When Zach Braff was writing the movie Garden State, the soundtrack was one of the first things he figured out. So I hope you have Spotify, because I accidentally had mine ready (NSFW Language!).
I am the culmination of everything that has happened to me, as I will be 10 years from now. So any movie about me isn’t just about me doing things, it’s the story of how
I met your mother I got to be that person. That being said, so many experiences are universally relatable- people respond to flashbacks because they have their own version of those memories. Anyways, this movie is about childbirth.
Specifically, it’s about Future Me in the days leading up to the birth of my first kid. As I think about the fact that this is a major landmark in my life, I immediately think about the fact that all through college, I separated my history into two parts: before and after my brother was born (I was 9 or 10). I think back to when I shouted on a plane that I wanted a brother, when I first held him, and when I accidentally helped him take his first steps. For so long, there was no dividing line bigger than his arrival, and yet here’s another one coming up. I’m terrified that I’m gonna screw things up somehow, I’m excited for snuggles, and at that point, I probably even don’t realize just how sick of diapers I’m about to get.
10 years from now, I’m working a desk job in the city, and I volunteer at a radio station (I couldn’t give it up!). I didn’t meet my wife there, but she thinks it’s awesome that I have that- she listens and texts me whenever I play a song that she loves/hates. So in these couple of days, I try for life as normal, all the while anticipating. Since I was young, it was my main “life goal” to be a great husband and father…
Flash back to a long montage of when I was a little kid. It alternates between joyous and depressing. Childhood was great sometimes, and awful others. I don’t want to think about me as a little kid trying to cope with my crazy and dysfunctional biological family, but with that are great memories with my adoptive mom. As many different versions of me across the years explain, family is what you make it, not what you’re born into.
It’ll flash back to all of the romances in my life, up through my wife. This starts with Kindergarten, when I got “married” to the teachers daughter(!), includes all that high school awkwardness, and lots of complaining about my city’s dating scene.
One night, I’ll have trouble sleeping. From here we see the development of my narcolepsy (in high school), and all the tests I went through before we figured out what it was. Emphasis on my stubborn refusal to accept that there may actually be something medically wrong, and it’s something that better self-control won’t actually fix. The movie goes back in time when I realize this is just like when I was convinced that there was no way in hell that I needed glasses.
At work, I have a great idea for an equation to fix the predictive model I’ve been trying to make work, and I catch myself almost getting too involved in that and losing track of everything else (like my pregnant wife!). Flash back to last-minute overhauls of projects in elementary school, endless tinkering through high school, and the sleepless nights spent in the radio station in college. Continue on to a huge fight with my wife because I got lost in my work again. Back to the Future/Present where I save and close.
…And so on and so forth. This movie will really hit all of the highlights, up and down. Decorating nurseries, getting my grandfather’s tools, making dinner and remembering little smartass me “making egg drop soup” by dropping eggs, the whole shebang. My first encounters with life, death, love, and sorrow: the point is, it’s the highlights of my life, as they tie into these nerve-wracking couple of days.
Anyways, before people get too bored of reminiscing, “Echoes of Mine” from the above playlist starts playing (SERIOUSLY PLAY IT NOW), and I’m rushing into/through the hospital and I’m there with my wife because it’s about that damn time. Here there are lots of disjointed clips of Future-Present me, and lots of the highlights of what we’ve just sat through, at least one clip from every major part of my life. Then, I have the baby and the entire focus is on right now. Everything has led to this moment, and that’s what there is to focus on.
Life moves on, though, and the Every-Award-winning ending shows it. As I’m standing there with our new baby, the circle of life happens, and I instantly picture him growing up, in [some] of those same scenes that I was remembering me in. The future is coming, and Future Me is trying to picture what it’ll be like for the next in line.