Billy Elliot

I couldn't sleep last night, and was in the mood for a movie with strong emotional impact. I've seen the film a few times before, so I knew that the right choice for last night's insomnia was Billy Elliot. If you have not seen it yet, you owe it to yourself to give it a look. In the USA, it's available on Netflix streaming as of the date of this post. 

The setting is done realistically, the interactions between the characters is believable, the reaction of the father to his ballet dancing son is extremely realistic. There are some really tense moments where you're feeling a bit rough, especially when you see Billy's desire to dance, and everyone else's disapproval of his pursuing a "girl's" pastime. There's a scene where the father goes to his dance teacher's house to inquire about the cost of something, where I just lose it. The preceding moments seem like he's about to go off and get drunk to smash the emotions he's feeling. Instead, he tries to find out how much it will cost to help his son. 

And you see all the hard work that the father puts in at the mines, in spite of popular sentiment (he crossed the striking workers to earn money for Billy's eventual trip to London). Most of all, you can see his pride in his son's accomplishments towards the end of the movie, and those moments get extremely emotional for me. 

I remember all the times my parents would work extra hard to get me something that I wanted. There was this genetics program at a university in Miami (while I was attending school in Ft. Lauderdale). It was tailored to high school students, and only about 20 or so students were accepted in either Dade or Broward counties. Most of the people attending had a car by this point. I didn't. My father would pick me up from high school, and then drive the hour down to the university to attend my classes. Then, he would wait in the car while I was in class. 

There was this science program in University of Florida. It only accepted like 100 students or so, but you got the chance to work with a professor for the seven weeks on a part of the professor's research. Again, we're talking a lot of money and effort to get me set up in this thing that I knew I wanted. They had to set aside enough cash so that I could buy necessities up in Gainesville, as well as drive me up there, as well as come back in the middle of my stay there to get my citizenship. Then after that, they had to drive me back up. 

Meanwhile, my eldest brother lived about an hour and change from Gainesville. He and my sister-in-law drove me from their home to Gainesville. Then, they took me grocery shopping for some basics, filled up the fridge, filled up the pantry, and took me out for pizza. Then, they drove back home. My second eldest brother lived in Jacksonville at the time. He'd drive out on weeekends where I had some time off, and pick me up to take me back to Jacksonville. There, he and his wife of the time would show me the city, or go to a theme park, or just mooch around the house and eat great food. 

When I was about to enter college, I wanted to do something with medicine. My mother, my father, my sister, and I all trooped into the admissions office at the local private university. My mother had brought an enormous folder with every award, prize, and extra college level work I'd done since as far back as she could find (she even had some awards from my elementary school!) to show the admissions counselor. My father came along to lend his support, and let the counselor know that both parents were behind me 100%. My sister came along to talk about my personality, and how I'm such a good student that I never had to study, and still scored high on my exams. 

They had filled up all the slots to the dual admission program (where you would do 4 years of undergrad, and 4 years of medical school, and both acceptance letters were sent before you even started college). However, after seeing the support of my family, and my grades, and my SAT scores, and my volunteer projects, the counselor said, "We're going to do everything in our power to get you in. Don't you worry for one moment." 

Mind you, I never did enter medical school. I stopped after the first four years. College wasn't for me. But no matter what job or life path I follow, I can't forget all my family standing beside me, holding me up, encouraging me to do whatever I wanted, and cheering when I made a success of it. 

I don't know what I'm getting at here, but I just wanted to share my experiences with very loving, caring people. Maybe I'll also tell the story of the friends who have been equally supportive along the way in some not-too-distant future. 
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