Life is a Series of Commas, Not Periods
McConaughey in Two for The Money – one of my favourites.
It’s funny how one tiny little line can speak to you in a way that a whole article or even book can’t.
I’m a huge fan of quotes, I go to them for clarity, motivation, and sometimes they help when times are tough. Just last week I picked up the latest issue of Esquire Magazine with Matthew McConaughey on the cover expecting the usual quality in articles – which there were – as well as an abundance of little notes on things from fashion to fitness, that I find interesting.
What I didn’t expect was that one line that would have an impact on me. Especially since it came from Mr. McConaughey, a guy who I have plenty of respect for having made movies like “Two for the Money”, and “We are Marshall”, but also a guy who has slipped into the muscular, successful middle-aged guy he’s played in so many chick flic’s as of late.
He’s a talented guy, and he appears to be a man’s man. He’s the head of his own production company that has many facets. He’s not just an actor who has sat on his laurels, but a guy who’s constantly moving forward. Which makes that string of mindless chick flic’s a little confusing. But the article does a good job of showing us the real McConaughey, as does that one line.
Life’s a Series of Commas
It’s human nature to keep on going. We don’t quit. Something bad knocks us down and somehow we continue pushing forward. It’s hard to see in the midst of the turmoil, but things usually do turn out alright. Actually it’s near impossible to see it when you’re in the middle of the conflict, or if you’ve just lost someone, but I think at our base we all understand that it’s true. Things do get better. Day’s do get brighter and we will be okay.
When you’re going through a tough time you always get the usual lines like, “tough time’s don’t last, tough people do”, or “time heals all wounds”. And it’s nice for people to say that, but to be honest it sometimes feels like they’re just pouring salt on the wounds. It’s refreshing to hear that same principle said in a different manner.
Here’s McConaughey talking about a friend’s observations about how he lives, then going into how it effects all of our lives.
“Matthew, you’re into commas. Every time you think you’ve stopped you come out of it. Every time you think you’ve reached the end of that long dead-end street, you slip around the edge, past that stopping point, past the right angles..
MM: “It’s all continuation! Even if you’re dying, that’s a kind of continuation, because you move on. And you have to change. Now, you lose something in your life, or you come into conflict, and there’s gonna come a time that you’re gonna know: There was a reason for that. And at the end of your life, all the things you thought were periods, they turn out to be commas. There was never a full stop in any of it.”
At the End of Your Life
At the end of your life, all the things you thought were periods, they turn out to be commas.
Like I said earlier, when you’re in the midst of the storm it’s near impossible to see this. If I’m in the middle of a tough time I don’t want people to be telling me that ‘time heals all wounds’ or one of the other popular cliche’s that we’ve become practically immune to.
But that line hit me in a different way. It’s something that I completely understand, but hearing it in that way makes it more real. It’s easier to comprehend when it’s hard to see outside of your own situation.
What’s your favorite quote?
(Motivational or otherwise)
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