choice."
"The Choice" reminded me that life really is made up of millions of choice, one after the other, big and small, that determine whether or not we live the life we are destined to live. While the choices we make determine who we meet, the job we work, the adventures we embark upon, our wealth, our health, our happiness, etc. I believe that God's plan for our life influences the choices we make.
Have you ever been in a situation where you have to make a monstrous decision that could determine the path your life takes—where your head tells you one thing but your heart is telling you another? The monstrous decision where the only advice people can really give us is, "Go with your gut"? I've been in those situations numerous times and I hate them, because that one choice can ultimately change the course of our life.
For example, deciding to go to Michigan State University over the University of Michigan could prevent you from meeting the love of your life, just like choosing to be a lawyer over a teacher might give you a better fortune but leave you feeling empty inside for the career you always wanted. But it's the smaller decisions that matter too.
A few days ago, I job shadowed my favorite reporter for a news station in Detroit. Before that, I wasn't sure if I wanted to pursue broadcast journalism or editorial journalism (like writing for a newspaper) after college. I've always been conflicted in what I want to do for the rest of my life because I was still searching for my "calling" and purpose in life. After this job shadow, I realized how passionate I was about broadcast journalism and how I couldn't imagine not pursuing that career field. That small choice of job shadowing a reporter could have changed the course of my life. Had I job shadowed someone different in a different journalism track, my life could be completely different 10 years down the road.
What's crazy about making choices is that each choice ultimately impacts our life, whether we realize it or not. What's even crazier is that we won't know how those choices impact our life until days, months or possibly years down the road.
While the choices we make can impact our life in a small or large way, I believe that only God knows the plan for our life, and that His power influences the decisions we make because He's had a vision for our life before we were even brought into this world. I believe that no matter how hard someone tries to run away from it or might not even believe in His plan, our life will ultimately end up just as He planned.
be a series of events and choices made that God knew all along.
Throughout our life, we are going to make choices that God influences, but how we choose to live our life is ultimately up to us. Whether we choose to be happy or sad, chase after our dreams, take a gap year after college even though our parents told you not to, quit the job we hate and try another even though nothing is guaranteed, buy a fancy house or live for a simple lifestyle, etc., the choices we make determine the course of our life and whether or not we have regrets years down the road.
Listen to your head but follow your heart. It's cliché and overused, but it's true and not enough people do it.
Life is about choices, and the biggest choice we have is how we choose to live our life.