When Charles Thurber came up with the idea of creating a character called Walter Mitty in his short story, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, in 1939, I'm sure he didn't imagine in his wildest dreams that he would not only write his most widely known masterpiece, but that the character would be so poignant, so beautifully crafted, that his surname would be a new addition to the English dictionary:
an ordinary, often ineffectual person who indulges in fantastic daydreams of personal triumphs
All of this came to my attention when I was on an internet video spree, and coincidentally came across this trailer for the film adaptation for the short story. If you haven't seen it, please check out the video here. I don't know whether it's the cinematography, the music playing in the background (Dirty Paws by Of Monsters and Men, if you wondered), the great cast, or just the fact that I'm in love with the romantic notion of the film, but it's one of the most captivating trailers I've ever seen.
Why did I feel the need to share this? It is just a film trailer, after all.
But the idea of being a dreamer, of being infinite within our own minds, desperately seeking a way to put our beautiful ideas into practice, really spoke out to me. And I know I'm not the only one that feels this way.
How many people fantasize about epic deeds, romantic ventures, meaningful ambitions, and poetic moments in life? How many wish their lives were indeed the subject of a short story, a novel, a film, or a song?
But then, how many of these people will actually take the initiative?
A select few, I can tell you that.
And although this post does seem a little melancholy, think of it this way. Yes, there is a Walter Mitty in all of us - an ineffectual dreamer so lost in his fantasies that he has no idea how to break through into reality. But that is only one aspect of our character, for we are diverse minds. We do, we initiate, we strive. We achieve.
Find your Mitty. Set him free.