It’s a pretty well known fact among my friends that I really, really love M. Night Shyamalan’s 2002 masterpiece, Signs. (Honestly, I’m using ‘masterpiece’ maybe about half-jokingly.) I also love 2008′s The Happening, but that’s more because of how hilarious Mark Wahlberg’s acting is in that movie. Signs is also one of my mother’s favorite films, among other greats such as Steel Magnolias, Terms of Endearment, and Drumline. Yes, the Nick Cannon movie. Don’t judge the power of a marching band too quickly. If you are doubtful of the greatness that is Signs, then perhaps you are forgetting the climactic showdown scene between Joaquin Phoenix’s Merrill and the alien. If you haven’t seen Signs, then SPOILER ALERT ahead. For those that have and those that don’t care, please watch the following clip from the film before I proceed.
A little context: Merrill is the younger brother of Mel Gibson’s Graham and a former minor league baseball player. I forget the exact reason why he stopped playing, but right before Graham’s wife died, she told Graham to tell Merrill to “swing away.” This means nothing to Graham, the former preacher who loses his faith when his wife was hit by a car (I told you this was great), until he and his brother are both faced with an alien in their living room. Graham tells Merrill to “swing away,” Merrill picks up his old baseball bat off the wall, and the rest is history.
So, what does this mean for my summer and this blog post? I swear I have a point in here somewhere. Like I said, my momloves this movie. She especially loves this scene. “Swing away” has become her motto. When I went to college my freshman year, she told to “swing away.” When I went abroad to England last fall, she told me to “swing away.” When I moved to New York City this summer to start my internship, she called me after leaving, just to remind me to “swing away.” So, that’s what I’m doing. I’ve picked up my metaphorical baseball bat (because I sure as hell wouldn’t be able to swing a real one) and I’m taking this city by storm. And by that, I mean I’m waking up at 8:30 every morning and taking the 9:49 bus to my internship, where I stay until 6:00. Then, I proceed to take the 6:22 PM bus home (if it ever actually comes on time). It’s not all that exciting, but it’s something new and different.
I’m also seeing shows, getting my hipster on at flea markets, sitting in the pouring rain for 3.5 hour rain delays at Yankees/Red Sox games, navigating the subways, getting lost, trying to get back to Brooklyn from Manhattan late at night, paying bills, eating my first Chipotle burrito (I know, I’m a horrible person for waiting this long), and walking around enough to form a new blister every day.
In short, I’m swinging away. Would I be able to take down an alien in my living room after it poisoned my nephew? Unlikely. (I also don’t have a nephew.) But, I’m trying more new things and taking more chances than I would have a few years ago. And that’s at least something.
Swing away, my friends.