lauren spitler

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Finding Neverland

It is no secret that I love Peter Pan. 

If you have not seen this post, check it out to get a glimpse of my love in picture form. What I didn't show in that post was a Neverland-themed flannel, necklace, other beanie, and ring I also own. I don't have a problem, I swear, haha, it's a passion.

I've also mentioned my love for musical theater on this blog before, and Finding Neverland has been my obsession lately. The original Broadway cast album was released about two weeks ago, and it has seriously been the soundtrack to my life!

In the car? Let's play Finding Neverland! Sitting at home and it's a bit quiet? Let's play Finding Neverland! It's been a few minutes since I last listened to the cast album? Hm... well, let's play Finding Neverland! You get the idea!

Broadway albums may not be for everyone, but I have seriously always been a sucker for plot-driven songs! (If you are in the crowd that enjoys Broadway cast albums... GET THIS ONE!)

Now, I have not (yet) seen the musical on Broadway (fingers crossed that happens soon!), but I have listened to the entire album enough to be affected by the message. Although, in all honesty, I cried the first time through so it didn't take long for me to feel the impact of the story.

I have felt the struggle, and the idea of one day finding your wings is a good one, and I believe the show displays this in a non-corny, but rather inspirational way.

Neverland is closer than it seems. 

I plan on making another post or two based on specific songs from the show because I truly believe they are that good!

The album has such a variety of sounds and moods. (Clearly I'm no music critic, haha, but I can honestly say that this is one of my favorite cast albums as a whole, and I have listened to quite a few :D) There is something for everyone, whether that be a song that is pleasing to the ear, or a message that you have been needing to hear.

Give it a listen and let me know what you think! I will gladly point you in the direction of a few songs that are my favorites, and I will also talk about them more here soon!

x Lauren

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Getting to Know Me From the Inside Out

**Disclaimer: I am going to discuss specific parts of Inside Out, so if you have not seen it and want to see it first without knowing things ahead of time you may not want to read this just in case!**


First off, I'd like to say that I am not going to review this movie pretending I'm some critic with an expert opinion! I am merely going to share my personal response to the film.

Disney•Pixar's Inside Out has been advertised for a long time now so I'm going to assume you've seen some sort of promotion leading up to the film's June 19th release here in the States. Click here to watch the film's trailer if you are unfamiliar with what I'm talking about!

Before seeing the movie, I had this plan in my head of the blog post I would write to follow. I would write about what visually cool "islands" make up my personality, and it would be an exciting colorful look at my emotions and whatnot.

The problem with that plan was that without seeing the film, I didn't know what sort of reaction I would have to it. I had heard from some people that they cried, but many of the people I talked to responded with the standard, "it was a cute movie." Everybody goes into the theater with their own circumstances leading up to that point and that definitely affects what sort of takeaways they have.

I waited to read what people had to say about it online until I had seen it, and like I expected the responses were pretty polarizing. Some were honest about being emotional messes, and others said things along the lines of "I don't get why people cried! It was fine, but that's it!" One comment actually said, "I think people need to get to a therapist if they're crying THAT much over this movie," well... OUCH!

I wasn't a mess, but I was definitely emotional! See, I walked into the theater having gone through the last six years with the worst depressive spells and moments filled with anxiety that I've had in my 21 years of life. Other people don't understand what I feel or why I am the way that I am, but that's because I haven't been able to explain it in words. An animated movie accomplished what I have been incapable of expressing.

There is a cycle that I go through where I am depressed and feel nothing, then I feel anxiety and fear, sadness and hysteria, and then I'm void of emotion again. This cycle makes me feel guilty when it affects other people, and ultimately leads me to feeling alone. 

This is sort of an open letter to all who are in my life. People who I cancelled plans with, or at times shut out of my life, or who felt suffocated or overwhelmed by my repetitive venting about the same topics.

As we saw in the movie, personality islands stemmed from core memories. When Riley's islands began to shut down, I was like, aha! That's it! I thought specifically about my "friendship island." Truthfully, and I don't say this to complain, but I don't have many friends and often times, they don't always stay in my life for long (Obviously, and thankfully, there are some good friendships that have lasted too). While this is frustrating, at the same time, I get it. It's not easy to be my friend, and it's because as I struggle with mental illness, I'm not the most stable person, and it's probably rather difficult to navigate. 

When I am experiencing depression, my personality islands shut down. At one point in the movie, the control console in headquarters stops working, leaving Disgust, Anger, and Fear frantically pressing buttons that are no longer lit up and functioning, and they do it all because they just want to make Riley happy. Fear announces something that to other people might have been a quick line in passing, but to someone like me that experiences it regularly, stuck out as quite profound. He says something along the lines of, "we can't get Riley to feel anything." THAT'S IT, PEOPLE! Depression isn't sadness, although I feel a great deal of that at times too, it is the absence of feeling. Everything is gray, and you're unable to feel, and you can't do anything about it. 

Another moment that made me stop and think was at the very end of the film. Riley, who has been overwhelmed with sadness, and then arguably a depressive spell, is finally able to crack a smile while her parents are embracing her. This makes me tear up even writing about it! I cannot explain how hopeless and dark I've felt for years and years, and often times there isn't even a light at the end of the tunnel to look at. To see Riley have a breakthrough and experience joy once again, is so incredibly hopeful and truly heartwarming. 

During the actual film-watching, I only teared up once to the point that I needed to wipe my eyes, and it was during Bing Bong's farewell scene, which is another whole discussion. A few hours after watching the film though, I was sitting on my couch, and processing everything again, and that's when I cried. It just feels so incredible to witness a piece of art that gets it. It doesn't shy away from the topic, but it actually fully embraces it and decides to share it in a way that will educate and make others aware. Once again, I am grateful to Disney and Pixar for what they do.

Does the movie depict everything in a scientifically accurate manner? Obviously not, although I wish I did have little emotional characters working for me, in a colorful brain space! The way it does visually simplify the complexity that is life so that we can better get a grasp and understanding of the subject is important though. 

Since watching the film, I have found myself thinking about my emotions and the way they are working together in situations, and I think that is the whole point, so.. SUCCESS!

How are you feeling? Have you been doing well lately? Even if you haven't been doing amazingly, don't worry! It's okay not to be okay. Let yourself feel whatever emotion you are dealing with (like sadness for example) because we can't just put Sadness in a circle and tell it to stay there. We need to feel those things in order to get back to a sense of normalcy, balance, and much needed happiness! 

I hope you all have a fabulous week! If you read this entire blog post, and read my blog in general, let me know... I want to send you a personal thank you!

x Lauren
 photo s_03.jpg  photo s_04.jpg  photo s_05.jpg  photo s_06.jpg  photo s_07.jpg  photo s_08.jpg  photo s_09.jpg  photo s_10.jpg