I love cartoons. I can be just as engaged with a cartoon as I can a real television show or movie. One of my favorites is the Lion King, and over the last month a quote from the movie has been resonating with me.
For those of you who have not seen the movie in a while or (gasp!) have never seen it at all here are some highlights (spoilers to follow). Believing he was the cause of his father’s death, young lion cub prince Simba runs away from home looking for a refuge. He runs across some new friends who introduce him to a hakuna matata way of life(it means no worries). All his basic needs are fulfilled, companionship, relative safety, food, but still something isn’t right. His best friend from childhood discovers his hiding place and tells him his homeland is in dire straits. She begs him to return and fight his uncle for the crown. He refuses, not ready to give up his cushy life, even though he is not completely satisfied.
A scene close to the end is what has been pestering me. Right after he refuses to return, Simba meets up with a spiritual representation of his dad, Mufasa.
Mufasa has to step in to remind Simba of what was really important. He will never be truly happy without being true to himself. He is a prince and has a duty to be king and protect his people.
“Remember who you are.”
The line keeps chasing around in my head.
Of late, I got a new job. It’s a pretty good job, a lot of responsibility, a decent amount of money, but it takes up (forgive the pun) a lion’s share of my waking hours.
The nice part of the deal: I don’t have to worry about having a roof over my head or transportation or food. I’ll be able to help my kids if they need me. But with all the potential vacations, home refinances, and coffee drinks that I didn’t make myself, I keep reminding myself that this is temporary, a port in the storm of life.
Because, this isn’t who I am.
I need to remember who I am down deep in my bones, and when my finances are organized again, when my books start selling to a profit, then I need the courage to return to my own Prideland of being a full-time writer.
I need to be like Simba. He gave up his little paradise to fight for his pride and to become who and what he was born to be. It was not easy, but he did it. I can’t be seduced by all the excuses, of being too tired to write, too weary to query, too exhausted to take a class. I have to stay on the path and fight the fight against my own personal Scar. And not get too addicted to the comfort of having money.
And, I will do it when the time is right.
But until I leave this little port I am going to enjoy the ride… hakuna matata.
Have you ever had to remember who you are? Kick yourself for forgetting what was most important? Please leave a comment. Or just stop in to say ‘hi’.